November 28, 2003

window reflections 2


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Is it possible to take just a pretty picture? This is Montreal. I wish that I knew how to embed a photo so that it can be clicked on for a larger version. Voila!
When it's bigger, you can read two words that do not appear in mirror image. One is "protection", and the other is "excel".

Posted by Dakota at 05:48 PM

fish on sill


Of course, I left my extra fish (see entry goldfish) lying around. My whimsical cleaners, god knows how they ever put up with me, found a perfect place for them. And it's just the photo I needed for my children's story.





You might ask where is the food? where are the people? When that happens, artistic expression is out of the question.

Posted by Dakota at 02:55 PM

November 27, 2003

window reflections 1


This is a reflection I saw in the window at an antique shop after my last ladies group. The White Elephant is inside the window, everything else in the photo is outside.

The elephant is the symbol of the Republican Party. I do believe theirs is black. It's interesting that a white elephant, at least in the United States, is symbolic of something that is rare, but needs to be off loaded because it is too much trouble to keep, as in, the white elephant table at the church bazaar. There must have been a fair number of white elephant knickknacks around in order for them to become synonomous with this type of discard.

I have a family heirloom of white ivory elephants carved in a row, increasing incrementally in size. My maternal great grandfather, who was a German sea captain, brought it back from India. I'll get it right out of my props department and take a picture.

In its natural environment, Thailand, Burma,Cambodia, Laos, a white elephant is a rarity and is considered sacred. It is a "not just a symbol of Buddism but of prestige, prosperity and political power". Perhaps the devaluation of the White Elephant in our urban western society is symbolic of what has happened to the sacred in our culture. Or perhaps I am just going on.

Posted by Dakota at 03:06 PM

November 24, 2003

seeing through my eyes


This is a photo of samples of tints for lenses taken at my optician's. I have rose colored sunglasses which I recommend highly. (The tint is called Serengeti). They make almost everything look prettier.

I can remember getting my first pair of glasses in fourth grade. They were cat's eyes. The world was astonishing. I couldn't believe that this was what everyone else saw. Such rich detail, so far away. I can remember trying to walk down a flight of stairs with my new glasses and feeling worried about missing a step, misjudging a distance. I still feel that way. Ostensibly, I was nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other - wearing glasses eventually made me completely nearsighted.

Parade Magazine had photos of what nearsighted and farsighted people see; you know, sharp up close, foggy in the distance and vice versa. It was a revelation to my mother when I showed her. She couldn't believe that the world looked like this to me. She was always shocked to hear about any difference between us.

When I was in high school contacts were invented, and I learned to wear them. This was a painful process, requiring the development of calluses on the inside of the eyelid over a period of weeks. My ears would ring so when I put my contacts in. My contacts were small and hard. My friend Barb had contacts the size of half her eyeball. Contacts provided me with my first experience of peripheral vision - a panorama - I didn't run out of vision around corners. I wore contacts until my sophomore year in college when I managed a scene shop in a summer stock theater. I kept scratching my cornea because of all the sawdust that blew in my eyes. I think I resigned myself to wearing glasses at that time. I started saying "You can't make a point with a contact lens", sweeping off my glasses and staring into the eyes of the other.

I've had a number of scratched corneas. They can put you to bed, in the dark, patched and completely motionless, wishing for sandbags. Since your eyes are hooked together, you cannot move your unscratched eye, without irritating the scratched one. In fact, you cannot move your body without moving your eyes. They're suspended in your body like beach balls in water, moving with every ripple. Having a scratched cornea brings this phenomenon into awareness because any ripple is accompanied by excruciating pain.

About fifteen years ago, I woke up with a scratched cornea just three months after my kundalini energy was restored in a group with a phenemonal healer. I had called up too much life force energy before I had the structure to contain it. The energy went away with the scratch. It's taken me a long time to build a container that can handle it.

I also had a scratched cornea after my cataract surgery. I was very young to have cataracts, early fifties. I didn't take steroids or have diabetes either, but I had smoked cigarettes. All the eighty year old ladies I know who have had this surgery were fine in a day. I spent a week in bed with audio books (which I have come to love). Nine years later, I still have a cataract in my left eye. I dread the surgery, and I savor the capacity to focus one of my eyes naturally. It's getting pretty foggy and yellow, though. Monet, the impressionist, had cataracts. I think that's why he painted the light the way that he did.

In a recent seminar I attended, Ruthy Alon ( talked about the eyes affecting posture and body movement. Someone asked if wearing bifocals could do it. She said yes. I have something much stranger than bifocals. I think some of my lifelong difficulty with coordination and balance had to do with my peculiar eyesight But the real problem was my mother's constant horrified attention to my "clumsiness".

Here's a little synchronicity. Last night I discovered a little red zit on my right eyelid, of all places. It drew my attention to my eye. Thanks. Now that I wrote about my eyes, it can go away. It wasn't conscious until now.

Ironically, I think I have quite a good eye.

Posted by Dakota at 06:22 AM

November 23, 2003

ten gallon


This strange mesh bust was created by my son. It's chickenwire with a metal nose attached, a little hard to see in the photo. The sculpture originally wore one of my father's hats. (A few of which, of course, I have in a hatbox on the third floor landing.) I could probably put it back, and take a with and without shot.

My father always wore a hat, a business man's hat with a wider than usual brim. My high school boyfriends, who probably found him gruff and intimidating, used to call him "Ten Gallon" behind his back. I think he found out and was mildly amused.

