Using art processes to heal the lucid dream narrative (formerly "Swarm")

I worked on this painting over a series of years. It is about 6ft x 6ft, in oil. I used it as a device to understand and focus on the event that I have been writing about in other threads, especially “Craving for dream and sleep improvement.” Painting this over time released a preliminary understanding:
" I experienced a strong hyper-real astral attack, of large wasps in flight chasing me. I summersaulted over and over in my own flight to deflect them, but in the end they were too numerous and fast and stung my right hand causing a large oval shaped welt on the wrist. Five weeks later, I fell and broke my hand, and the exact same large oval welt on my right wrist appeared in waking reality. That is how I knew the dream attack was related to the breaking of my hand." To me, I interpreted the dream as a bleed-through event into waking reality, but it might have been premonition.
This morning, after communicating with some of you on NC, looking at the stripped and empty bed imagery, I see it as the resulting abandonment of a vibrant dreaming practice.


At a recent retreat, and again online, Andrew Holececk recounted a recent dream in hich he was running or being chased on a street and fell on his arm. the sidewalk before getting up and continuing. When he awoke he had a scrape on his elbow, the exact spot where he fell in his dream!

I relate to using art in this way, as I believe we can go much deeper into ourselves by examining the creative expressions of our own minds. Bless you for going back now and facing those fears and encounters as sometimes, the distance of time and space will form a better container to examine one’s life and experiences!




"At a recent retreat, and again online, Andrew Holececk recounted a recent dream in hich he was running or being chased on a street and fell on his arm. the sidewalk before getting up and continuing. When he awoke he had a scrape on his elbow, the exact spot where he fell in his dream! "

Yes, that is what I am talking about! What does Andrew call it? I have only heard the term “bleed through”. Was he alarmed or fascinated?

I can see that you have been doing much the same with the facing of certain events in your life, re-integrating them through art. The time that one spends in that creative space, repeating over and over again the situation in a new image or allegory, but from a safe arena, is a kind of damage control.


He was fascinated, for sure. Not aware of what he calls it but it was significant enough to bring it to the attention of the virtual sangha.

It’s a way of reaching one’s subconscious, with its effectiveness directly proportional to the sensitivity we develop for the subtlety of the process.

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A video made by Roy Suarez using the LD imagery from the painting “Swarm” for The Enigmas of Being


That was what I was going to guess the matressless bed symbolized, you beat me tomthe punch. What do the bricks symbolize? And the person? What do the (agave?) plants symbolize?

I am very proud of you putting that pain of the event into paint. Its not easy!

As Andrew has said a few times, the spiritual path is the path of a warrior, it is no day at the beach.

The hand that you broke, was it the same hand that you are dominant with, the one you paint with? If you feel comfortable sharing I would be very interested in how exactly you broke it, and what the events were that day leading up to it.

I posted this in the other thread, but though it might be fitting to post it herevas well:

I am very happy that you shared this. My gut instinct gave me a hunch that the men who attacked your son and tried to kill him knew him, or were hired by someone who knew him and wanted to hurt him and you.

You are BOTH very lucky to be alive.

All countries have organized crime, and curruption in their legal systems and governments. I have heard of horror stories where criminals have poured acid on their victim’s face, or stabbed out their eyes. You were swimming with crocadiles at night in their turff, you BOTH are incredibly lucky to be alive!

Then fact that you can see the silver lining of these dark clouds is very impressive. There is no doubt in my mind that the Universe was trying to communicate with you in the months of negative dreams, and then finally the Wasp premonition dream. Your house was on fire, and you were alseep, the Universe was screeming at you trying to wake you up! There is no dount in my mind the Indiginous people were trying to harm you both through the spiritual realm, and in the physical world.

One of biggest take aways I see from this experience, is it confirms that you have a deep connection to the Universe/God/the Source, and ignoring it/ misinterpreting it almost cost you and your son your lives. Lord knows I have been in the same boat. I believe this connection with the Universe you have can be strenghthend and will only help aid you and your family in the years to come.

