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Archive for January, 2009

Bar for "Swingers"

Bar for "Swingers"

One of the things I enjoy most about being on vacation is getting up early to take a walk and enjoy the morning light.  This is something I seldom get an opportunity to do, since having children.  So every morning, I have made a point of getting up at dawn to watch the sunrise and take some photographs while we are here in Mexico.  Here are some of my favorite photos from my morning walks.

dscn3908 To the left of our villa is a wild beach, covered in coral and rugged plants that grow out of the crevices.  On one section of the beach, below some magnificent houses, are pieces of coral piled up, on on top of another.  They remind me of the menhir and ancient stone circles in England that I love, like Avebury Circle.

There’s something about these stones that draws me to them.  I can’t explain it.  When I came across these, I just knew that I had to photograph them.  Standing there I could feel such a strong connection with the people who had placed them there. It feels like a sacred act of remembering.

dscn36392On this part of the beach, the waves are much stronger, giving a dramatic feel to each sunrise.  I love watching how the colors slowly come back into the sea and sky with the dawn.  It’s an absolutely magical experience, watching the morning come.  I can’t wait to see what tomorrow morning will bring.

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Sunrise in Akumal

Sunrise in Akumal

Sunrise in Akumal, Mexico

It’s amazing how much difference a few degrees make.  OK, so it’s more than just a few degrees.  When we left yesterday morning it was -10 degrees Fahrenheit with an even colder wind chill.  One of the delightful things about taking a vacation from Minnesota in the middle of the winter is the utter appreciation I have for the smallest things.  This morning, I could hardly make myself stay in bed past 5:30 AM because I didn’t want to miss the coming of the golden morning light.  It was so beautiful.  Here’s a picture of the sunrise this morning.  More to come soon, so check back.

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Here’s a list of upcoming dream salons at Monkey Bridge Arts.  I hope to see you there!

  • Friday February 13 – Tarotpy(tm) and Dreams with Lauren Schneider, M.A., M.F.T.
  • Friday March 13 – Deborah Hickey, PhD, topic, to be announced
  • Friday April 3 – Lucid Dreaming with Robert Waggoner
  • Friday May 8 – Healing At the Intersection of Embodied Dreaming and Touch with Sheila Asato, M.A.
  • Friday June 5  – Dreams of Soldiers in Iraq with Christian Hallman, PhD

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Dream Salons

Luncheon of the Boating Party by Renoir

Luncheon of the Boating Party by Renoir

Rosie’s Hospitality

One of the things I loved about mom was her innate gift for  hospitality.  Anyone, including  stray dogs, were always welcome in her home.  After her death, I decided to learn more about our Irish roots and realized how much her sense of welcome and love for conversation were a vital part of our Celtic heritage.

Fáilte in Dreams

Shortly before reopening Monkey Bridge Arts in the States, I had a dream in which I was going through immigration, asking for permission to stay.  As I handed a page from my novel to a variety of officials each one placed an invisible stamp on the page.  Finally, when I reached the last counter, a man in a dark blue uniform held up the page to a black light to reveal the word Fáilte.  Now, for those of you who don’t know me personally, it’s important to note here that I’ve spent the bulk of my adult life abroad, mainly in Japan, where I seldom spoke English.  This word was totally foreign and incomprehensible to me.  So I just noted it in my dream journal and promptly forgot about it, until later that day.

Precognitive Dreams

In the afternoon, I went to the Minnesota Historical Society for a class on genealogy and saw a table at the back of the room with a green banner on it bearing the word Fáilte again. I was delighted to learn that Fáilte is Irish for Welcome!

Fáilte and Dream Salons

To honor this dream, and the memory of Rosie’s generous, heartfelt hospitality, I welcome dreamers from all backgrounds to a dream salon once a month.  These salons are open to the public and free.  Donations are welcome but not necessary.  Tomorrow night (January 9) from 7 – 9 PM, I will be leading participants through the creation of a Hatsuyume (New Year’s) dream stew.  We will take images from the first remembered dreams of the new year to brew up a collective dream to be worked by all.  If you are interested in coming, please drop me a line at sheilaasato@comcast.net or call me at 952-412-4786.