The sculpture is a rather perfect representation of him. Not that present.

While cleaning off my dining room table for Thanksgiving, I found a formally framed invitation to the Inauguration of Richard Milhous Nixon and Spiro Theodore Agnew, our first criminal president and vice president. My kids unearthed it in the garage among the last artifacts of my mother's "stuff" shipped north to me. I think it was my father's invitation, though I know he didn't go. He was a staunch Republican. I've come a long way, baby. I have trouble tossing something like that, which is why my house is so cluttered. I certainly don't want to hang it up on the wall. Perhaps there will be interest on EBay, when I learn to use it.

So here's the "with" photo. I found the hats just where I knew they were, sans box. This one has a silken string about sixteen inches long with a black grograine covered button at the end. You could button it onto your lapel on a windy day. A fine specimen.


Posted by Dakota at 05:23 PM

getting the synchronicity giggles


Yesterday morning I was writing about the angels in my life, which I may or may not publish, and here's what happened next.

Thanksgiving is upon us, so I began my preparatory rounds. First I pulled in a parking space at a local cafe thinking I'd run in and get a coffee for the road. There were a crowd of yuppies in the parking lot impeding me in a strange way. When I got out of the car, they told me that I had parked right in the walkway. Okay. .. so I pulled out, didn't find another space and left. Driving along toward my destination, the paper goods store, I was looking for a decent coffee place with parking. I passed two, no parking, (since listening to Abraham [] I can practically manifest a parking space downtown on a Saturday night. (Something just came into consciousness - Often I use finding parking as guidance. No parking, don't go there.) Back to my story. Then I thought I should stop at this urban farmstand, remembering it was cute and might have some cranberry sauce

And there was my angel, right outside, sitting next to the big plaster hand holding the frog. (Two garden ornaments piled together to make room for oncoming Christmas trees). The significance of the frog in the hand is yet to be revealed. Stay tuned. A frog in the hand is worth two in the bush. Looks like a man's hand. Maybe if a man kisses a frog, it turns into a princess. Transformation. This is the second sculpture of a man's hand I have come upon lately. Although I didn't take a picture, one of my friend's sacred objects was a sculpture of Moshe Feldenkrais' hand.

Inside it was possible to order a fresh organic turkey, homemade tarts and pies, little Thanksgiving goodies for my elderly mother wiho spends most of her time in the Bardo (Ozawkie Book of the Dead by Elmer Green) and a very good cup of coffee to go. No crowds. Banter with the baker. They're even open Thursday morning in case I forgot the turnips.

I love it when this happens.


Posted by Dakota at 06:30 AM

November 21, 2003

murals of montreal



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All of these walls are within walking distance of one another - a friendly place for artists. Find myself wondering if a painted wall with windows is technically a mural. I'm going with it.

Decided to post some pictures because my verbal faucet seems to have been turned off, after several days of clawing myself to the computer every free moment.

Posted by Dakota at 01:34 PM

November 20, 2003

on becoming a blonde for spiritual reasons


My dear hairdresser has had such problem with my wish to be blonde, blonder, blondest - wait until she has to install the white streaks that I am planning next. She doesn't understand that my hair is part of my quest for light and not a fashion statement, though fashion statements are not beyond me. She greets me, "hi blondie", looks doubtful, hesitates, and tones (not the vibrational, the liquid). I take these as signs of her sweet disapproval to which I have not succumbed. I am very insistant. If she tones me too much, which has happened twice, I come back the next day and make her lighten up. I bring recycled tapes from Esther Hicks, with which to plie her. She just doesn't want me to be brassy. Last time, she bleached my roots white. We're getting there.

Posted by Dakota at 06:16 AM

November 19, 2003

the chi machine


This is a photo of my chi machine, wearing its cozy and smiling.

I first came upon the chi machine at a conference in Toronto. It was being demonstrated in the exhibit room at a conference about a theraputic technique, using bilateral brain stimulation, called EMDR, which I can do because -here it is again folks- I took Level I and Level II Training. The conference organizers must have allowed the demonstraters space because the machine went back and forth, like many of the other machines used for EMDR. The chi machine has nothing whatsoever to do with EMDR.

The literature that comes with the machine says that it was developed by a Doctor of Oxygen (we don't have those in this country) and is designed to help one simulate the movement of a goldfish with one's spine. There is also an amusing video which implies that using the chi machine is a good substitute for vigorous aerobic exercise. I did not purchase the machine for either of these purposes.

I was wiped at the conference, having visited with lively, small boys and attended my fortieth high school reunion the day before in Detroit. The demonstrators promised envigoration, so I hopped on. That is, I laid on my back with my ankles atop the machine. The machine moved back and forth for five minutes and, when it stopped, my entire body was suffused with the loveliest wave of delicate energy. I had to have one. They were not cheap, but they were tax deductible. The demonstrators even threw in a $25 sheepskin chi cozy to keep one's ankles from knocking and chafing while astride..

When I brought my machine home and showed my friends, some of them had to have one too. After referring a few to the demonstrators in Iowa, I was offered the opportunity to become a distributor of chi machines myself. It's like Amway. Pyramid marketing? That lasted for about three machines. I did buy a few chi cozies ahead of time, and have a few left over. They are probably on one of the piles I plan to photograph.