While I do not know too mcuh about the events over the 7 year fued, I can try to offer some compassion to your ‘enemies’ which if you meditate on this, may help you heal from this trauma:

I imagine that the indiginous people come from lives of deep poverty and much suffering. The opportunity for a home with electricity and running water to bath in and a toilet that flushes would in many ways feel like dying and going to heaven for some of these people. If they were not planning on living in the apartments, and were going to sell the building or rent them out, that income would have brought in a great deal of resources to the tribe to help feed them, clothe them, shelter them, prevent illness, and heal the sick when disease struck.

Had you succeeded in demolishing the building(s), that karma possibly could have cost the tribe a few lives. Kind of like an indirect murder. If the tribe cant afford medicine when an infant is sick, or pay for medical treatment of a father that needs heart surgery, is that not indirectly contributing to their deaths? In the eyes of God, do you think preserving a scenic view and some old buildings is more just than preserving the well being of his children? I dont think this justifys the violence and suffering you and your son endured, I am just trying to give you an alternate perspective on why the events may have played out the way they did.

Perhaps God/the universe weighed this justice in his scales, and then he sided in favor of the people who needed it most, and then tried to warn you many times of the danger that you were in if you did not change course.

I dont know.

But had you won the case and destroyed the building, and then carried on with your life there, it is very possible that the Karmic consequence would have been far far far more severe than the broken hand and you son almost dying.

It brought a big smile to my face when I read that you moved to Sweden, and reconnected with your roots. I wish I understood why things happen the way they do, but I dont have a clue. However the fact that you and your son survived, given those hostile circumstances, and the fact that you went on to thrive in a new land, makes me believe something very powerful is watching over you and protecting you. In my own journy, looking back at negative situations and toxic people I encountered, I am beginning to become greatful for the lessons they taught me. It increased my faith, fostered wisdom, and taught me to trust my intuition. I hope these memories will do the same for you as well. I think your intuition is very powerful, and I believe when you come to terms with and fully integrate this trauma, your connection to the universe and your dreaming practices will reach levels you never experienced before.

Amen, it takes a great deal of courage and strength.

One of my favorite lines of Andrew is:

“the Obsticles are not in the way of the path
the obsticles ARE the path”


I was prompted during a recent dream group to explore fear (again). I find that so many of my daytime aversions and preferences—for this or that—are veiled fears, dressed up with fancy words or too-smart psychological terms—but at their base are just plain fears. Small fears, self-contained fears, tears for fears fears. So that night I found myself walking along a London street holding a fresh hot pizza box. I saw people fleeing the underground screaming that a large lizard was down there. I hesitated for a second but quickly went down to the train platform and ran towards the danger. I saw the lizard and hit it with my pizza box, amazingly it broke up into tiny harmless salamanders that ran away. I awoke and spent most of the day examining many of the things I do to see if there was aversion/fear behind my actions, and see if I could change them.


Awesome picture @_Barry ! Of the few that I have seen you do, this is by far my favorite, very well done. I like the X crossing off the background, the linear subway station intersecting with the linear building. Also really like the cicular stadium, circular columns, and circular train and logo on the subway wall.

You may like this:

" Salamander Symbolism & Meaning

Among the world’s many glorious animals, the Salamander ranks among the most mystical and magical, being aligned with the Fire Element. People believe the creature could walk through flames and come out without the least sign of damage. So it’s not surprising to discover the Salamander had symbolism similar to the Phoenix-rebirth, immortality, power, and passion."

Sounds like you were walking into the flames by confronting your fear(s) in the dream.

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I am finding it is easier to confront fears in the dreams than in waking (sensory) life because the ego is so skilled at obfuscating them. I am asking my dreams for help in confronting the “day terrors.”


That is quite a humorous dream and drawing/painting too!
If it were my dream, I would see it this way:
The deconstruction process begins by the initial confrontation of the fear of survival composite that resides in the old brain. You hit the huge primal lizard fear with an object of light-hearted pleasure, a hot pizza in the dark labyrinthian unconscious. It breaks it into harmless salamanders, (which are transformational) smaller transitioning fears that you can observe, analysis, and move around to deconstruct the glom of fear into manageable portions that will no longer terrorize.
I like the energetic drawing and patterning.


I am getting all sorts of messages from the natural world with salamanders, a red-tailed hawk sitting on the path in front of me last week and a beautiful deer in the backyard, staring at our house yesterday—the day a visiting Rinpoche left after an overnight visit. Signs are there if we can be open enough to see them, eh?

