Dream: The California Tea Garden LUCID ND

Dream 20021016, 6:45 AM:

Note: my desired lucid adventure for the past couple of nights was to visit an imaginary garden I use for meditation. I didn’t *quite* make it, but I still consider this a successful incubation.

This dream started oddly. It seemed to me that I was taking an exceptionally long time to get to sleep, and I kept wondering if I had actually fallen asleep and this was just a false awakening dream. But as I would listen to the house noise, I could hear the fan clearly even through my ear plugs, and usually in dreams I don’t. The Nova Dreamer mask went off once while I was waiting to doze off, which means that I had been lying there for at least 20 minutes, because I set it for that amount of delay.

After a while, I realize that I’m not hearing the fan any more, and the house seems very quiet. So I decide that I must have fallen asleep. I sit up, hoping that I’m really dreaming. It’s pitch dark in here. I sort of half-feel my way to the kitchen; it seems like everything is a very exact replica of the house, which makes me really wonder if I’m just awake. I’m becoming gradually able to see just a little bit, as if it were dawning slowly outside. I get into the cabinet above the microwave and pull down one of the plastic glasses and fill it halfway with water from the front of the refrigerator. I could see the glasses in the cabinet, but they were very shadowy and dim. I remark to myself on the quality of the light, and how it’s getting a little less dark in here. As I drink the water, which is nice and cold, I wonder to myself if I really should be drinking in a dream, if the sensation of the cold water going down my throat is going to be too intense and wake me. I’m feeling more and more secure that this is a dream, although I haven’t done any real state testing.

I go outside, but it’s a different back yard than any I’ve ever been in. It’s green grass all the way back to a fence, and behind the fence seems to be a big drainage bayou. There is a wide board in the corner of the fence, probably two and a half feet across and about four feet tall. I know that I can use this as a doorway, but it takes special handling. This part of the dream seems a little more dream-directed and less lucid, because I don’t know where I got this whole routine. I knock twice on the door, then open it from the right hand side and step through it into another neighbor’s yard. Then, I knock twice again, but open it from the left-hand side (it moves like the door in the oubliette in Labyrinth, as if hinged on both sides for different places) and then I’m back into my original back yard. Then I knock once, or slap my palm flat on it once, and lift the door up from the bottom (like it’s hinged on top) and then step through… and I’m in the neighbor’s back yard again, which is not where I wanted to be. I go through the routine again, but reversing the sides I use to open it from, right first, into the neighbor’s back yard, then left, back into my own back yard. There is a little black and white goat here with me, and he keeps trying to get out under my feet; I have to scoop him back up and shove him through the door, then quickly squeeze through myself. Once back in my own yard, I slap the door and lift it up from the bottom, and this time when I step through, I am in a sparsely finished living room, grayish beige walls with stark wooden furniture and a black lamp with an ecru shade. I say, “That’s more like it!” and quickly move on, because this isn’t where I wanted to be, just a way to get out of the ordinary world.

I take off down the margin of the drainage bayou. I go into a shop, and I talk to a woman there, trying to find my way to the garden. She is there with another woman, and neither of them seems to think that the garden is close by enough for me to want to go there. I insist that I’m going there, and one of them finally starts explaining to me which direction it is. This segment of the dream is not particularly vivid. The woman in the shop has a little dog, like a Chihuahua, who tries to escape as I go out the door, and I catch him and hand him back to her. One of the women is pointing, trying to explain which direction the garden is, and it seems like it’s quite some ways, but I can’t tell if it’s within the city or if it’s out in the country.

I take off into the air flying. I am swimming through the air breast-stroke style, and I am marveling at how *good* it feels to be flying. The air is clear and fresh, and I am flying through an area with city streets and high skinny pine trees. There are people on the streets walking their dogs, playing with kids, and jogging; they don’t seem to notice or care that I’m flying through the air above their heads. I am about 15 – 20 feet off the ground. I notice that it’s becoming a little warm as I fly along, from the sunlight hitting me. I think to myself that this is Southern California, and what I was more in the mood for was the cool breezes and fog of Northern California. I close my eyes as I’m swimming and say to myself, “Northern California, Northern California,” but when I open my eyes, I’m still in the same place with the same warm air. Suddenly, the Nova Dreamer lights flash in my eyes, and I am temporarily blinded. I am in a very dark space, it seems like the dream imagery is fading, but I decide that if I just maintain my swimming motion, and concentrate on the feel of my dream body moving, I will stay lucid and stay dreaming. It works; when I regain visual contact to the dream, I’m still flying over city streets, although now it looks like I’m closer to the edge of town.

