2 Talks with my Deceased Father

Note: I am now waiting nearly two years before I post my lucid dreams, in chronological order. I have a backlog of approximately 120 lucid dreams.

Dream of October 16, 2014

In the midst of dreams, I abruptly find myself standing in front of my deceased father, right next to a threshold on my left formed by a tall archway. The location feels like it is both outside and inside: a vast complex of some kind. In waking reality terms, it feels like a blend of a truly grand hotel, or series of hotels, with shops and restaurants, and numerous other amenities I can’t begin to guess at. The lighting is atmospheric; it may be night, but it’s hard to say, because there are subtle golden lights everywhere, especially in the lintels of doorways. But I don’t give the scenery too much thought, because I have eyes only for my Papi!

He is talking animatedly to me, grinning and gesturing, and I’m smiling back up at him happily. Wow! I am totally present with Papi in a dream, completely lucid. I look around me in awe. My lucidity feels as natural and steady as being awake, and I think—This is the most lucid I have ever been with Papi. I look back at him just as he points up toward heaven and delivers the punch line, “Such an interesting person!” In no time at all, I “download” the gist of his joke: It is about a man who is dead, but continues to cause delightful havoc as the journey of his soul’s growth continues.

I’m smiling as we cross the threshold beneath the archway and begin walking side-by-side. I feel myself consciously poised between two worlds, and that the death of my physical body will be, or at least can be, a seamless, peaceful transition to this spiritual State. We cross another open archway into a different section of the sprawling “complex” at which point I notice that Papi is holding a small package as he asks me, with happy impatience, “Where do you pay here?” I discern a short, curved line of people who all look as though they’re waiting for a cashier, and we move toward them. As we take our place, Papi asks me, looking around us with that wonderful smile of his I can never forget, “So, what have you been up to lately?”

I’m a little surprised by the question, and am about to say, “You know what I’ve been doing, Papi, lucid dreaming” but I keep silent, thinking how this is very much the Papi I remember—wrapped up in his own affairs, with only a certain amount of mental and emotional energy allotted for me and my life. Yet I always felt his love for me, and his desire to help me in any way he could. Oddly, this exchange is reassuring, because I would never have imagined him behaving this way in the after life.

The transaction happens quickly. Papi hands the attendant money, and doesn’t wait for change as he turns away and hands me another bill, which I slip into the right pocket of my wrap as we keep walking. Then another exchange, invisible to me, occurs, in which Papi ends up with another bill he also gives to me, and which I again slip into my pocket. It feels natural that my deceased father is giving me money, and that I am accepting it.

Passing over a third threshold, I feel we are now outside the “complex” which stretches along with us to our left. The lighting is clear and even now, like daytime on earth. As we follow a straight path, I hold tightly to Papi’s left hand with my right hand. I remember that I ask him four questions, but even though I remembered all the questions after I woke up, and his answers word-per-word, after a few seconds they just slipped out of my brain like water through a drain when the plug is pulled. I tried very hard to “re-download” his replies, but I could not, and I only recall my first two questions:

“Papi, are you still in the same place you were when I last dreamed of you?

and

“Do people of different religions go to different places on the other side?”

His reply begins with the statement:

“If it’s true, it wouldn’t be right to…”

I heard everything he said to me, and although his exact words elude me now, I understood them in the dream. In essence, he told me that there is no linear time, and no objective space, outside material existence, only an eternal present perpetually being created by souls in constant relationship with God, so that any answer he gave me now in my dream might not be true in the future, as I still experience past and present. He told me that when something is true it must be known/experienced in order to actually be; the truth cannot merely be conceived of in certain ways we assume are objectively real.

After his final reply, I wake.

Dream of October 21, 2014

I find myself in a house, which I sense is filled with loved ones and a few other people I am close to, engaged in an activity I can’t remember now. I hear someone arrive at the front door, which is concealed behind the wall of a small entrance foyer behind me. I can’t interrupt what I’m doing, so I urge Mami – who drifts toward the door reluctantly in a long pale nightgown – to let the person in. I suffer a twinge of guilt at making her do this, because I know it’s my deceased father at the door, and that she’s afraid of the nightmares my dream encounters with him might give her. But I also think it’s time she got over this, and acknowledged his continued presence in our lives. She opens the door, and finishing up my task, I hurry over to greet him as, making a left around the wall of the foyer, he steps into the main room. He is wearing an immaculate, exquisitely tailored suit of a color blue that does not exist on earth, an uplifting, beautiful blue.

