Freeing Ourselves in the Infinite Right There on the Horizon: I Wish the Sky was not Cloudy All Day

Just look at the sky on a clear day. Just look. Unfortunately, I can’t do it right now. Aside from 2 minutes today, I haven’t seen a clear sky, haven’t seen an unobscured sun for over a week. Even today, it was more a glimpse of blue I saw, not the sun. Haven’t seen more than 5 or 10 hours of clear sky for a month or more. Snow falling, yes. Not big storms, not like the ones that were common years ago, but just enough to paint trees and bushes gray and white. Clouds, mist, fog, rain⎼ this we’ve had in abundance.

 

Sometimes, with the snow, there can be a sense of getting lost in it, enveloped. The whole sky seems to be falling. The sheer number of snowflakes is impossible to fathom ⎼ a mystery pushing aside my attempts to understand it and leaving me as silent as the snow itself. Fog and rain have their own beauty. But they can also create a sense of being locked in, claustrophobic, isolated. People experience SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. And now, maybe, we have CCAD, Climate Change Affective disorder.

 

A clear sky is dazzling. It’s hard to feel bad when we have that rare sunny winter day. And I think it’s not just the light that makes us feel good. It’s the composition of the sky. It’s the spaciousness. It’s so different than the earth, the trees, buildings, mountains, more like the oceans and rivers. It’s the infinite right there on the horizon waiting for us.

 

But even on sunny days, how many times do we allow ourselves to simply stop and focus on the sky? We spend so much of our time with our heads down. And we don’t realize sky is not just that blue or gray stuff way up there, but it’s that clarity right in front of our eyes. We spend our time too caught in the human-created universe. And so, we get claustrophobic. Feel clouded in, isolated. Not so aware. Maybe deprived.

 

This is true at night, too, although I wonder if more of us look up at night, at the stars and the moon, than during the daytime ⎼ if we don’t have trouble seeing the night sky through city lights or other pollution, or fog, clouds, rain, or snow. But if we can see the sky clearly and go beyond naming the stars we see or giving words to how the moon shows itself to us, the infinite sky is there for us.

 

One evening 50 or so years ago, I had a big argument with my father. I had returned from serving in the Peace Corps a few months previously, had applied and been accepted to graduate school, even had a scholarship. But I did not have a job. It would be six months before college began. And I was thinking about hitch-hiking across the country. My father was appalled. Angry. How could I waste my time like that?

 

He was a successful accountant, a survivor of the depression and World War II. He just couldn’t imagine not working all the time to build an impressive resume or to accumulate financial resources. But as soon as his anger subsided, he became very real and honest. He said that when he went out at night and looked up at the stars, he got lost. He didn’t use the word frightened, but he described it. The night brought the infinite, and maybe death, into his heart and it scared him.

 

He said that the only way he could face the night was to work. Was to have a schedule. Was to devote himself to his job.

 

I was silenced….

 

*To read the whole article, pease go to The Good Men Project.

When I Was Blessed by A Crow: We Soar on Wings We Never Knew We Had, into A Sky We Never Knew Existed

Were you ever blessed by a crow?

 

When I was around 13 or 14, I started playing tackle football on a sandlot team. We played in a park less than a mile from my home. For three years, a crow used to come to the practices and for almost every game. We sometimes fed it. But mostly, it was just there, hopping around, watching, and we began to think of him, her, them as a friend. I never had the superstition that crows meant misfortune, but rather I associated them with good fortune. A blessing from nature.

 

If, when walking, sitting, or standing somewhere, ruminating⎼ lost in thought amidst the noises or silence around us⎼ and a crow flies above us, its harsh call can save us. We can listen, and then silence arrives as if summoned. Other times, the call comes so intermittently we can barely stay with it. But if we can accept its offer, however brief, and listen closely, our attention is re-awakened. We open to whatever is there in that moment.

 

It’s like hearing a friend call to us, or a voice from a dream, or from deep inside our bones. It comes to us, and we can fly into it. We can fly into a sound so full it makes room for everything. And then we soar on wings we never knew we had into a sky we never knew existed⎼ a sky so empty it welcomes us home.

 

Or if we allow ourselves to feel the life of a crow, or maybe anything, to feel that it feels life, feels wind and rain as we do⎼ or maybe differently, but just as crucially, and then we become more alive. It’s so tricky to let go of ourselves and our concerns, our schedules, our anything, or the theatre of our lives. Crows can be a blessing to us all.