I fly along, looking at the trees and the landscaping, looking for the garden. I realize that it’s likely to be much further away, out in the country somewhere, so I decide I need to adopt a faster, higher-altitude flight. I change from the breast stroke style to a Superman style, putting both hands out in front of me, one lapped over the other, with the fingers pointing forward. I rise up higher into the air, probably a couple hundred feet or so, and zoom across the landscape. I feel jet-propelled; it requires no apparent effort on my part to fly, other than concentrating. I fly over lots of fields and semi-wooded areas, some with houses, some just empty fields. I keep looking for a garden area, but not seeing it. I travel for quite a ways, looking at the colorful green fields and the trees, which are showing some fall coloring in reds and oranges. I finally decide that I need to get to the garden soon, and I decide that it’s going to be coming up ahead of me. I see something coming up that looks more like it, and I slow down and return to a swimming flying style, and then land.

I land in front of a building in front of a big garden area. The sign in front of the building says “Tea Garden” and it is situated diagonally to the streets, so that it’s facing the corner point and the parking lot is a triangle. The parking areas are full of landscaping, with lots of low annual color plants like begonias and impatiens. I think that it ought to have more variety of plants, especially some taller plants, and when I look away and look back, there are some blood-red tall hollyhocks, but only a few. I think to myself that if I kept at it, I could make it as lush as what I was hoping to see, but I’d have to spend the whole dream landscaping, and I’d rather explore.

I go inside. It looks almost like this is a maintenance building for the gardeners; it has counters with a sink, a couple of tables, and a bunch of cabinets. There is a woman caretaker in here. She has very short spiky silvery-brown hair, and high cheekbones. She’s thin in a sort of elfin elegant way. She reminds me a little of Roxanne S. She’s wearing a tunic-style sweater in a gray-green sage color, and it is oversized on her so that it sort of drapes loosely. She is very graceful when she moves, and seems very nice to me. I tell her that I want to tour the gardens, and she explains that I’d better hurry, because
they’ll be closing soon.

She is crumbling some sort of brown briquettes into a bowl on the counter near the sink. She says, “This isn’t really fiber-berry tea; it’s really pretty good.” She moves across the room, and I go to where she had been, and look into the bowl. The briquettes are the little peat pellets that you start seeds in, and some of them have little grass plants growing out of them, just three or four blades. Some of the briquettes are broken in half at random angles, others are crumbled up. I say, “That’s what it looks like,” meaning fiber-berry tea. I tell her that I’m here dreaming, and that I’m here visiting in the dream; I say it totally matter-of-factly, as I would say that I’m here on vacation. She laughs, not as if she doesn’t believe me, but as if the way I said it struck her funny. I go on to explain that I’m actually at home sleeping right now. I explain that I usually wake up at one, two-thirty, four, and then 5:15, when I go into the other room to sleep, and that’s where my real body is now. She seems amused with me. She moves to a table, and takes something out of a cabinet on the wall – the wall is all cabinets, with big doors and little handles. She is working with whatever she got out of the cabinet, and I don’t look at it enough to see what it is. I get the impression that there’s an additional person here, although I don’t see anyone. The caretaker says that she had a nap this morning, and I tell her that I did too… I’m having one now, in fact! She laughs.

I go outside to tour the gardens. I fly around it, and I’m disappointed to find that most of the garden areas are hillside flower beds along a curving hilly path. I was hoping that more of them would be profuse meadows of flowers and ornate architecture like fountains and such. I was really hoping to see the meditation garden from my visualizations, but I decide to enjoy the garden as I see it. Most of the plants are fairly low, and the majority of them are tropical succulents, euphorbias and the cacti. Some of them have interesting flowers that I haven’t seen before, and I hover over them to look closely.

There are a lot of people here. I wish they weren’t here, because it makes it seem odd for me to be flying around, but they don’t seem to notice me. I see one sexy jogger who has stopped to stretch or tie his shoes; I can see the muscles flexing in his bent-over behind through his thin white shorts, and he smiles at me as I pass, but I decide I don’t want to change the dream to something sexual, because I’m enjoying flying so much. I continue to fly along, taking in all the flowers, and watching all the people walking, running, and playing around with their kids. The Nova Dreamer lights go off again, and I’m pleased because I know that means I made it through at least a second run of the delay timer. However, it knocks me too far out of the dream consciousness, and I find myself lying awake in bed. *end*

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