“Papi, you’re wearing the suit you wore in my last dream,” I exclaim, “the suit I knew you would wear!” He walks a little deeper into the space, and I stand happily before him, looking up at his face… looking up and up! “Papi, you’re getting taller!” I observe joyfully, because I feel I know this means he’s growing spiritually.

He stands there a moment, gazing over my head, a gently gratified smile on his face, which looks younger and darker, with a slight golden tan. (Normally, I see him as he appeared later in life). Then he looks down into my eyes, and suddenly we are face-to-face as we “glide” into a small room behind me, as though he is pushing me backward, his dark eyes gleaming with intense feeling. We “land” on a comfortable couch in this alcove, which is like a lucid drop of water in the rushing river of my previous dreams.

Papi looks grave now as he tells me about going to see his own long dead father, and I have to struggle to grasp what he’s saying, as I recall my paternal grandfather, who I rarely saw and didn’t much like, and the time I went with Papi to visit his grave. I’m confused, because Papi seems to be talking about his father as though he is still dead. “We couldn’t go back to our house,” he tells me, “because of the people who live there now…”

My confusion peaking, I exclaim, “But Papi, there are no physical bodies on the other side.”

He was staring into the distance as he spoke, but now he looks at me and says, “Oh, no, but together we help each other get through it…” That makes sense, that he and his father are helping each other in ways only they can fathom.

I’m sitting on the edge of the couch, gazing down at him where he reclines against it. At this point, I ask him a question I can’t recall now, but I clearly, vividly, remember his response:

“God is there,” he says, and suddenly I perceive slender shafts of golden light shining down from above and behind him, as if cradling him. “You feel pain in your essence…” He rests his left hand over where his physical heart would have been, and I observe a soft, white light that seems concentrated in his chest area. “Forceful people come to you…”

A perfect understanding fills me as I look at his face, and the light, and listen to his words.

We stand up together, but I quickly move over to another couch, where I find pen and paper, and quickly write down his responses to me word-per-word, determined to remember them this time when I wake up. Then I go stand beside him where he is leaning against one wall as my deceased maternal grandmother, standing close to an adjacent wall, silently observes us from a few feet away. I’m thinking hard about the question rising up from my heart without my conscious intent:

“You can’t ever see God?” I ask, and know at once it did not come out right, because Papi looks astonished, and a little incensed, as if what I just said is ridiculous, and I quickly add, “Of course you can see Him! You see Him all the time, because He is All, the Absolute.” 

Papi’s mollified expression seems to confirm my words as I phase out of the dream.

A Pocket in Space and Time

Note: My thoughts and feelings have evolved, in some cases quite dramatically, since I began lucid dreaming nearly five years ago. For example, in the Dream Notes that follow many of my earlier lucid dreams, you will find me considering possible past lives as an explanation for some of my experiences. I no longer believe in reincarnation, and this change came about as a result of some of my most powerful dreams. I am now waiting a year, or longer, before I post my lucid dreams, one at time, in chronological order. This means I now have a backlog of approximately sixty lucid dreams.

Dream of August 24, 2014

Sara's Self Portrait

Sara’s Self Portrait

I’m in the Sun Room, sitting to the left of my deceased friend, Sara, both of us facing the open door. Visible out in the driveway, leaning against my black car, is a very tall, thin woman wearing a short, spaghetti strap dress of turquoise blue. She is lovely, in the idealized way of supermodels, but scarcely seems conscious—she almost looks propped weakly up against the car, where she perpetually awaits a man who appears at regular intervals, his strong body hiding her from view as he does whatever he pleases with her her. A passionate drama is repeating between them in a seemingly endless loop.

Sara and I are sitting very close to each other, and now I look directly into her vivid, sentient eyes which, in the dream, are a deep, glimmering blue. I speak slowly, very much wanting her to understand, “We’re here for a reason, in this pocket outside space and time.” I feel something very special happening; I feel we have been brought here, and that I am somehow more than dreaming. My beloved friend was always brilliant, and I sense she understands what I’m telling her.

But, not surprisingly, she appears distracted by the drama that keeps repeating between the man and the woman. She asks me quietly, “Aren’t you excited by what’s going on out there?”