 

But it’s not the only call we can focus on. When we meditate, natural sounds like the speech of crows, or chickadees, the rain, wind, or ocean⎼ or the sight of a waterfall or smell of a honeysuckle, or an artwork, anything we find beautiful⎼ can give us something to disappear into. If we welcome it, listening to the calls of whatever we find beautiful can be a wonderful way to let worry and anxiety fly away, leaving a clear sky, or mind, behind.

 

I’ve read meditation teachers advising us to find the emptiness before a thought. That’s so difficult. And I don’t know how much crows think or hold thoughts, or whether they’re adept at finding the emptiness before thought. I do know they are incredibly smart. I once wrote a blog about 3 crows who often visited my yard. I’ve tried to take their picture. But even though I’m inside the house, if I pass a window, they follow me with their eyes. If I just look, they look back. Or they simply eat. But if I pick up a camera, they know. They fly. And when I allow it, the crows fly me to silence. They reflect to me different shapes of myself, exposing who or what is watching, or doing the watching….

 

*To read the whole article, please go to The Good Men Project.

A Primal Sort of Love, A Primal Sort of Prayer: When Our Eyes and Ears Become Heart-Shaped

We all know days when the world seems caught under a gray sky. When there’s no sun anywhere and the air itself feels like a light rain or snow. When so much feels at risk and wars rage. The world storms⎼ and then gets quiet. And aside from the sound of wind and the falling rain, all is silent.

 

And I realized that here, too, inside the house, in me, it’s gray. Not just the sky but the trees, the flowers, the furniture, the walls. Everything. The air around me and the air inside me speaks a gray language. And I stop dreading and almost welcome this new language. It becomes an “old friend.”

 

It’s too easy to forget these relationships amongst everything, this interconnection. But if we notice this, this gray outside meeting the gray inside, actually the possibility of joy increases. We better perceive what we give attention to. We open eyes, nose, ears, mouths, minds to whatever. By feeling presence, we can meet not just the world outside but inside. We care.

 

Just a few minutes after realizing this, I looked out the window at the sky. It was late afternoon, early evening. And there was some blue in the sky, just a hint, a bit of white and a space of blue emerging from behind gray clouds. Then lines of pink and the red sky of the end of day.

 

I turn and look in the room around me. A wooden chair, the oak flooring, a white lamp. On the wall is a piece of art. It’s a woodblock print we found years ago, by a Japanese artist named Kawase Hasui. The artwork is called Morning at Tsuchiura. It depicts an ancient wood boat tied to a tree on the shore of a river. And the color of water, which just a moment before looked, yes, grayish, is now more clearly and deeply several shades of blue. And the reflection of the boat in the water is so remarkable and alive. One minute gray. The next, blue. Maybe by looking and feeling so intently one moment, the next moment is deepened, too.

 

I notice this happens after concentrated exercise or meditation, as well as stopping and simply letting my gaze linger on something. The mind sharpens when we feed it with focused, mindful attention on our breath or what’s around us.

 

And something more. The patience to just look. When I’m angry, for example, or afraid, or anxious, and filled with dislike, it’s like my senses are too jumpy or too focused on some thought, or fear, worry to see the reality before me. The fear, anxiety, dislike push the physical world away to replace it with a world of thought.

 

But when we can take the time to pause, to feel⎼ when we’re not so consumed by the news or whatever, and we can possibly feel grief for the world without getting overwhelmed⎼ we can let our eyes and ears become heart shaped. And the colors, sounds, scents, the feel of everything comes closer and sharpens.

 

When we do this, when we listen to what comforts us, maybe it’s the geese calling, or the wind⎼ when we listen so deeply that we hear the movement of water, trees, grasses, and birds in it, and we hear cars and people and our own responses to all the movement in it, we have a new sensitivity….

 

*To read the whole piece, please go to the Good Men Project.

A New Way to See Ourselves and Our Culture: Fall, and A New School Year, A New Possibility

How do we meet a new season? How do we get our children or ourselves ready for a new school year, or for any moment? Especially this moment. Our world today faces so many threats. It’s changing at a rate none of us can keep pace with. So, besides keeping informed of news and the health of our planet and democracy, what more can we do?

