The steps to the Unity Village Rose Garden have been sealed with yellow crime scene tape to protect the wedding parties from intrusion by hordes of teens in formals celebrating homecoming and seeking the perfect photo shoot backdrop.
I ask the security guard how I’m supposed to get to my classroom in the Unity Institute building, whose main entrance is in said Rose Garden. He directs me to the basement access route right off the cafeteria (which, by the way, is giving me flashbacks to my parochial school days with its dun plastic trays, industrial plates and silverware, and rolling conveyer belt that carries the dirty dishes into the steaming underbelly of the kitchen to be washed).
I enter a hallway demarked by painted yellow lines on a concrete floor. Overhead, exposed pipes and ductwork shoot off in every direction. I would never have guessed this to be open to public access, much less to lead to my classroom. The security guard rattles off quick directions (some combination of straight-aheads and turns that immediately flow through one ear and out the other without fully engaging my inner GPS) then disappears.
I take a tentative step into this surreal landscape. To my right, a forest of artificial Christmas trees bristle in the shadows, their naked limbs awaiting the season when they will be brought out to bloom with lights, tinsel and colored ornaments. I am suddenly aware that I have walked into a familiar kind of dream scene, although I am quite awake.
How many times have I wandered through underground concrete mazes like this in my dreams? Sometimes in search of something – my car, a bathroom. Other times trying to elude nefarious, shadowy pursuers or carry out some clandestine spy-versus-spy mission. Usually in these dreams I wander lost as panic rises and each twist and turn takes me deeper into unknown territory.
In Active Dreaming, one prescription for a nightmare is to re-enter the dream and move it forward, through the fear into a transformation and conclusion of your choosing. I have the sense that this is just such an opportunity. The veil between waking and dreaming has disappeared and I have a chance, in full consciousness, to transform this recurring dream theme.
I realize, it isn’t a maze. It’s a labyrinth, like the one I walked under the full moon the night before. I am never lost, it only seems so. The path twists and turns, but is clearly marked as I move toward my center and back out again.
Today I know that this underground concrete labyrinth will take me closer to my center. Straight ahead is a sign. Education Building to the right. The elevator takes me up to the familiar 2nd floor where my circle of sisters welcome me in to our moon tent room, a space to connect and create, and to reclaim my soul. It is another kind of dream space and I step into it with deep gratitude.
With gratitude to Aliza Bloom Robinson and Pamela Hawkins who so beautifully facilitated The Yin Experience Retreat, and to my new circle of sisters: Patti, Susan, Megan, Sharron, Gail, Michelle, Noemi, Tamra, Leailia,Carmen, Mary and Monica. ♥ ♥ ♥