The chi machine was available in the Lifestyle Fascinations Catalog,last time I looked. It is heavily discounted to $139, because it is quite impossible to show its inner beauty in a photo, as you can see.

See entry "The Cluttered Nest" for information on use of the chi machine in Dakota's Double Dip meditation.

Posted by Dakota at 04:22 PM

November 17, 2003

The poppet plays the game

Your thoughts are important ,
They deserve fine paper
- a recent message from the universe

That popped into my head this afternoon, as I excitedly tried to remember what I wanted to post. I wrote a note to myself on the on the palest pink, thick piece of paper. It was great. It's nice to have things popping into my thoughts, I spent so many years without them. That' s probably what my weak lung chi is about (have I failed to mention my weak lung chi before? I have that and too much heat in my liver and a couple of other conditions that I fail to fully comprehend. I am taking Chinese herbs to correct these conditions, so not to worry. ) Weak lung chi usually means grief. Could it be my sorrow for so many years of being silent and ashamed.

So here's the thought. I just began a book this afternoon called "Women's Reality: An Emerging Female System in a White Male Society" by Anne Wilson Schaef". It is not an angry book, it is just trying to get us fishies to observe the fact that we are immersed in water, in a bowl, and there are other bowls in which we could be swimming, not to mention lakes, streams, rivers and oceans. See goldfish entries

Schaef's premise is that white Males in the White Male System cannot know that their system is one of many, since they never, being white males, have an urge to leave the system. Many other systems buy into or are coerced by the Great Myths of White Male Society. Here are the Four Great Myths

1. The White Male System is the only one that exists

2. The White Male System is innately superior (an indirect acknowledgement that other systems exist)

3. The White Male System knows and understands everything.

4. It is possible to be totally logical, rational and objective.

She concludes "If the White Male System is the only system that exists, if white males are innately superior, if they know and understand everything, and if they can be totally logical, rational and objective, then they can be God - at least the way the Male System defines God."

I looked at my earlier entry - the purpose of a poppet and saw that my poppet adheres closely to the practices of the White Male System, which is probably why I am so furious with her. She happens to be a woman (lucky for me), so I can feel strong negative emotions and look at my projections onto her without feeling too scared. Do I hate those parts of myself that I project will be punished by the White Male System? I often feel scared about what I write in this blog. Hmmmm..m It's more likely that I want some of what she has. Oh dear.

Posted by Dakota at 08:14 PM

November 16, 2003

shaman sign


This is a photo I took a few weeks ago in Montreal. I was going to use it to illustrate my ladies circle entry, but feel it deserves a place of it's own. First, there is the simple pleasure of running into a sign like this at all, and having it be cute enough to shoot. Though I probably would have shot anything that said shaman. The small print on the sign says, you'll forgive the translation," the potion of shaman - energy juice".

The number on the building is 1703, which, I am told by one who knows such things, is a very special number, it's 13x131 which is the gematria of Domedon, the aeon of aeons. Impressed? I'm taking this as a little sign from the universe.

Posted by Dakota at 07:01 PM

light in flight - the opposite of shadow

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I should say something about this photo. She is a sacred object that lives with a friend of mine who is walking next to me on the same path. My friend has many gifts, and a complex karma, slathered with blueblood and pedigree, neither of which makes the trip easier. This statue was created, in memory of her mother, as a womens' track and field trophy.

Posted by Dakota at 06:39 PM

November 15, 2003

My ladies group

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Here's where I blow my cover as a plump, middle class, menopausal suburban housewife. Let me write about my latest womens' group. I have been in one form of women's group or another for thirty years. They have varied in purpose, depending on my developmental stage. I've also been in mixed gender groups, one of which is celebrating it's twenty fifth anniversary. It's my way of making up for being an only child.

Which brings me to my latest group. We are all working individually with our leader, and she brought us together, telling us each we had alot of shamanic energy and could use a healing group. We all said "sure", but basically didn't know what she was talking about. Our leader is a healer from a line of Jungian theologians. She believes that light, love and compassion are paramont - especially for entry into the fourth and fifth dimension. (This is what I think we're doing - briinging the instinctual, from earth energy through the body into the light using heart energy, but I could be wrong, and I'm not sure what it means). Our leader wryly calls herself an urban shaman, a musician and sound healer. She is full of light, love and compassion. She also has alot of girlfriend energy and likes to talk about clothes and hair and Allure and People. Even though being a shaman is serious business we laugh alot, I should say ALOT. Our leader says that laughing is part of the light.

We meet by the sea in a loft with a huge skylight, over a coffee shop called "Heaven" (no kidding, that's why I had to take a picture) and a boutique of sacred objects, like Black Madonnas and Tibetan Buddas. (It's very expensive. I have yet to invest in my first sacred object, but the shop is handy if ever I decide to take the plunge.)

Our leader has quite a large collection of sacred objects which she shares with us. She also has a number of instruments which we use in our healings, you know, rattles and drums. Yesterday she brought in a huge crystal singing bowl that she could hardly get her arms around. She let us play it. When it was time for my piece of work, I said I wanted it propped on my back and played. The vibration is very fine, like a bass crystal wineglass. I can call up the feeling in my back now.