 

It’s almost the end of August. When I was working, and the end of August was upon me, and night was settling around me⎼ I’d sit on my porch and just listen to crickets and other end of summer sounds. I’d often feel that somehow the summer had passed too quickly and wonder if I was ready for the new semester. And I promised myself I would not waste these last moments. I would make sure I missed none of it. By sitting there with the crickets, letting their song settle inside me, somehow, I felt more prepared for what lay ahead. If I could sit with this moment, I could sit or race with another.

 

And I’m doing just that even now. It’s 11 years since I retired from teaching secondary school, and I still feel this tension in my belly every year at this time, this dread mixed with excitement. There’s an extra chill in the air today, an extra gentle movement in the leaves, trees, and bushes. Even the sound of cars passing on the road has an unusual quality to it. The colors are sharp. My face, shoulders, and belly quivers. My jaw, the back of my mouth, is tense until I notice a cardinal calling very faintly in an apple tree. Then I relax. And I so love the soft touch of the wind and how it wakes trees and leaves into speech.

 

We can do all we can to keep informed about the news, but even more we have to stay in touch with our own changes, our inner state, and to those closest to us. And with this powerful strength, we can do so much good.

 

A Basic Practice:

This is one thing we can do. We can stand or sit still, in a safe place; a place we can remain calm and attentive for a few minutes. And take a breath. We might notice if we will: Are we comfortable where we are, with the weight of our body evenly distributed? How does it feel to simply be right here? Do we want to let our eyes rest and take in what’s around us? Or close them partly or fully?

 

If we open our mouth or take a breath through our nose, we might notice the taste of the air, how it feels on our tongue? Maybe notice what it is we hear right now? What sounds? What stands out or calls to us? Or what is it we see? What colors? And maybe, where on our body do we respond to these sounds or sights or tastes? In our shoulders, belly, back, legs? How deep is the response? Or maybe, what is the quality of feeling, sharp, heavy, light, like a cloud or a wind? Strong or mild?

 

If there’s a wind, do we feel the pressure of it on our skin? On our hands? On our belly? Do we hear any bird calls or car sounds only with our ears, or also our face, our toes?

 

And maybe, if we want, we can notice any thoughts that arise in this moment? How do we feel right now, about a new day, or a new school year? And then we can let the thought go and return to the sound or feel of the wind. The sense of being right here, now, present. The sense that this, this moment⎼ this, I can do.

 

I was reading a short article in the Fall, 2023 Tricycle by Venerable Jissai Prince-Cherry, about a classic on meditation practice, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice, by the Japanese Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki. I first read it probably 50 years ago. It is a beloved book of several friends and two of my most respected teachers. Suzuki speaks to us in a manner that makes ignored aspects and possibilities in our lives and values obvious to us. It reveals the intimate reality of our experience. And it gifts us, and our culture, with a new way to see ourselves….

 

*To read the whole article, please go to The Good Men Project.

Touching Life in All Its Forms: Summer, Walking, and Treating Living as Learning

I so enjoy spring and summer. Despite the drought this spring, and the continual rains that have so far marked the summer, I feel like I’m once again a child on vacation. I hear the song “Summertime” in my head, and feel that every day I can play, do something new, create, get together with friends. Everything is so alive. In both spring and summer, so many birds, peepers, cicadas, etc. speak up, and seem to speak to me.

 

So, taking a walk during the summer or spring, in any natural setting, or in the blocks or parks of a city, immerses us in this beauty. It can be a meditation if we bring full attention to it. We don’t need to do a formal walking meditation. We just walk normally, and let the exercise remind us it’s not just what we do that determines how we feel, but how much awareness we bring to it.

 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, two things I’ve been doing even more frequently than before is reading about and practicing meditation, and taking long walks or hikes. And I’ve found a few things that increase the joy I have when walking. One particular reading that inspired me was Old Path White Clouds, the Story of the Buddha, by the revered Zen teacher and activist Thich Nhat Hanh. It was recommended by a friend and co-worker. The book gives us a wonderful insight into the deep history of meditation and mindfulness practice.

 

In the book, the Buddha is described as walking “just to enjoy the walking, unconcerned about arriving anywhere at all…[not] anxious or impatient… [T]heir steps were slow, balanced, peaceful…yet they covered a good distance each day.”

 

I’d like to walk like this. How did the Buddha and followers do this? One method described was making a moment of walking a moment of practice and potential insight, “observing each breath,” step, and part of the breath. In other writings, Thich Nhat Hanh explicates further how to be at one with the walking, so we notice the whole universe walking together.

