Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I Need a Fix

I attended a Brugh Joy workshop over the weekend, a wonderful experience. It was my first Brugh Do. Working with Brugh and the group incubated a series of huge dreams for me Saturday night, which we worked with in group Sunday morning. I left the workshop with many new insights and a load of material to work with.

The first evening, Thursday, Brugh asked us to introduce ourselves and maybe mention something about the process that had drawn us to his workshop. I happened to be the person he picked to begin the introductions. I was new to Brugh's work and didn't know more than two of the other participants, and much of what I've been experiencing over the past couple of years has been physical and difficult to put into words, so I was not very forthcoming.

As the introductions wound around the room, some people would bring up some pretty big issues in their lives at the moment, and Brugh would work with them a bit, along with the group. They all seemed to be old Brugh hands, people he knew. For one person in particular, Brugh jokingly said he was going to have to hit her over the head.

Friday night, I had the following dream: I'm in a mall, vacant except for myself and a young man in black clothes. He seemed to be a high-school athlete. We stood beside a large pile of shipping cartons. I knew that each contained a large, black, soft, overstuffed toy, bats and boxing gloves, mainly. The man told me I had to donate a few thousand dollars to him, to buy the whole pile. He then would distribute all the toys among the townspeople, and they would hit me with them.

When I woke up, the dream didn't seem to make much sense. Saturday morning in group, Brugh asked who'd had dreams. As he began working with people's dreams, I leafed through my dream journal, looking for what I thought would be something deeper. But Brugh made it clear that he wanted only dreams from the night before. As he worked his way around the room, it began to dawn on me what my dream was about, so that by the time he got to me, the meaning was unmistakeable. As I related my dream to the group, everyone laughed, and I said, "And I know it's all about the fact that I need to share my process with the group"--which, in fact, was the whole point of the dream.

I did share with the group my struggle with chronic pain over the past couple of years, how it had drawn me into my body, and how that seemed very alien to me. And the sharing seemed to trigger a night filled with dreams, many of them very vivid and insightful and nearly self-interpretive, so that the next morning in group, when I related one of the dreams and Brugh and the group worked with it, I knew exactly what was going on.

One of the biggest insights I received was that in order to resolve the chronic pain, I'd had to move my mind out of the way. My body had had to heal on its own terms. It did not want to be diagnosed and fixed; it had to come into wholeness via its own internal wisdom. The pain condition was in one sense a teaching for me, that there are some things that are not resolvable mentally, and that throughout my life, in such situations, my mind had been more of an obstacle than a help. Thought can be seductive and addictive, but like all addictions, it creates more problems than it solves. This is maybe the largest and most difficult nugget I extracted from the workshop.

So, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Karl, and I am a thoughtaholic...