There are five of us in the group. Some of us struggle with too much yang, and others with too much yin - masculine, feminine, expressive, contempletive. I personally suffer from too much yin - servant energy, characterized by downward cast of eye, hunched shoulders, shame, repression. I am pleased that I am having a yang breakthrough with this blog, expression. Others have too much yang, taking on too many presentations, writing too much, traveling so that they have no contempletive time. They are trying to slow down and balance their lives, get out of their heads into their bodies. Two of us have lost mothers early, the rest have narcissistic, borderline mothers Understanding the Borderline Mother by Christina Ann Lawson - excellent read on the subject) one of each: a queen, a waif and a witch.

Some of us are dealing with past life trauma, most of us have enough in this one to keep us busy. We're all pretty evolved considering what we've been through, rape (2), suicide (1), incest (1), sexual abuse of our own children (2), loss of a child to adoption (1), loss of close sibling (2) early loss of mother (2), lunatic mother (3). This may not be the complete list, since we don't talk all that much in group and we're just getting to know one another. Seems like between us we have all the flavors of trouble a girl could have. Collectively we've probably done a hundred years of psychotherapy. We have much to "clear", patterns from which to free ourselves, "forms" to exorcise. Our leader tells us that as we do it for our own benefit, the universe benefits too. We chose believe her because we don't like to think of ourselves as complete lunatics. We have made many jokes about doing the stuff we do in the group in front of others, especially our husbands, and watching their horror.

We start every group with a brief catch up and then get down to business. Usually someone prostrates herself on cushions on the floor and the rest of us are called into position around her. Sometimes I get a feeling (which our leader calls guidance) to go to some part of the prostrated's body. Then we start to tone. Toning is what Tibetan monks do in their temples - that low, rhythmic froglike chant. Since we're girls, we have a better range of upper tones. I have a particular gift for the really low tones and the high nasal, slightly flat shriek of the middle east. Sometimes it doesn't feel like its me that's making this noise. That's when I'm channeling, I am told. As we work ourselves up, we bring in a number of helpers (from other dimensions?, I'll have to remember to ask). Our leader will enthusiastically say things like "Oh, here are the Tibetans, there are the American Indians" One of us is especially good at animals, monkeys, birds - she also does speaking in tongues. Generally we work ourselves up into quite a frenzy, loud and tonal, sometimes nasal and shrieky. I cough and gag. Our percussion specialist grabs a drum or a rattle to accompany the cacophany. The person who is doing the work generally has an experience of catharsis (she's doing all the same things we are, but she's lying down and we have our hands all over her chakras, sometimes digging in fairly vigorously to one or another, tapping, rapping on her back, stroking, helping to move energy in her body. Our leader gives us little instructions to slow down or to touch the crown chakra with vigor. etc, so the feeling of "what the fuck am I doing here" doesn't get out of hand. In fact, sometimes I feel like "hey, I'm pretty good at this, whatever it is".

On occasion, at the end, the angels come, and the sweetness and harmony of our toning is touchingly beautiful. The angels bring deep stillness, which we are encouraged to savor by our leader.

And then we go out to lunch.

Posted by Dakota at 06:19 AM

November 13, 2003

the clutter in my life


This is a photo of one of the more attractive examples of my flat surface disease.

My eldest son did a conceptual project in college. He sent ten people an identical set of ten objects, and asked them to create a sculpture from the objects and send it back to him. I don't really know what he received. The real point is that he called me and asked me to look around the house for ten sets of ten things, because he knew I'd produce. I have favors left over from numerous birthday parties, folding chinese dragons, yoyos, plastic spider rings, a bag of one inch fuzzy teddy bears. I have thick purple rubberbands from organic broccoli, rulers and ball point pens from my father's business which closed a few years ago (were he alive, he'd be 104). I had curlers (do we even know what curlers are anymore?) and bobby pins, but I was able to discard them. (To let you know my thinking process, I just had a moment of regret for tossing the curlers, since they will one day be valuable antiques.) It's alot to maintain, and, as you can imagine, it leads to a cluttered environment.

The organizer, Karen Kingston, says that keeping stuff around is a negative prediction - when I need something, it won't be there. Rather, she would have us believe in the generosity of the universe to provide exactly what we need when we need it.

So I had a dream about sauteing a pan of little white baby shoes in butter and paprika. I thought a photo would be fun, and sure enough I had a pair of white baby shoes at my fingertips (purchased for an acquaintance with a new baby) I am proud to say they were not thirty years old - I don't think I have any of those - besides, my babies wore workboots. Someone said that maybe the stuff in my house is a prop cupboard for my pictures.

I also have a collection of books on the subject of organizing and clutter, Karen Kingston' s large and small, Marilyn Paul's " It's Hard to Make a Difference If You Can't Find Your Keys", a tome by the Slob Sisters who used to be like me. Now they have one major disagreement which has to do with how many twist ties one can keep on hand, I'll have to look up the specifics. I also have Fly Lady bookmarked. This has added to my clutter considerably. I recommend borrowing books from the library. If you don't return them within two weeks, there is a monetary penalty. At least the penalty provides incentive to get things out of your space. If you haven't read them, you can always renew rather that accumulationg another pile.

Just listen to me giving advice on clutter. What a nerve. I guess I better go take some pictures of my piles to bring them into consciousness. I tend to look for the pretty, and some of my piles are prehistoric behemoths, they are not pretty.

Posted by Dakota at 06:03 AM

November 12, 2003

the cluttered nest - meditation


Jack Kornfeld tells a story about a man who comes to one of his workshops. When Jack looks over at his cushion, the guy seems to be perched in the middle of a nest. Framed photos of two gurus, crystals, feathers, tokens, ceremonial blankets, ancient texts and the like surround him. Jack thought the clutter was probably not working in his favor.