I shake my head. I am not excited by it—to me the scene is a visual metaphor expressing a cry of unending despair. It looks to me like a visual synthesis of Sara’s various disastrous love affairs, in which she gave all of herself, only to be used and abused by men not even remotely worthy of her great intellect and heart. No man every truly appreciated her beautiful, shining spirit, perhaps because she so often picked the wrong men.

We wander outside onto my brick courtyard, where the couple has been replaced by a slightly larger group of people playing and/or performing in some way. All I recall is an improvised “set” of “boxes” with colorful sides, and a short dark-haired couple. There is an understated festive feel to the gathering. Where in waking reality the glass outdoor dinner table sits next to the firewood grill, I turn to face Sara, and grasp both her arms. I refrain from bluntly telling her that she’s dead, and instead say, “Look, Sara, I’m still in physical matter reality, but you’re not in physical matter reality anymore.” Above her small smile, I glimpse skepticism in her intelligent eyes, but before she can say what she’s thinking, I urge her to, “Feel the space between your atoms.”

As she seems to think about this, we walk arm and arm toward the group of people. Smiling at us, the dark-haired woman says, “Your friend…”

Sara immediately pulls me more tightly against her as she replies, “My best friend.”

Her declaration makes me very happy, because I feel the same way about her, and as we begin turning away from the gathering, I tell the woman who spoke, “You have a reason for being here… There is a reason for this bubble in space time…” I pause, then add, “You may not having anything to do, but it’s important.”

Sara and I stroll closer to the glass doors of the Den, at which point I say, “Let’s fly. You know we can fly.” I demonstrate by moving over to one wall of the house, and rising leisurely up to the level of the roof. Then I turn, and becoming aware of my golden high-heeled shoes, I execute tap dance like steps in midair, moving in a straight line from left to right as Sara watches me. “See,” I smile down at her, “of course this a dream. And isn’t it great what you can do with all that space between your atoms?”

Descending, I ask her to come flying with me, and she readily rises above the ground, all the time smiling at me in that special, considering way she had. Encouraged, I turn toward the open sky above the workshop, and fly into it, gradually picking up speed. A small flock of white geese is visible in the distance above the tree tops. I feel Sara grab me from behind, as if to steady herself, and I say, “That’s right, just hold onto me” as we head in the direction the geese were flying. I phase out of the dream.

Dream Notes:

What fascinates me, among everything else about dreaming reality, is what I find myself spontaneously saying and doing. I never would have imagined saying to Sara in a dream, if I met up with her: “Feel the space between your atoms.” We are that space, otherwise how could we feel it? Emptiness is really Pure Being, and our atoms “emerge” from It, are mysteriously created, given specific forms and experiences with which we identify, so we forget we are not so much these atom as the Space of infinite potential “between” them. And this mysteriously creative “emptiness,” this void space, is the Heart of everything—God. But this is just my waking brain trying to explain what I expressed much more elegantly and succinctly in the dream.

When I emailed this dream to one of my dream partners, Sean, he wrote back:

“I always enjoy reading about people’s encounters with the deceased. Most of my encounters involved the person not really understanding that they were dead (as with your encounter with your friend here.) Why is this, do you think? Do you feel we are more likely to be in the same boat when we pass, or do you think, because of our successes with lucidity throughout our lives, that we may have a better chance of “knowing” where we are when we pass? I’m also guessing that, because of the nature of time within the dreaming, that when we talk to the dead, we may be talking to them at any point in time, so possibly right after their death, or maybe even when they were still alive!

When I woke up, I immediately wondered about the continuity of the dreams I have had with Sara since she passed. In the first dream, she seemed to have transformed into her ideal self, who kissed me confidently on the mouth (a mysterious way of transmitting information in dreams.) Then she sat up straight and, raking her right hand across her chest in a diagonal downward motion, told me firmly, “Sara is dead.” I got the distinct impression this was not a reason to be sad, but rather a long awaited relief for her soul. When she passed away, I had only just begun my lucid dreaming practice, and the first long lucid dreams I had (I realized after the fact) were obvious premonitions of her death. This latest dream is the most wonderful one I have had with her. I feel we truly connected, and how willing she was to follow the geese, flying eastward, fills me with peace.

 

Asking Papi About His Life on the Other Side of Death

I am waiting over 7 months before posting my lucid dreams, so I am approximately 40 lucid dreams behind.