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To elucidate the situation a bit, the investment on the side of those individuals was most likely from money laundering. They were not from our neighborhood, I met many of them, there was a mafia element with them and we tried to stop only the building of the top floor before it was built. Later we continued to apply to the Municipality for help. The family destroyed two historic buildings at night, and constructed a large apartment complex of concrete block secretly behind closed doors.

In terms of compassion, yes, I realize that it is a struggle for everyone to do anything at all and I have a place in my heart for the victims of the genocide that was unleashed on all of the indigenous cultures here during the Spanish invasion. This is a painful blemish that cannot be undone.

So why should the indigenous even care about the Historic Center here? This is a high karma zone, very charged with many cultures living together and devastating historic massacres. Two blocks from my house was the seat of an Incan temple destroyed and in its place was built a magnificent Catholic church using the same stones as the temple, the founding of this city. Yet the Municipality is trying to save this historic district, generally, because the old buildings create the tourism industry which keeps this practically bankrupt country afloat.

My son was most likely attacked by gang members that needed to prove that they could kill someone in order to qualify for membership into a new gang. After my son left the hospital, we visited various police who showed us photo after photo of violent delinquents for identification. They said that this was most likely an execution style attack without personal motive for entry into a gang. I agree with their assessment, and don’t feel it had to do with my own problem.

The cement blocks represent to me the construction of that building. The agaves are the most common plant here in the Andes.

Actually, with these many conversations, I am beginning to feel much more relaxed and open about this situation, so I thank all of you for this. As in the drawing that @_Barry just sent, there is a process of deconstruction of fear and pain that can take place in us, if we choose to share the dilemma with good, sensitive listeners, as well as continue to work with the imagery of the dream narrative.




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My personal memory stream (this lifetime) goes back to the decolonization of Africa in the 50s with cataclysmic quakes in later years in Biafra, Rwanda, Cambodia, Bangladesh—amongst others, yet if one believes—as I do—that we have taken form before and will again, then we have all been wrapped up in this crap for aeons. That’s why developing the Bodhicitta mindset and practices as described in Shanti Deva’s A Gudie to the Way of the Bodhisattava is the most useful way to deal with so many of the blemishes/horrors of the world as we encounter it.

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True, I can’t see any other way either


I saw a redtailed hawk fly down from a tree and grab a small prey a few days ago. A week weeks ago saw 2 deers on 2 separate nights. These are 2 of my favoite animals.

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I wonder if this category about “Swarm” could be renamed to
“Using art processes to heal the lucid dream narrative” or something like that for those that find value in applying art as another way to deal with lucid dream-revealed life issues? Its all about healing and awakening anyway. And to get others that use art for this means to reveal what they are dong too.


I think that is a highly probable motive as well for the attack. The only reason my gut gave me a hunch that it was the mob targeting your son, was that the mob will go after anything and everything people love in order to send a message. Nothing is sacred to them.

Have you seen the movie The Dark Knight? One of my personal favorites, I think it illustrates well just how infinitely dark human behavior can be.

I truely dont know what the motives of the attack was, I was basing my interpretation of the events of your premontion dream with the wasps. With the wasps representing hostile locals (the mafia, the gangs, the currupt juctice system, and possibly currupt police). All their sting attacks sent your life tumbling head over heals in many ways, just like in the dream.

Have you read the book A Mind At Home With Itself by Byron Katie?

Would highly recommend it. Her methods of deconstructing thoughts and memories that cause us a greal deal of pain are brilliant. I had to read it 3 times to fully grasp the depth of the teachings, but it was well worth it!

Whatever the case of the motivations behind the attacks, I heard a really powerful statement in Andrews video the other day:

He said that when devastation and chaos hits our lives hard, part of us should rejoice, because this is Karma coming to fruition. Meaning whatever bad karma we have accumulated over our life, (and or in our past lives), is riping. By enduring it, and paying that painful price, it is somewhat like wiping the slate clean, and rebalancing the scales. He quoted a famous Rinpoche that said:

" Chaos should be regarded as incredibly good news."

I agree with you 100% that what they did to the historic building was wrong, and detrimental to the village.

This makes me very very happy to hear! I am very proud of you for your bravery and strength. That powerful energy deeply resonates and is very inspirational in helping others on their paths.

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