This is a description of my morning meditation. Jack would probably be horrified. The routine keeps me busy focusing on almost nothing and sometimes is a doorway into somewhere else. That's riding the theta waves for you.

I get up at 5 AM to do this. I throw on my sweats and my fleece and go downstairs. I take a fistful of supplements and foul Chinese herb tea with lots of water, and strap on my CD player. Then I go into my office and kneel, as I state my intentions and stretch the top of my feet which are a bit contracted. Killing two birds with one stone is my specialty. (I'm reading "Scattered" by Gabor Mate about ADD and it sounds like me.)

I took the basic format of the Reiki prayer that I learned in Reiki Level I, and added a few tidbits. Kneeling (and stretching) I ask that both Reiki and generalized life force energy flow through me for purposes of the highest healing. I ask that my body relax and allow all the energy that I'm calling into it to flow. I ask that my ego step aside, which it gladly does. I ask that my guides be with me. My Reiki guide is the eye of Horus. This is the symbol that came to me during my Reiki (Level II) training when we asked for our Reiki guides. I didn't know anything about the Eye at the time. I recently found a coin imprinted with the eye. It was a token for an amusement park. I was amused. I'll take a picture. I have other guides, like a bear, an owl, a seal and a few Tibetans that I recognize by their voices, but have never really visualized. You can see the nest is getting crowded.

I turn on my CD player to Centerpointe Research's Level I Purification disc and begin. The sounds - rain, static and temple bells are supposed to induce theta states, but you have to go at it gradually. I've been climbing up the levels (Awakening I,II,III, IV) for about four years. Sometimes I am impressed by my dedication, since I've only missed one or two sessions in all four years, but what else would I being doing at 5 AM. Do not even consider suggesting sleep. I will probably write about sleep sometime.

Next I set the timer on my Chi Machine for ten minutes and hop on. The Chi Machine wiggles my ankles back and forth, as I lie on the floor on my back, and simulates the spinal movement of, guess what, a FISH - how about that? More fish activity in my life. see goldfish

As long as I have ten minutes to kill riding the chi, I trace my secret Reiki Japanese characters (available on the Internet of course, but that's a secret too) in the air, and on both of my palms. I try to avoid writing automatically with attention elsewhere. It was easier when I was just learning the characters, because I would have to concentrate on them and not my little lists.

Moving right along, I place my Reiki prepared hands on my crown chakra, and tone to the tune of what once was my softspot, so it vibrates to the tone (high, angelic). I proceed down my chakras, toning to the resonance of each one. Except for my root chakra which I cannot conveniently reach when riding the Chi Machine. I just visualize it or forget it altogether. About then, the Chi Machine stops abruptly. If I am sufficiently hydrated, I am filled with the most delicious wave of energy. It is completely yummy and lasts for a few minutes. I tone to its vibration, and pay attention the CD in order to pick out the same vibratory tones in the bells. For a minute or two, I'm all lined up.

As I read this description, it seems like I go to quite a bit of trouble to produce this effect. I think of it as attunement rehab for those of us who didn't have mothers that helped us feel the vibrations of the universe in our bodies. Chi Machines are $139 in the Fascinations Catalog. Thank god they're for sale. Naturally, I have two.

Usually the preceding routine takes about twenty minutes, leaving forty to go on the CD. Next, I assume a straight backed posture in my chair, bolstered by a few pillows and covered with my lofty down throw, and begin breathing exercises. I learned them at an Art of Living Workshop last year, in a mere nineteen hours. They are, of course, a secret. I even had to sign a pledge not to teach them to anyone else, since the Art of Livers want all breathers to be trained correctly. This is a required course for the Bombay and Botswana Police.

There are three different sequences, the first done seven or eight times with three arm positions. The second a cheerleading sequence with nasal huffing and the third a Kriya. I won't go into detail, but it's halfway through the Kriya that I generally reach theta, I think. No thoughts, but not asleep. PHEW.

When I first learned the breathing, I was doing it separately, but that added another twenty minutes to my routine, so I compressed for the sake of efficiency. Forgive me Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, (the developer of these techniques, not to be confused with the sitarist). I think my immune system is strengthened by the breathing, as they claim. It is not as relaxing to me as it is to others.

After rereading this, I realize that I could give a "Level I Workshop"and teach Dakota's Deep Dish meditation routine. Everyone else is doing it. Guess it's too late to keep it a secret though.

Posted by Dakota at 11:34 PM

Dream 10-13-03

Meet up with an old boyfriend on the street by accident. (In reality he was an Austrian ski instructor, a Harvard graduate student married to a medical student, a sociopath and probably a past member of Nazi youth. One of the fine selections of my earlier life.) He takes me home and I am in bed with him. His wife is outside the bedroom, but he says not to worry. Then she comes in the room, but, to my great relief, she doesn't look at me. Her attention is drawn to the TV at the end of the bed. She sits down on the end of the bed to watch with a few others. I hide under the covers, unnoticed. I see an opportunity for escape. I run through a side door which leads downstairs into a concourse. The concourse is tiled with small tiles, a variey of deep autumnal colors, quite ugly. I walk through the concourse into a cafeteria. From the cafeteria I go upstairs into an underground parking lot. There is a luminous sleek sportscar parked in the parking lot, surrounded by admirers. My friend Eli is standing beside me. She says that she saw a luninous car like this, but it was a VW bug. I am very excited because I have also seen the luminous VW. (In reality, but couldn't get my camera out in time to document it). The VW was shades of pale pink, blue and gray - the sportscar was deeper tones of magenta, ultramarine blue and green. I go out on the street and walk several blocks, then, return through the concourse, think about stopping in the cafeteria for a coffee to go, but don't, and get to the lobby of a building. I step onto an elevator, operated by a young woman with long, brown hair. The elevator goes up quickly. I say "Oops, I meant to get off on the first floor". The operator is annoyed with me and tells me I will have to ride up higher while she lets others off before I can go down again. I am going higher than I expected and I feel a little out of control. (Oh well, what's a girl to do)