Dream of May 6, 2014
It’s a lovely day and I’ve walked halfway down our long, curving black driveway, which is surrounded by trees in full summer leaf. After I take care of some private ritual business off to one side in the grass, I begin walking slowly back up the driveway toward the house. Everything feels absolutely real, more vividly sensual than normal; even the slightly rough texture of the black asphalt beneath my bare feet tempts me to lie down on it and experience it’s unique sensation more intimately. I dismiss this urge, and for a few moments the world goes dark, but not completely, because to the right of one of our tallest tulip trees there is still the luminous sky, and the edge of the darkness is defined by the shape of this beloved tree I look at every single day. Relaxed, I continue walking, simply waiting for my full vision to return, which it does. Once again I’m walking on a lovely sunny day. I’m thinking about, and feeling deeply grateful for, how much I love my home as I round the final curve in the driveway.

The house comes into view, and immediately I see a man walking toward me. Behind him, an intimate group of people is gathered at the top of the drive where it merges with the brick courtyard. My heart literally seems to expand in my chest when I realize the visitor is Papi! He strides across the grass toward me, smiling his beloved smile. Above “normal” clothes, he is wearing a flesh-colored fur cape, long and affluent-looking, but light enough to billow around him. I hurry to meet him, gazing joyfully at his face and into his eyes.

“Papi! I didn’t expect you!” I see that his third wife Adela (who is still alive) is part of his retinue when she shoots me a look that clearly says they need to be on their way. Papi lets me know, without actually telling me so, that he only dropped by to say hello, that he can’t stay, and already he’s turning toward the big car around which the others are gathering. I suffer the sinking feeling I am all too familiar with. It’s obvious I desire to spend more time with him than he does with me, which makes me really sad. I protest, “You can’t just stop by for five minutes, Papi! You have to stay! Please, Papi!” I will NOT let him leave so soon…

Abruptly, we are all inside a small, rectangular room I know is part of my house (although not in waking reality). I instantly grasp this is an antechamber of sorts where guests can congregate, as they do now, some sitting, others standing and talking in the clear, even light. There are no lamps, no furnishings at all, but a man with dark hair, his back to me (my brother?) is loudly and passionately playing a piano. Papi is standing a few feet away from me, smiling and saying something to someone. He looks happy and healthy, which makes me happy but also confuses me. Can it be that his leukemia is in remission? He has been sick for years, and yet not only is he still alive, he looks as though he might actually be getting better?

A dark transition I can’t remember… The next thing I know, I’m sitting in a bigger and darker room, where, diagonally across from me, Papi is seated in the center of a couch. Keeping my focus on him, I somehow manage to pull myself up into a standing position, and walk over to him. Looking intently down into his eyes, I say, “It’s okay, I’m lucid now. I wasn’t lucid before. I understand that you’re dead.”

Smiling, he replies, “Of course I’m dead.”

Still standing over him, I declare, “I haven’t been lucid like this with you since the night on top of that building in Coral Gables, when we were going down to eat together.” He responds to this, but all I remember of what he says is, “Of course you would.”

I sit down beside him on the couch to his left. As we talk, I look directly into his dark eyes, which appear bloodshot. Or is it that his pupils and irises are wider than in physical life and obscuring the whites? I ask him many questions, and our positions relative to each other occasionally shift as we converse. I wish I could remember everything we talked about word-per-word, but I do know for a fact that I was perceiving the Other Side as he is experiencing it. At the beginning of our long conversation, I clearly sensed from him that life-after-death isn’t what he had expected it to be; that it is much like physical life but infinitely more dynamic, a “process” he is actively, profoundly engaged in.

At one point, while we’re both standing, he tells me about a female acquaintance who really wants a particular golden mausoleum for herself. I realize he’s making a joke about dead people tomb-hunting the way living people house hunt. I exclaim, “You don’t really live in mausoleums here!” and he smiles at me the way I remember him doing whenever he was pulling my leg.

Well into our conversation, I ask him, “Is there an infrastructure here?”

He looks away, and the wonder in his voice is shadowed by fear as he answers, “Maria, it’s as if the center of the city is alive…”

???????????????????????????

This makes wonderful sense to me and I tell him, “It must be the heart” as in the Sacred Heart. The image that flashes in my mind when he says this is of an open city square filled with a misty dark-blue light manifesting between the buildings, and joining earth and sky as it juts out slightly, almost like a breast subtly pulsing, profoundly, unfathomably alive, but just one small, intimate connection—like a private bay adjoining an unimaginably vast ocean—to an absolute supreme awareness, all-knowing, all-nurturing, all-giving, unending Life. It is nearly impossible for me to describe what I felt in that vision, but I instantly grasp that the world Papi is living in now constantly manifests his innermost thoughts and feelings.