 

It’s so easy to get distracted or lost in thoughts or worries, or to lose awareness of where we are. So, whatever reminds us to pay attention to where are, who we’re with, what our body-mind is telling us, can help our overall sense of well-being.

 

Even before we start, we can stop. Close our eyes partly or fully, and just greet our body, be aware of what’s going on right now. Or we feel our feet on the earth, or the pace and depth of breath, how tense or relaxed are our shoulders and belly. Then we walk.

 

Walking, the capacity for upright, bipedal movement, is, after all, a major defining characteristic of being human. It can be great fun when we do it just to do it and it’s not solely a means of transporting us from where we are to where we aren’t. Or we don’t do it only to meet exercise goals recorded by devices like a fitbit or apple watch or satisfy societal created images.

 

Such motivations can lead us to walk only to get it done, to check off a box in an accomplishment ledger. This focuses us on the future, and we miss what’s here, now. And 10,000 steps can seem a lot; one step can be simple and easy….

 

*To read the whole article, please go to The Good Men Project.

Maybe There’s a Joy So Deep the Whole Universe Is in It: The Curious Power of the Wind

Sometimes, just staying still and listening to the wind can be an event of great beauty. Nothing else is needed to feel full, satisfied. Happy. Those are rare and glorious moments.

 

Sometimes, wind is a gentle touch, a cooling breeze on a torrid day. Sometimes, it disappears. Sometimes, and too often lately, the day is hot, dry, seemingly lifeless; then it suddenly gets cold and the wind rages, sounds like a speeding train, and is too powerful to stand up to. Tonight, the earth gently whispers, a soft, steady sound. Then it almost goes silent. Then it builds until it sounds like a rainstorm is about to slam us, but there’s no rain. No rain clouds. Just wind. Then it calms before it rises once again.

 

The wind animates the world around us. It builds, and the trees dance; falling leaves, and papers lying in the street, fly around; bushes rattle, clouds stir, oceans wave. Just like the breath animates us, the wind can animate the world.

 

Ancient humans made a connection between wind and human breathing. After all, breathing involves air moving in and out of the body, animating us like wind animates the world. So, in India, for example, there was the concept of the five winds in the body, discussed in the Hindu sacred book, the Upanishads, in yoga, and later in Ayurveda, an ancient Indian science of medicine. When we breathe, we take in the wind of the world.

 

The Greek word pneuma can mean both breath and wind, as well as soul. The presocratic Greek philosopher Anaximenes said, “just as the soul (psyche), being air (aer), holds us together, so do breath (pneuma), and air (aer) encompass the world.” Anaximenes thought of air as the first principle out of which all else is composed. The Bible uses the word pneuma in a similar fashion. There can be spiritual as well as a mental and physical dimension to breathing practices.

 

If only we listen carefully enough, every wind can remind us of these interconnections. We can feel our surroundings calling to us or hear people all through time calling to us. We are not two. We are not two. Maybe if we listen, we might hear in the wind the trees, birds, leaves, and clouds speaking of our natural inseparability with the universe in which we exist. No air, no us.

 

We can make listening more deeply, with more curiosity and compassion, a regular component of our lives, along with exercises, as in yoga, martial arts, and mindfulness meditation that help us breathe and live more fully.

 

We can also think about what animates us besides the breath. What stirs us? What stirs us so much that, afterwards, we don’t feel we’re lacking anything? We don’t feel more in pain afterwards than we did before. But instead, it leaves us with a sense of Ah, yes. This I love. No other time or place or anything is needed. Just this, this moment, is sufficient. Wonderful.

 

What stirs us so much we hear our inner world coming alive, and hear the universe speaking?…

 

**To read the whole article, please click on this link to The Good Men Project. Enjoy.

When the Sky Clears, What Is It We See? The Bird Danced on the Roof Top, Saluting Sky, and the Emptiness in Which It Flies and We All Live

Last week, my wife and I were walking down our rural road when we noticed a large bird enter the space above our heads and circle lazily. Then a second arrived, and a third. Probably Turkey Vultures, magnificent in flight. And suddenly, all three were just gone. We didn’t see where they went.

 

At first, we felt the sky as empty, emptied of birds, lacking. But as we looked more fully, what before was merely background became something else, something more. We saw in full clarity the deep blue beauty of the clear afternoon sky. Not only the sky had cleared, but our minds.