This dream is probably about my journey, escape from trauma (old boyfriend, oedipal triangle of my family) through the concourse (the unconcious), the cafeteria (self soothing with oral gratifications), finding the luminous sportscar, still a little underground, (finding my life force energy) and going up higher in the elevator than I intended when I started and feeling a little scared about where I am (the bardo??)

Posted by Dakota at 06:47 AM

Dream 10-26-03


Dream begins at a camp or summer stock theater, where I am part of a larger group. Someone's uncle has amytal (sodium amytal, truth serum) and four of us are going to try it. The uncle is wearing a white suit ala Tom Wolf, and reminds me of some men I knew twenty five years ago, one a psychiatrist, (who in reality used sodium amytal with a patient of mine), the other a charasmatic teacher in an experimental school - both ebollient, medium sized, good humored, forceful personalities with blondish beards.
First we have to elude the extraneous people (a number of dark haired, olive skinned women). We say we have to rehearse. We then decide that we can't take it on the premises. Take a car with another woman and two men, one of whom is the uncle. The men are on the floor of the back seat, hiding. We begin looking for a place where we can take the amytal. It's night and we're driving around Newton. We pass a house on a hill made of luminous stone with a luminous car parked in front. I am driving. I ask the woman where to find the local parks. She says we should go to the town where I live. It's too far away. I think to myself that she's useless. I take a turn, ostensibly onto a bridge, but miss the bridge and fly through the air in the car, eventually righting the car and landing on the bridge.
Scene changes to a park. In preparation for taking the amytal, I am standing over a campfire over which is an enormous frying pan (perhaps five feet in diameter, a good one with teflon lining). In the pan, I am sauteing dozens of pairs of toddler's white shoes in butter and paprika, stirring them. I will have to wash off the shoes when I'm finished with them, and I think that if I left out the paprika they would be less stained and in better condition to give away later.

Posted by Dakota at 05:55 AM

November 10, 2003

God's pencil

Copy (2) of IMG_2304_320.gif

I took this photo last winter in a place I wasn't supposed to be, at the top of an old landfill. I realized, driving up the hill on a road that had only a single plowed lane, that I would have no way out if I encountered another vehicle. I did, it was the snowplow, and the driver yelled at me, but plowed a turnaround while I waited. I was provided with a number of photo ops being where I wasn't supposed to be.

A few days before, I had been discussing Abraham's idea ( that our physical bodies are containers of life force energy in existence. I said that having a physical body is like being god's pencil here on earth. That is, one has the opportunity to express the divine, if one can clear the internal pathway and establish "flow"- Just look what popped into my camera.

Belle's Dreams

Posted by Dakota at 11:47 AM

November 09, 2003

the spider in the trees


Posted by Dakota at 07:23 PM

the shadow of the gate



Notice that these pictures are shadows. In this case the shadows are more interesting than the gates themselves (though the gates are very cute, but not photo cute). Message: sometimes the unconscious is more interesting than the conscious.

These pictures are also stars and stripes in shadow. A political statement, if ever I heard one. from the universe. Message: The USA is being governed by unconciousness, and what a cute collection of unconciousnesses we have. They are ready to eradicate "evil" - spewing projections all over, while neglecting to take even a peek into their own dark sides (don't have any mam, it's all out there, especially in Islamic countries)

Notice also the waves. Lately it has been my intention to add more theta brainwaves into my life. Haven't done much research, but Elmer Green, the developer of biofeedback, is very big on theta brainwave training for full human potential development. I fancy that I am entraining my theta brainwaves each morning for an hour with Centerpointe Research meditation tapes. I just do my regular meditation thing to a CD with rain sounds and temple bells. I am currrently the proud listener of level one of Purification, having completed levels one through four of Awakening. Going from Awakening level three to level four was a killer. My whole body seized and my fascia burned for nine months. Only Chinese massage and cranial sacral treatment has helped. I like to think that I was doing so much that my life force energy got stronger than my body could handle. My body is getting better. The pain has gone from burning to dull ache.

More on brainwaves. My friend Bill is trying to sell his brainwave machine which he was using theraputically in his practice for a time - I can have it for $4500, he paid $10,000. I can buy cheaper theta. Do thinK I should try it before he sells it. He says he is very bored by the work he ends up doing with the machine, and is back to just talking to people. He says being in theta is being spaced out. I think that Elmer Green thinks being in theta is useful for channeling, and I would agree. Came across in my reading this week more about brainwaves of the alpha sort. They are produced when we are thinking. Active alcoholics produce minimal alpha. When they were alpha trained, they lost interest in their addiction. Then the researcher went on to theta training his subjects and that's where I fell asleep last night.

