Z in the Dream

zebra3images (1)A cat yesterday, zebras today. Even though the stripes, shapes, form look almost identical, they’re not. Each is different to the other in subtle ways. The zebra may follow the herd instinct and we also have that natural collective instinct. But, like the zebra, each of us is unique and we have unique dreams meant for us.

The letter Z has a zig zag look to it. So with our dreams, they seem to zig this way, zag that way. Β Often we find ourselves at a crossing in the dream, one road to the right, another to the left, yet another behind us and one forwards and many other paths in the 4 way crossing.

Β Zero, a number that denotes what begins and ends. The zero is indeed a point, or a circle, or a dot on the page. But there is something of the infinite about it also.

In Jungian psychology the zero can be like the uroborous, the image of the alchemical snake that eats its tail. It represents the circle of life as we go round and round. We are old, young, in between and then we continually return. It is a concept of the infinite flowering, the seasons that repeat and the generations that evolve. It is our life in the circle game. We are all in this eternal return. The question is what we do with it.

And then there is zen, a concept that also encompasses all and a way of being that settles into what is and acceptance of enough. In zen there is no need to strive beyond. Zen means meditation to achieve enlightenment. It is a practice set up to transcend reason, rational thought and daily life. It is one of the ways of centering and done while sitting. Slowing down and reflection come about as the sacred and mundane merge. Part is a waiting, part is awareness, feeling and not feeling the body and its sensations and reactions, being and not being in the mind.

The above three paragraphs are from last year’s A-Z Blog Challenge (the ‘Z’) in which Susan Schwartz (Paradise Valley, Arizona) and I collaborated. We wrote on Aging. I’m pretty sure it was her post. I’m using it this time round –

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Anais Nin : And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

Thank you all so much for coming along on the ride with me.

Β graphics courtesy google images

68 comments on “Z in the Dream”

  1. What will Susan do with Z, I asked myself. Zero = uroborous. Zig-zag. I just checked Amazon to find there are no books named ‘The Zen of Dreaming’ or anything close. How could this title have been overlooked in our craze for Zen and the… in titles?

    Thanks for this long lucid ride through dreamland.

    • Thank you Elaine for coming by as you have through this series, I’ve always so appreciated your thoughtful comments which have added to my understanding. Interesting about no books on the Zen of Dreaming!

  2. Congratulations on making it to the end of the challenge Susan, it’s been so interesting reading your posts. I’m so glad we got to meet in the challenge and I’m looking forward to the next chapter in your blog. I guess this follows the idea of the zero: the end of A to Z, but looping back to the start, as the next chapter in all our blogs begin.

    • Congratulations to you too Celine! Here’s to the next chapter. It was a pleasure meeting you in this challenge and hopefully will again.

  3. What a perfect ending to a fabulous series Susan. What we say around our house about sleep is “catching the zzz’s zephyr.” It always reminds me we never know which direction our dreams will take us. Thanks for all the inspiration and insights in unraveling the mystery after landing.

    • Thank you so much Deborah, and may The Fool always be the enchanter allowing those zephyr winds to blow through the night and rise to consciousness during the landing and light of day.

  4. Hi Susan – the Z of the A-Z – an inspiring choice of theme – which has everyone’s attention. The uniqueness of each of us as we zig-zag our way through this life … some stopping along the way to consider the meaning, others spending more time meditating and reflecting on the meaning of parts of our life … I’ll be back to read all the posts in a considered manner and to take more of the ideas in. Perhaps my dreams will rise to the surface and I’ll awake with them partially, or in tact, or in a phrase or two given to me as a realisation ..

    Enjoy the last few days in Plett … and those walks on the beach … talk soon and congratulations with the A-Z .. cheers Hilary

    • Thank you Hilary, we’re back from Plett as from this afternoon. It was lovely being on the balcony overlooking the sea, writing, reading comments, commenting back, reading others’ posts and commenting … may your dreams be sweet and may you be more of who you are. Susan

  5. I like the definition of zen, the acceptance of enough. My husband is very much there, and I ‘m still lagging behind. Thanks so much for your inspiring insights and for educating us this a-z. I’ve already added your book to my reading list, so I can digest things a bit more slowly. All the best!!