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Dream Snippets

African Lion

This morning, I turned around and found myself face to face with a lion.  We looked directly into each other’s eyes for a moment and then I woke up.

In the past, I would not have bothered to write down such a flimsy snippet.  Over the years, however, I have learned that such fragments can be precious, pearl like gems emerging from the sea of dreams.

When I have paused to review my dream journals, patterns have emerged, stringing these pearl like fragments together to reveal the beginnings of new growth, the presence of healing energies and fresh insights which have helped me tremendously in waking life.

I have to agree with Jeremy Taylor, D.Min, when he says that “ALL dreams, (from the tiniest fugitive fragment to the 25 page epic with many illustrations), have multiple levels and layers of meaning and implication.”

So now, as I am going through menopause and find my dream recall decreasing, I am all the more grateful for precious dream fragments like this one of looking directly into the eyes of a lion and being seen by him.  I am struck by the fact that neither of us are afraid of each other.  This is something new.  What courage and strength are entering my life as I transition to the next stage?

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Pulse Smart Pen

Journaling by Hand

Computers are nice, but I really love writing in my journal by hand.  The only problem is that when I am finished it is almost impossible for me to find anything specific in them later.

Recently, I learned about a wonderful new tool called a Pulse Smart Pen.  It’s fantastic!  I bought one a few months ago and now I am totally hooked.  In December they even released a Beta version of the software for MACs.  To see for yourself what this is all about, visit http://www.livescribe.com Be sure to check out the videos.

What Makes a Smart Pen Special?

At first glance a Smart Pen looks just like any other pen, only fatter.  Once you turn it on, however, you’ll quickly see it’s something completely new.  Just behind the nib is a tiny camera which records everything you draw or write.  It also has two tiny microphones in it that can record audio as you write.  This makes it a terrific tool for interviews as well as for taking notes at a lecture.  I’ve been using it during creative mentoring and dreamwork sessions with my clients.  Later you can touch the pen tip to the ink and hear what was being said while you were writing that part.

Word Search

After you are finished writing, you can upload the files into your computer and then search them, as you would any other document, with key words.  That function alone has been worth the cost of the pen for me.

Buying a Smart Pen

The other day, when I was at Costco, I saw that they now have them in stock at a discounted price.  I bought mine at Target.  You can also order them directly from http://www.livescribe.com Although the MAC version cannot do all that the Windows version can yet, it has still been a very worthwhile creative tool for me.

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Papilla Estelar (Celestial Pablum) by Remedios Varo

Papilla Estelar (Celestial Pablum) by Remedios Varo

Today I had the pleasure of facilitating dreamwork for the Twin Cities Integrative Healers Consortium.  (For information on upcoming meetings contact Tina Feigal at TFeigal@aol.com).

Together we created a dream stew from our Hatsuyume – the first dreams of the year.  To make our New Year’s dream stew, we took a variety of different dreamwork methods and combined them together to create a delicious and nourishing dish that was satisfying to all.  They included:

Our Process

We started by sitting in a circle to create a vessel for our stew.  Into the dream pot each person put one image that was essential to their New Year’s dream.  Next, we went around the circle counter clockwise, stirring the dream pot slowly as each person spoke about the advice and wisdom the dream offered them about the New Year by using the phrase “If it were my dream…”

As each person mulled over what the dream had to offer them, the images in the collective dream stew began to heat up, releasing a delicious, savory fragrance for all to take in.  Then, as we stirred the pot again, going around once more, each person was able to respond once more about how the dream was affecting them.  This time deep feelings began to emerge, stirring things up emotions in each of us.  By the time we finished our second round, tears had begun to flow together with laughter and wistful sighs of longing, relief, grieving and joy in response to what the dream had to offer each of us.  Whenever feelings started to emerged, we paused to savor them deeply, noting how they felt in our bodies, as we do in embodied imagination work.

Honoring Our Collective Dream

To finish up our dream stew, each person voiced one thing that they would do to honor our delicious feast.  Many of the dreamers from the group promised to check in here and share how they honored their dreams on this blog.  Be sure to check back to see what they did.  I promised to take some time out to dance when I got home.  Look out Fred Astaire, here I come!

How did you celebrate and honor your New Year’s dreams this year?

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