Let's alpha train GWB, He was an addict and alcoholic wasn't he? He'll be horrified to see what he's done when he gets some alpha going. I think GWB is our first alcoholic president. I could be wrong. Gave it up all by himself too, or was it the Christian cure. We don't hear much about his "recovery" - probably because it never happened. He's what's known as a "dry" drunk, no alcohol, worse behavior because the feelings the alcohol managed are now unmedicated and free to be felt. That usually pisses the dry drunk off more than ever.

Posted by Dakota at 07:04 PM

the car in the courtyard


Posted by Dakota at 06:25 PM

November 08, 2003

The problem of having a poppet

One of biggest problems with having a poppet (see earlier entry - the purpose of a poppet) is that you can get habituated to the rage frequency. That is, you feel all those rage sensations inside your body some or all of the time. Remember, the poppet doesn't know what's happening, or that you even exist. The state of rage is yours alone, the poppet could care less. Thin satisfaction for those of us who fear that we want to murder and dominate. No, you personally are living in the rage state. The world is served by willingness to witness murderous rage inside ourselves and others, make it conscious, and transform it, rather than act it out. Staying on the rage frequency takes a toll on your instruments, your bodies, your existence.

Therefore, it's good to develop enough skill to move your frequency away from the rage channel (and the fear channel) and be able to giggle, or be like the Dalai Lama. If you are really (just mistyped god) good at this life experience, you learn to identify with the aggressor, and then to help those aggressor parts of yourself transform, so that they are not always directing repressed aggression inward, tearing your insides apart. Sounds good to me.

Posted by Dakota at 06:10 AM

November 07, 2003

all in a row



Four all in a row photos entered on the day before the harmonic convergence. Looking back just a little - Kennys and Montreal Cafe are all in a row photos as well.

Posted by Dakota at 07:44 PM

maple leaves in a row



Posted by Dakota at 07:31 PM

maple leaves




Posted by Dakota at 06:35 PM

A childrens' story


Once upon a time there were three little goldfish, living among others in a fashionable zip code in Cambridge.


They had a small but cheerful pool for such an urban setting, and plenty of yummy insects. Special desserts were provided by the man of the house. The woman of the house worried that they would get too fat and never gave them fishy treats. In spite of their privileged circumstances, they yearned for adventure. They dreaded the thought of lying unconcious at the bottom of the pond for the winter with the rest of the gang. And so the three dear friends planned their escape. They chose the autumn to make their move. They knew they would be easily camoflaged in the bright foliage. They waited for just the right moment with eager anticipation.


In mid October, they saw a sign from the universe on a rock just beside their pool. It seemed to say "this way guys!"


And off they went, first mounting the hawthorne where they could get some traction, then leaping over to the trellis


Then up the trellis to the open window of the big brick house. They could hear running water just below the window. This was a relief, since they realized that they could not do the fish equivalent of holding their breath out of water much longer. They had used all of their athletic prowess on the climb from the pool.


With their last gurgles, they hurled themselves through the window, and soared, using their fins to steer, toward the sound of the water


landing, kerplop, in the washing machine, where they lived happily ever after. The man and the woman, impressed by their initiative, allowed them exclusive use of the washing machine, and went to the laundromat. The three little goldfish will probably want to go back to the pool in the spring. Right now all their buddies are hibernating, and they are thrilled to be in a place where there is lots of action, and they can spin and swim against the tide to their hearts content.
The End

Posted by Dakota at 10:40 AM




Waxy alien eyeballs
morph into plump, prickly pods


only to go POOF

the consort of monarchs

Posted by Dakota at 09:23 AM

November 06, 2003

trolley tracks


miracles sneaking up behind you when you are waiting for the T


Posted by Dakota at 10:21 PM

the neighborhood restaurant


summertime in Somerville


goodbye alfresco, hello ___________ (There will be a contest to fill in the blank)

Posted by Dakota at 09:40 PM

November 03, 2003

no more red berries


I have now been taking pictures for about a year and I am often drawn to the same places and objects noticing their seasonal and developmental transformations. Take the red berries - before and after. I never saw them after this luminous moment, since they fell off before the sun shone again, baring the tree, which slowly melted the snow and replaced the berries with plain green leaves. Before the end of summer the tree was gone, felled by urban lumberjacks, making room for "more".
I want to send this photo to the developers. Maybe Ill blow it up to billboard size and paste it on the redbrick wall at the construction site, while it's still there.



Posted by Dakota at 10:57 PM

Posted by Dakota at 09:12 PM



Rain everyday for a month
Where is the sun? Where is the summer?
Morning without luminosity, forgetting Source

Drum majorettes, red high hats, little skirts
All lined up in the rain at Kenny's Saltwater Taffy,
Waiting to be shot.

Posted by Dakota at 08:57 PM

November 02, 2003

The purpose of a poppet

Whenever I need to find the split off parts of myself, the parts that scare me to death, the parts that I disown, the parts that I will probably need in order to be all of who I am and fulfill my worldly purpose, all I have to do is think about my poppet. Poppet is an archaic term for a doll through which one can cast spells.

I first heard about poppets while working on the play, "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller, about the Salem witch trials. I did props; there was probably a poppet prop required. This was a college production and it starred Faye Dunaway, (a fellow student) who was "discovered" by Kermit Bloomgarten, the famous Broadway producer, while she played the lead in this production. Because the script was a revision, Arthur Miller was hanging around campus too. Back to the point.