    • Thank you Sharon. I’ve much enjoyed your inventions by women through the times and will surely check them out again. It was so great that they came to our attention.

      All the best to you πŸ™‚

  6. Congrats on making it through another challenge, Susan! Thank you for all the support and kind comments in April. I’ll still be blogging on the same topics on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. πŸ™‚

    In last night’s dream, I was counselling small children who had lost a loved one. Not sure where that came from…the true crime documentaries I watched last night?

    • Thanks J.H. I’ve appreciated your coming by too thank you! πŸ™‚

      Yes, the true crime docs could have been the ‘hook’ for your dream. Every day ‘events’ can be the hook – yours sounds interesting, I would be intrigued if I’d had it.

  7. A fascinating post, Susan, thank you. I didn’t realise the stripes on zebras were different and it’s a great analogy to us, as is the Zig Zag to our dreams. I love the photos too, and Anais Nin quote. A great post to finish this year’s A-Z. Congratulations! You have done it again… and as always, it’s lovely to visit The Garden of Eden Blog. Well done! πŸ™‚

  8. Thank you Suz – you’ve done a great service with your A-Z – and enlightened not only me, but some of friends too, who haven’t posted comments. So proud of you, dearest. xxx

  9. Congrats Susan for completing the challenge and giving such inspiring and meaningful posts, last nights dream was like a zigzag…. did not understand anything, except for few images that is still lingering in my mind… thanks for sharing..

  10. I love how you say dreams zig zag as that is exactly how I feel. Congratulations on finishing the challenge. And thanks so much for visiting my posts.

  11. Today, you’ve added to my vocabulary with the use of uroborous, and the image presented, so vivid.
    An absolute pleasure visiting this month, Susan, and journeying with you in the world of dreams. So interesting, too, about the Z and the shape of the zebra design. Thank you. Congratulations on completing the challenge! We did it! See you soon, after some rest. Big hugs.

    • Thank you Silvia. I’ve enjoyed the journey too of your protagonist in your new novel. And well done to you for completing A-Z!! Big hugs to you too!

  12. Congrats on getting to Z! Too tired to comment much. I’ve loved your choices of photos too.

    Thank you so much for participating in the A to Z Challenge! You rock! Congrats on getting to the letter Z! Reminder: there will be an A to Z Reflections round on May 4th. There will be a Linky for it on the main blog, so please look for it there! Please post your reflections on the challenge, visit others, and catch up on the blogs you didn’t have time to read!

    Team Macha, Helping Co-Host Zalka
    Maui Jungalow

    • Thanks Courtney – I don’t think I realised you were one of the helpers so extra kudos to you keeping up that side of things as well as putting up your interesting posts about life in Maui, Hawaii ..
      Rest well now, in prep for the reflections post!

  13. I had a lovely, comforting, thought while reading that. About the cycle of life. That we are in the present, ourselves, and we are in the future in our children and the kids we meet. Something about us lives in them. And, we are our ancestors who shared who they are. In that way, we never die. We never go away.
    I’ll leave, for now, though, and take that nap.
    Play off the Page

  14. I’ll have difficulty looking at dreams the same way. I have a much better view than ever. Thank you Susan. You have awakened my interpretations of my dream world. What I once thought is more clarified. Yet most of all, I will miss your excellent writing and wisdom. You are one evolved soul!! Love you girl!!!

  15. What a fantastic post to end the challenge on. Profound and beautiful, with much to consider and to feed the soul and mind. Thank you for such a fantastic series of posts, Susan. It’s been an honor reading them, and I’m glad we got acquainted through the challenge. Most of all, congratulations for making it through the whole thing! Phew!

  16. A beautiful close to an uplifting, inspirational and imaginative series of posts.What a treat it’s been, steeping myself in the magic and mystique of dreamland throughout this challenge. You’ve been the flickering candle of peace and sanity throughout this chaotic journey. And now onto the zzzz’s and all the dreams they hold in their lovely z-ness.

    • Kern, thank you so much! Your posts have been my other side, zany, fun, musical, much to consider, a candle for me flickering and keeping alive when I go back and enjoy the links anew when the zzzz’s have had their way with me …

  17. Time for some real zzz’s, as you say, Susan. Thanks for the re-enlightenment about Zen; I needed to hear that just now.

