Archive for April, 2009

dscn7778Over the past few days I have been busy traveling between Minneapolis, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.  In between all the flights and events I had scheduled, I’ve been immersing myself in readings about alchemy for my training program with Robert Bosnak in LA.  Even though I am a bit tired from all the running around, I have also had the opportunity to savor a bit of spring in each of these locations during my morning walks.  Here is a small sampling of some of the beautiful blossoms I have  enjoyed while thinking about the alchemical idea of “albedo” or whitening.

In science, albedo refers to the amount of light reflected off of the surface of an object.  When an object has a high albedo, it means that the surface reflects most of the light that hits it.  So pure white has the highest albedo of 1 because it reflects back all of the light.  Click here for examples of scientists measuring the albedo of arctic water, ice, snow and tundra.

dscn7799In alchemy, albedo refers to the second stage of transformation of base materials into gold.  C.G. Jung, who was very interested in alchemy, saw it as a wonderful metaphorical system for understanding the process of transformation in the lives of his clients he worked with.

As the second year of my training program with Robert Bosank draws to a close, we have begun to focus on the study of alchemy as it relates to dreaming and the imaginal realm.  For me, alchemy is such an alien system of thought that both inspires and totally confuses me.  It is also providing me with just the right combination of stimulation, challenge and fun that makes life long learning such a delight.  More than anything, it feels as if I am finally starting to understand a wee bit about my own Western cultural heritage, which in many ways is still such a mystery to me after living so long in Japan.


Chicago Botanical Gardens Chicago Botanical Gardens 2

The albedo of a


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SpraklesIt is such a delight to get out and walk this time of year.  I am especially enjoying the transition from the frozen world of ice and snow into fluid, flowing water again.  According to MPR, the last ice on Lake Minnetonka has finally melted.  I guess that means that spring is really here to stay!  Here are some photos from my walks this week.

Ice turning into water While walking around Lake Calhoun the other day, I was struck by the sound of the last bits of ice pushing up against the south shore.  It was such a lovely rhythmic sound, full of swishing and crunching.  I was also entranced by the way the light was dancing on the freshly thawed water.  Perhaps that is why I have been dreaming about so many sparkles lately?

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iasd09logo72dpiInternational Dream Conference Focuses on Earth Dreaming

The International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) will hold its annual interdisciplinary conference June 26-30 at the Wyndham Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. The theme of the conference is Earth Dreaming: 25 years of Carrying the Dream Forward. It will focus on dreams and ecology, anthropology and archeology, among other topics.

Stanley Krippner, PhD

Stanley Krippner

Keynote Speakers

Keynote speaker Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., bases his talk, “Everyone Who Dreams Partakes of Shamanism,” on a comment taken from the Paratinin Indians of the Amazon. Dr. Krippner, professor of Psychology at Saybrook Graduate School and author of numerous books and articles on dreams, will discuss perceptions of reality and the grass roots dream movement.

He is a past president of IASD and recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Barbara Tedlock

Barbara Tedlock

Barbara Tedlock, Ph.D., considers dreaming as a spiritual refuge between ourselves and the multilayered world surrounding us. Her keynote talk, “The Shamanic Power and Spirituality of Dreaming,” explains how in shamanic traditions the dreaming process is used as a process of transformation.

Dr. Tedlock is distinguished professor of Anthropology at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she teaches courses in psychological anthropology, religion and the arts.”

Invited Presenters

Robert Moss

Robert Moss

Invited presenter Robert Moss will explore “The Secret History of Dreaming,” He will share how a dream led to one of the biggest oil finds in history and how Harriet Tubman guided slaves to freedom on the Underground Railway thanks to her dreams.  He will discuss “dream archeology” and how the skills of shamans, scholars and detectives are needed to fathom the past and prepare for our future history.  Born in Australia, Mr. Moss is a former lecturer in ancient history at the Australian National University and has written numerous books on dreaming.

Stephen Aizenstat

Stephen Aizenstat

Stephen Aizenstat will present on Dream Tending, a method of working with dreams that considers dream images as “living images.” It makes the particularity and presence of these images available to the dreamer.  Dr. Aizenstat is the founding president of Pacifica Graduate Institute, a private graduate school offering masters and doctoral programs in psychology and mythological studies.

Over 100 Presentations, Workshops and Dream Events

The IASD conference will consist of more than 100 presentations, workshops and other events over a four-day period. The conference offers something for everyone-from lay dreamers to scholars, researchers and therapists. Participants may sign up for continuing education credits. IASD is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists, and IASD maintains responsibility for this program and its contents. IASD is also a CE provider for the BBSE California Board of Behavioral Science Examiners.

About the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD)

IASD was founded in 1983 and is the premiere dream organization in the world. Its mission is to promote scientific research and personal exploration of the study of dreams and to provide an educational forum for the interdisciplinary exchange and discussion of such information among the scientific and professional communities and the general public. For more information visit IASD’s website at http://www.IASDreams.org

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I’ve been trying to get out everyday for a walk or bike ride to take in the wonderful transition from winter into spring.  Daily I am struck by the incredible beauty of the negative spaces.  As I look at the spring sky through the bare branches, I can feel the life stirring within that promises to become leaves and blossoms soon.  Here are some photos from the past week from my walks around Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis and along the Mississippi at Minihaha Falls Park yesterday.  Enjoy!

Spring sky through the branches Spring Twilight

dscn68521Looking Up

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