My poppet exists somewhere just outside my experience. I have only seen her occasionally in the waiting room, but I hear about her. She is a real human being, the "other". I find her despicable, and I can really work up strong negative emotion when I think of her. I feel lucky to have her. I also feel lucky that I do not have to live with her (the real person, although I do live with those difficult parts of myself). When I examine my projections onto her, I can find those parts of myself that got squashed, that I continue to squash and that squash me with great regularity. They are my identifications with the aggressor. Shall I count the ways? (NOTE: If you can't think of a personal poppet of your very own, some people find George W. very useful and you can't get near him because of the secret service. George W. himself has found Osama and Saddam useful . The problem is that he acts out his rage because it is unconcious. When he acts out it causes great destruction, but someone has to do that nasty job. ) I was counting the ways:

1. She thinks only of herself in the most narcissistic way, speaks only about
her experience and is only interested in others because of their potentiall
to serve her. She lacks empathy.

2. She trusts no one, and, therefore, treats others as if they have already
done something "wrong". She does not, however, get her feelings hurt,
not my poppet, she distains, judges, sneers and retaliates from a position
of superiority.

3. She feels entitled to use others - their financial resources, time, expertise
good will to her own ends.

4. She is arrogant. She thinks she is the smartest, most culturally
advanced, most beautiful, most talented, most interesting person on the
East coast (at the very least).

5. She is never wrong. When her foot gets stuck in a
bucket of wet cement you are using to make a repair
for her, you have warned her about, and have asked her
to stay away from, she blames you for your lack of consideration
and ineptness.

I will add to this list. Of course, I never think that she is this way because she was traumatized by her manic, narcissistic father and that she is actually supremely insecure. That kind of thinking defeats the purpose of a poppet.

Question to myself. How can I contact these qualities in my traumatized self, so that I can add them to my repetoire? I certainly feel alot of judgement and distain toward my poppet. I probably feel the same about those parts of myself. Are these the parts of me that took my mother's "hits"? The disowned parts that continue to "hit" me, just like she did. Feels horrible to cultivate these qualities, but to ignore them hasn't worked. Shirley Jean Schmitt describes these parts of self as being dressed up in costume to look like the critical parent. A little girl tottering in big high heels, a dress trailing on the floor, a hat down to her ears. Healing happens when you help her to take off the costume and stop playing the role of the critical parent, "protecting" you by anticipating that terrible feeling of having your spirit annihilated.

Elmer Green, in "The Ozwakie Book of the Dead", says to recognize and value split off parts of self, then negotiate with them so that they can transform and come out in the light. It will lead to peace.

Wouldn't anyone have trouble with my poppet? Here's the answer. Yes.

A recipe metaphor about anger. Cayenne pepper is a strong flavor. If we have it in our spice cabinent, we don't necessarily use the whole container, or even a whole teaspoon in any one dish, but it's available. We have options to create using cayenne.


Asya Schween has captured many parts of herself on film.

Asya Schween

Posted by Dakota at 06:05 PM








Goldfish have been prominent this week. I was tapped to goldfish-sit by my landlord at the office who is going to the Far East for three weeks. I am to feed the goldfish in the pond outback (see photos) They need to be fed when it's warm. When it gets cold, they sink, and go into coma, theta, like the Tibetan monks in caves. There is a custodial diagreement in the matter of feeding. Dad says feed, mom says they'll be fine without food, and that dad feeds himself too much too. It was seventy degrees on Novemember first, yesterday, not conducive to goldfish coma. So, softy that I am, I fed the fish, a tiny bit. Of course, I took pictures of them, none of which are spectacular. I will post one for the purpose of symbolic picture trails.

On a parallel note, I hunted down a large plastic goldfish for the newborn child of a favorite person of mine. I am told they are a distinctive gift by others who have received them, because you can always recognize your child's toy in a pile at a playgroup. In the spirit of abundant hoarderhood, I bought four. I sent one off, and took some pictures of the others, atop the washing machine, in the washing machine, frolicking in the yard. (The same thing happened when real swans presented themselves to be shot, plastic swans also popped up. Those photos aren't as amusing as the goldfish, since the plastic swans weren't mine and I didn't feel free to manipulate them.)

And then there is the matter of the miracle picture -- the one with the lichen, beside the fishpond. It was just there waiting for me while I took pictures of the fish, screaming "Japanese print, Japanese print".

Addendum: Today, at brunch I noticed a young man in line with a goldfish on his Tshirt. The fish was overstruck with red lines, but it was a yellow fish all right. I think this counts in the synchronicity department. The shirt said "Isis" under the fish. (U Of Chicago publication?) I was too shy to take a picture. I was seated next to him during the meal (two inches away) close enough to eavesdrop.

Addendum two: Two days later, on mentioning goldfish as the theme of the week, a shaman of my acquaintance said she had seen a great commercial on PBS about a goldfish wishing to be a salmon and escaping his bowl. A bold goldfish adventure ensues which ends with the goldfish leaping from a bridge into a river teeming with salmon. She subsequently had a dream (last week) about being led by a goldfish on a journey of the spirit.

Love this synchronicity!

Think I'll put these photos in sequence and write agoldfish adventure childrens' book.

Ten years of therapy in one night

Posted by Dakota at 03:49 PM



Montreal cafe

Posted by Dakota at 09:30 AM