    Thanks for taking us on the ride into dreams.

  18. Yes, Susan, we did it! Congratulations… now you can go get another form of zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! πŸ˜‰

    I loved your comment about the Z doing a zig and zag to take us where we need to be in the dream… a round about journey. But there is so much meaning to all of this. My brother always worked to achieve enlightenment. I only seek to be enlightened with the meaning of my dreams when they appear. Thank you for the education and your delightful posts. Thank you for being a wonderful friend. Now… I’m going to go collapse! Hugs, Gwynn

    • Congratulations to you too Gwynn :)! We’ve just come back from dinner with our Plettenberg Bay neighbours and I’m looking forward to a night full of zzzzzz’s and who knows another odd dream or three. Hugs to you dear Gwynn πŸ™‚

  19. Congratulations Susan on completing A-to-Zee. I’ve read everyone, and felt lost in the tangle of bush in some but the starngest dreams of all seem to reflect the needs of the days ahead.

    May you have a very happy week-end and rejoice in this accomplishment.

    Thank you

    Gillian

  20. Zebra, zig-zag, zero, zen. You are going out with a bang! I agree with Jan’s comment above whole-heartedly!

    I love the Anais Nin quote and have used it to describe my transition from my Mennonite life.

    • Thank you Marian and again thank you for supporting this. It is such an apt quote for so many of us. How lovely that you use it to describe your journey from your Mennonite life.

    • Thank you dear Jan; I’m not so sure about being a fearless guide but for the moment it certainly feels good! Thanks for supporting this series through the landscape both familiar and strange – lovely how those opposites belong together..

    • Pam, lovely to see you here and thank you! You’re the only one of my non-virtual friends who has come by .. besides Susan in Paradise Valley Az., and my sister on the odd occasion, so a special thank you πŸ™‚

  21. Thank you Susan for a wonderful ride. It has been enlightening, encouraging, and inspiring.
    I looked forward to your articles as the A to Z Challenge began, and I was not disappointed. Every day I awoke to find out a bit more. You fulfilled my expectations wholly.
    Excellent job and I’m very proud of you.
    Shalom,
    Patricia

    • Thank you Pat, not unlike the ride of the Child and the The Prophet. I still remember your saying in the last post or 2 about not noting your dream and then when downstairs making coffee and looking at the cherry tree it came back. This ALMOST happened to me this morning ..
      Shalom, Susan

  22. Thank you for your dedication to these A-Z posts – like gentle reminders they nudged and stimulated a greater receptivity to the language of the unconscious (and my body,) and a more frequent recalling of my dreams.

    In ‘Memories, Dreams, Reflections,’ C Jung calls the process of coming to consciousness as a new element in the story of creation, with no parallels we can look to … “We therefore cannot know what potentialities are inherent in it.”

    • That is such a lovely and pertinent quote Ashen thank you so much. And thank you for your kind words and for stopping by and making thoughtful comments when you did – so appreciated!

  23. APPRECIATION
    We are finally at the end of the A to Z challenge. This has been an exhilarating experience!
    Not enough words exist that can fully encompass the value of the A to Z.
    I think that we can all be proud of what has been accomplished here, this year, and what this can mean for the future of the A to Z and all who will flourishing with this.

    BRAVO TO ALL !!!

    TO SUSAN SCOTT, who bravely accepted the challenge, and who dazzled everyone with her presence,
    TO THE COMMENTATORS, who were fully absorbed and who participated enthusiastically, and
    TO THE A to Z TEAM (2015) for the truly energetic oversight and support, AND ZERO RESISTANCE.

    Arlee Bird
    Jeremy
    Nicole Ayers
    Pam
    Matthew McNish
    Zalka Czenge Virag
    S. L. Hennessy
    C. Lee McKenzie
    Joy Campbell
    Susan Gourkey
    John Holton

    • Joseph, so kind and thoughtful of you to also acknowledge all the lovely participants and the A-Z team, and my thanks to you for your wonderful enthusiasm.

  24. and it has been my greatest pleasure to come along on the dream train with you..
    thank you dear susan
    your gentle wisdom and insights are deeply appreciated.
    sandra

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