The Woman Who Mistook Her Purse For a Cat 

Waking up in the Double Tree Berkeley Marina, I glance to the opposite bed and for a moment mistake my crumpled black bag for a cat.

Unlike The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, I normally only mistake people for each other.  Apparently Oliver Sacks has labeled the inability to distinguish faces from each other as an actual malady; he may suffer from it as well.  

Artist, Chuck Close, began painting faces for exactly that reason; a hope that by painting them he would somehow begin to recognize them on the street.  But the brain doesn't work that way.

If you can't tell people apart, you'll tend to smile a lot, especially at people who seem to know you.  Ah, if only the world wore name tags.

This weekend (at the 29th International Dream Conference - Sailing on the Sea of Dreams) the majority did wear name tags but I forgot to look as I asked the much-respected lucid dream expert, Robert Waggoner, about living in Montreal; he reminded me he lives in Iowa, where he also does his radio show.

I mistook him for Integral Dreaming conference presenter, Daniel Deslauriers.  For the most part, I can tell men and women apart, but not always.

I wouldn't have gone to the Lucid Dreaming panel had I not been shanghaied the night before by a bright-eyed fellow named Ed Kellogg, III, Ph.D.  He'd been sent by another presenter to find out what media I represented.

Before I knew it, I was regaled by stories of his lucid dreaming prowess, which is evidently renowned.  He often wins the dream telepathy contest, which he may also have inaugurated.  And he's the creator and facilitator of the psiber dream conference (info on that below)

What's a lucid dream? When you realize in a dream that you're dreaming.  From that deep place you can ask questions, alter actions, activate healing, travel wherever you want.

"I will be happy and anxiety free," was the lucid dream suggestion that empowered dream panelist, Line Salvesen.  In order to fly to the conference from her native Norway, she resolved fear of flying by actively flying in her dreams.

"If you become lucid in your dreams you can explore anything you want," proclaimed Ed Kellogg, who also told me of healing a friend's sick child during a lucid dream.

"Why not just send healing from a meditative state?" I asked.  You can't go as deep as you do in a dream. (As in passing alpha, beta and working from delta and theta.)

At the panel an audience member said she studied for a test during dreams, another called in experts and asked to be shown all possibilities for her new business.

Someone else suggested that we have multiple dreams simultaneously, though we don't remember it that way.  

"Evolution of consciousness is concerned with the ability to hold multiple realities at one time,"
 was expressed from the audience by a man who may have been dream expert Jeremy Taylor, but probably wasn't because I can't recognize anyone, as you already know.  I highly resonate with this idea since I believe we not only do this in waking state, but need to do it more consciously.

Tibetans believe we enter the dream realm when we die.  Initiates of Asian martial arts have long held that you've gone as far as you can with your waking teachers, the process continues in dreams.

Anyone can have intuitive dreams, maintains Marcia Emery
, whose workshop, "Using Intuition to Unravel Dream Symbolism," had us pair up with someone we didn't know.  

We then closed our eyes and entered a rapid transition to connect with a sense of love, our inner selves, and our partner.  Quickly, get an image of your partner as an animal, and then as a famous person or character from a book.  

My partner saw me as a Lynx (cat without a tail) and Alice in Wonderland.  I saw her as a tiger sitting like a human in a chair, and Kelly Rippa, someone who could take charge and talk her way through anything.

She immediately validated her deep connection to tigers.  "Lynx have tufts of hair around their ears," she said, "so they can hear better."  (I'm clairaudient, which means I hear things not everyone does), though to date, I don't have tufts of hair in my ears.

Both of us felt the cat connection and I certainly resonate with Alice through the Looking Glass.  Turns out several partner sets identified with Lynx and Alice in Wonderland.

"All of you who had cats or Alice in Wonderland, enter the dream telepathy contest," one man said.  "You're already getting it."

(Just because they weren't yet sending the image doesn't mean people couldn't pick it up in advance.)

Unfortunately, I left the conference before getting the protocols for the contest (remember, this is the one lucid dreamers place or win.) It's loosely based on experiments conducted by Drs Krippner and Ullman at Maimonides Dream Laboratory.  (Both men were also conference presenters.)

I especially enjoyed interactive sessions, such as the morning dream groups.  Mine (Exploring the Heart of the Dream) was conducted by IASD President, Robert Gongloff, whose open and gentle manner helped create a warm and welcoming atmosphere in an intelligent and fun group.

The process of finding the dream's theme and connecting it to waking issues is helpful and I'm still using it.

I took extensive notes during my day and a half visit to the 4-day, power-packed, information-rich, mind-expanding, mind-blowing conference.  I haven't room here to enter Dr. Fred Alan Wolf's keynote "The Dreaming 'I' In Universe," or Patricia Garfield's "Dream Amulets Around the World: Ancient and Modern."  More articles may follow.

This conference starts early (optional 8 a.m. dream groups) and runs late.  There were about 450 attendees, and 5-7 workshop choices every 2 hours.  I missed the dress-as-your-favorite-dream character Costume Parade and Dream Ball. (My tiger partner won last year, dressed as the Red Queen and holding hearts in her crossed hands.)

Recordings are available: www.asdreams.org.

Don't miss the upcoming psiberdream 2-week-long online conference, 9/23-10/7/12, designed by the brilliant Ed Kellogg.  Videos, workshops, papers, contests, chat groups, possibly lifelong connections and all for $40 and done on your own time.  www.asdreams.org/psi2012 

Tip of the Iceberg:  Some books you might like:

Robert Gongloff
Robert Waggoner

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