 

The great poet and translator, David Hinton, in his book Hunger Mountain: A Field Guide to Mind and Landscape, said when we open our eyes, we open the sky inside us. We feel this empty space the size of the universe.

 

A Chinese poem, says Hinton, is not a metaphor seen or conjured from inside a spirit or identity center, or a self-separated from the universe, but the mind of the poet at that moment. Hinton quotes an early Chinese Ch’an (Zen) poet, Hsieh Ling-yun, as saying mind is “a tranquil mirror, all mystery and shadow.”

 

The sky mirrors our conscious awareness coming awake in, or more accurately, as the world. We often think of the sky as that blue or cloud filled something far off in the distance. But it’s also what we breathe in and out right here; what we move though each moment of our lives. We see and breathe in the world and the world sees and breathes in us.

 

And then the birds were back; first one, then the other two. They circled gracefully into the area above us. One went to sit on the ridgeline of a barn next to the road. The other two soon joined the first, but at the other end.  And the first raised its wings, held them out to the side as it would do if it meant to take off. But it stayed in place, in a different sort of flight.

 

Was this a mating dance? Or was it saluting the sky, the emptiness, the medium in which it flew, and we all lived? Was it bowing? For us, we might bow by first bringing our open hands together; for the vulture, it bowed by opening its wings out. Hinton says the ancient Chinese characters for bow mean hand-whispers, or maybe hand as the silence of mountain peaks, or clear minds. Maybe by opening its wings thusly it became the sky itself, the light, the silence.

 

We watched to see what the vulture would do next, but it just held the position. The three birds, my wife and I, the barn, the universe. And we walked on. The opening through which the universe was aware of itself walked on….

 

*To read the whole article, please click on this link to The Good Men Project.

 

**The photo of the Buzzard Dance was taken on our walk.

Beliefs, Synchronicity, and Mindfulness: Looking For Beauty Can Replace an Expectation of Ugliness

One morning last week, I was driving to my old school to help lead, with a former student, two workshops for teenagers on mindfulness and wellness, and I turned on NPR. They were playing an interview by Shankar Vedantam of psychologist Jer Clifton, from an episode of their program The Hidden Brain. The subject was How Your Beliefs Shape Reality, and how we can use this knowledge to live a happier and more harmonious life.

 

But it can be very difficult to change our core beliefs. For example, we might believe that if we’re depressed, the depression causes us to see the world as a dismal place, or as dull, frightening, and lacking in meaning. But as Aaron Beck, a founder of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and others discovered, it’s the other way around. Believing the world is dangerous, dull, or mechanical can cause us to feel depressed. If we believe the world is frightening, we carry around inside us a frightening world.

 

For example, two people listen to a forecast of rainy weather. Depending on how much rain there’s been lately, and if they think the world a scary place or a safe one, one will take the information positively, think about how the rain helps the trees or feeds flowers and the reservoir; the other will think about how dark the sky will become, or that there might be flooding. How we respond to the news will be greatly influenced by our core beliefs.

 

At one point in his life, Jer realized he believed that life was dull. So, he developed an exercise to shift this mindset. It involved going to a park or forest, finding an oak or other tree full of leaves, and examining one leaf from that tree. Each was so complex, highly patterned, and beautiful.

 

And then he got another leaf and examined it. There might be thousands, maybe 250,000 leaves in one oak tree. And every year, even more leaves. There have been oak trees though thousands of years of history. But just like the two they examined, they are all beautiful, and different. The stories they tell are engaging and unique. Each of these leaves, Jer said, was a work of art, yet we walk on them because they’re so ubiquitous. Then he began to journal and record beautiful things in his life.

 

In my school in the past, we used pinecones instead of leaves. Pinecones are amazing. Their bottoms are like a mandala or could inspire one. Mandala means ‘circle.’ They are intricate, geometrically patterned, concentration or meditation aids and works of art.

 

Jer’s program was so synchronistic, in that it provided a new dimension to my already planned mindfulness workshop. It gave me another story to tell and another exercise to share with students about how to let go of thoughts or beliefs that plague us. To look for beauty can replace the expectation of ugliness, depression, and pain. Students liked this new perspective.

 

Mindfulness can be defined in many ways…

 

*To read the whole article, please go to The Good Men Project.

