January 23, 2013

Stanford cactus and the dream life

Stanford cactus garden

Mrs. Stanford's cactus garden 
Went to Stanford at the start of the weekend to see some old friends who live on campus.  We walked to the cactus garden which was built by Mrs. Stanford from plants she brought back from her travels.  After she died, the garden was neglected and forgotten.  It was revived in recent years when some benefactors discovered its importance and restored the beauty of the gardens.  Above you can see a Joshua tree which has curled over the walking path.

The species are rather wild and some look like they've been knitted and placed over forms.  They don't look real at all.  There's an otherworldly look as if they're common on another planet.

A bell at Jikoji
On Friday I drove to the mountains over Los Gatos to temple Jikoji which sits on Skyline Boulevard  along the mountain ridge.  Beautiful country indeed.  I attended a program on lucid dreaming and Tibetan Dream Yoga.  My point was to visit Jikoji to see some friends, and the program just happened to be scheduled for the weekend.  Nevertheless I very enjoyed the spirit of the program and learned a great deal about dreams, sleep, and incorporating dreams in spiritual practice.  I learned that we'll have slept 30 years of life if we live to 90.  We'll have dreamed, that is, been in REM sleep for seven years of our lives. So, the point is, why not learn to dream in such a way that we are aware that we are dreaming and can enjoy the content, learn from the information, restore the soul, increase creativity.

Looking toward the Pacific Ocean
The road home along the ridge showed off the Pacific Ocean on one side and the great Santa Clara Valley on the other.  Few drivers were on the road midday and I enjoyed the hairpin turns on the way back to the freeway and the drive north.  I've a new appreciation for dreams and realize I've been occasionally REM deprived since I love to stay up late but have to get up very early.  REM occurs in the last few hours of an 8 hours sleep.  It could be that that's the situation for many, many people.  They don't get an active dream life because we're all short on sleep.  I'll do my best to get to bed earlier so I can wake up without an alarm and loll around in bed to try to recover the content of the dreams.  Yes, I'm sure I'll do that.  I'll be rousing myself at 5 a.m. instead of 5:40 a.m.!  Yes, I'm sure that will happen regularly!