Sunday, May 15, 2011
Barnacle Ganesha: A Waking Dream Gift
Yesterday, I had the wonderful opportunity of teaching Active Dreaming to a diverse group of professionals engaged in Masters’ level studies in experiential health and healing. It’s thrilling to be with such talented, accomplished and motivated people. It’s especially thrilling to share with them a dreaming practice I know will benefit them personally and aid them in the awesome work they do to help others.
If I were to coin a bumper sticker from this experience it would echo a theme that the program coordinator mentioned several times, the best things happen when you trust your heart and get out of your own way.
Get Out of My Way My Own Self
My workshop was titled; “Active Dreaming as Eco Dreaming”.
In an unpleasant synchronicity, while I was preparing my presentation on Friday, my neighbor was having a healthy maple tree professionally removed. Whatever the reason for cutting down the tree, witnessing the act, the men with loud saws, ropes and huge bucket truck, was a nerve jarring and saddening experience. I escaped to walk the beach just steps from my house and down 20 feet from street level.
I walked a mile to the pier reflecting on this irony. We're alienated from Nature without and from our own nature, our dreams, within. How fortunate for this teaching opportunity; perhaps I can help heal a piece of this disconnect through my dream work. Thinking this, I turn around and head home, offering my gratitude to Mother Ocean. As I approach the stairs to go back up, while crossing a small patch of shallow water with lots of seaweed and shells, I see a yellow object partially covered in the sand.
Curious, I bend to pick it up, realizing as I get a closer look that it’s none other than Lord Ganesha! OMG! Can the universe get any funnier? Elephant has been a dream animal guide to me for decades, as I’ve mentioned before. Here is this gift from the universe, a true synchronicity, a meaningful coincidence according to the man who coined the term, Dr. Carl Jung. It made me feel happy, blessed and confident. Plus, I just love the barnacles; baby barnacles!
The Hindu Elephant headed God, Ganesha, is revered in India. Did Lord Ganesha come all the way from India here, or just from across Long Island Sound? I Googled “Ganesha Lord of Dreams” to see if I got a good hit on it, but instead I found that Ganesha confers Success, presides over Beginnings, Education, and Knowledge, among other things. I took my marvelous Barnacle Ganesha with me to place as my elephant totem on my dream altar at the workshops.
In one of the sessions I led, during a group round of Lightning Dreamwork, a dreamer shared a dream that began in a gift shop. Gifts from our dreams and gifts from our waking dreams can inspire us as we work to transform our culture into one with a sustainable future.