That First Taste of Consciousness: The Family of Awareness Is Infinite

Just imagine the moment when the first human being, hominid, or whomever first became conscious. Not just when a human felt for the first time their feet on the earth; but the first time any hominid was aware they were aware of where they placed their feet and where they were going. First became aware of the beauty in the scent from a flower, or in a sunrise, or first became aware of a memory of a bad morning.

 

One of my closest friends was talking about this with me on a recent Zoom call. What a powerful moment to consider. Was there ever such a moment? Or has consciousness always, somehow, been part of nature?

 

And this image can tease us on so many levels. Think of a baby. When is it first aware of itself? In the womb? At birth? When someone takes away its toy, a parent calls its name, or leaves them alone? Or it cries when another infant or its mother cries?

 

Anthropologists and others speculate humans had an increase in consciousness somewhere between 60,000 and 30,000 years ago, when the first art caves were created, or maybe when the first languages were developed. Or maybe before that? Art and written language are likely indicators of conscious awareness.

 

Human consciousness is doubly aware. Our species name is, after all, homo sapiens sapiens, humans twice wise. We know (somewhere inside us) by knowing we know. Conscious means con, or with, scio, to know, or know with. I thought about this in a recent blog. This allows us to reflect on our actions, thoughts, and feelings and learn from the subtlest levels of all of them.

It allows us, when we hold hands with someone we care about, to not only feel their hand and ours but know we feel it.

 

This double awareness can give us the ability to abstract and imagine, to plan or time travel, or substitute an idea for a perception. We can use words to symbolize most anything, including a self, or evoke something in us, to dream, to craft, and to understand reality.

 

Words enable us to leap into a story, one of our own making, or one we adopt from someone else. We prepare ourselves for a future event by telling a story of it. We can name a type of feeling as worrying, dreadful, or lovely. Or talk about something instead of experiencing it. We can distance ourselves from something or stick ourselves to it.

 

Thus, our double awareness can confuse us. It can provide our greatest gifts as well as the source for our greatest suffering. Language and the ability to distance ourselves mentally and emotionally from aspects of the world can create a false sense of separation between the one who knows and what is known. By telling ourselves stories we can create anxiety as well as excitement over what might never be. Since words are abstractions masquerading as objects and other beings, they can deceive us. They create illusions as well as revelations. Because they can help us, they can hurt us….

 

*To read the whole article, please click on this link to The Good Men Project.

 

How We Look Is Not Separate from What We See: Giving Form to What’s Most Intimately Ourselves

Sometimes, we surprise ourselves with what we can do, with what we know and don’t know.

 

I retired from teaching secondary school ten years ago. But last night, in my dreams I was once again teaching. In many classes, ten, twenty, thirty students or more showed up. In others, only one or two.  Maybe students had begun to assume that I would always be there and took me for granted. Or maybe they were too distracted by their personal lives, or I was getting too tired. Whatever it was, my dream-self decided it was time to retire.

 

In one room, a large group of students came to hear and join me in saying goodbye. It was surprising how full of feeling the situation was. We accepted each other so deeply. And I had nothing planned. It was all spontaneous. What I said emerged extemporaneously, as if from all of us together, and included nothing about goodbyes.

 

The way a moment forms has so much to teach us and is teaching us so much as it forms. There is so much there if we can see it and feel it. It’s the ultimate teacher. In fact, we are this forming of a moment. But will we look? Feel?

 

And I woke up. Sort of. The light outside was a gray mist emerging from the dark night, a dawn just beginning to gray. Outside the window, almost no discernible objects emerged from the mist, no trees, or bushes. But in the mostly dark inside, I could discern the placement but not the details of the bed, dresser, and other furniture. And as I wrote down the dream on a pad of paper by my bed, I wondered if anyone in the dream, any student had understood what I was saying.

 

Then I realized the answer in the dream was also a question. Do I understand my own answer?

 

Research and theories by psychologists and neuroscientists speculate one purpose of dreaming is to integrate emotional, and other material from our daily lives. Was the dream an example of that integration process? Was it telling me what my conscious mind couldn’t figure out or was it merely putting into words what I had already concluded? We often underestimate the role the unconscious and the resting mind plays in conscious and critical thinking. Our conscious understanding never gets it all. But if we humbly accept that, sometimes what we find surprises us with its depth and value…..

 

**To read the whole article, please go to The Good Men Project.