Excited, I tell him, “I have a theory, Papi, that we are all like cells in a single body, so here (the Other Side) individual souls might be like cells bringing this world to life.” I seem to comprehend that the activity of “day-to-day” life here centers on experiencing and “working” with your soul, which is effectively turned inside-out.

We’re sitting up facing each other while also somehow embracing. I say, “I’ve asked you a lot of questions, Papi, and I’ve been dreaming for a long time. It’s going to be hard for me to remember everything you said. Let’s go over the points we covered. First, the infrastructure here is alive…” I phase out of the dream.

Dream Notes:

I got the impression that Papi and everyone else in this Other Side city/world was, metaphorically, suckling at this same “cosmic breast” which cared for them while helping them grow. It was not his creation; he was a little afraid of it.

Today I am tired, in a good way. There is much, much to absorb. My mother pointed out how at the beginning of the dream, I had to insist that my father stay and spend time with me, and how it was my determination that obliged him to actually sit down and talk to me in a lucid dream. I am only just realizing what a milestone this is in our relationship and, perhaps, I hope, in his own spiritual growth. I know he loved me, but he always cut our phone conversations off after the preliminaries, when there was the real danger they might become more intimate, and he might have to answer deeper questions about how he was really feeling. This time, I didn’t let him hang up!

From a Christian perspective, my father is in Purgatory. In modern spiritual parlance, he is in one of countless concensus realities created by souls who prefer a more earth-like existence while they continue to learn and grow spiritually, and so on. The Sacred Heart which Papi described as the center of the city being alive connects this “place” on the Other Side with God, but it is not heaven, which in itself is not a place but true, full union with God.

It is no accident this incredible dream with Papi comes now when I have re-embraced Christ. The darkness of the dream scene was a manifestation of the darkness of my father’s spiritual doubts and his fear of death. He was a good man who devoted himself to helping poor people in developing countries as director of USAID in Central America, which may explain the rather technical word I found myself spontaneously using in the dream “infrastructure”, for much of his work consisted of overseeing the development of more modern infrastructures in poor rural areas.

Talking with Reinaldo Arenas

Note: I am now waiting up to 6 months before posting my lucid dreams. This means I am always approximately 30 lucid dreams behind.

November 24, 2013

A staged performance I’m observing ends with the incisive and amusing but also rather acerbic comments of a Cuban man who seats himself on a couch to deliver them. The performance concluded, I leave with another man I somehow know. It is night time and we are walking toward the ocean as we discuss the end of the play. But as we pass a lit and open doorway, I turn back and tell my companion I would like to go backstage and say hello to the performer. “I will greet him for my mother. He will like that.” So we turn left into the luminous white corridor, make another left into a small sitting area, and then walk through an open door into a small kitchen. Reinaldo ArenasReinaldo Arenas seems to have prepared himself something to drink. He is facing the door, and the instant he looks my way I am struck by his absolute reality and presence. Reinaldo! His face is distinct and just how I remember it. I feel almost overcome with emotion; tears well up in my eyes as I approach him. I am wearing a long sky-blue skirt and a loose white shirt. The man who accompanied me introduces me, “This is Maria Pita” he says and Reinaldo, holding my eyes as he watches me approach, tells me, “You have a luminous presence.” We shake hands and I say, wanting to make sure he recognizes me, “Juana Rosa’s daughter.” I remain in the room with him and several other people as they converse. Reinaldo is berating himself for not being good enough, or better. I feel passionately compelled to interrupt him in his defense as I state with clear conviction, “Better men are overrated. Sometimes you have to be bad to be good.” Smiling, he slips an arm around my shoulders and we leave the kitchen. He says something which relates to that momentous day when he saved me from something bad. I reply, “I for one was very grateful.” We stand facing each other, our faces mere inches apart as he talks even while chewing on a cigarette, literally taking the whole thing into his mouth and speaking as it continues to smolder. I clearly see the mangled white object lying on his tongue. Then I seem to discern more than one, although now they look more like pills. Some people I sense are family members leave the kitchen and cross the room. Reinaldo is now reclining on the floor. I ask him where he lives and he replies New York. I say, “You must like it there, it’s very busy.” I want to tell him he can come and stay with us because in the dream my family and I have a very large house.

A false awakening in which Mami and I are sitting side-by-side on a couch, our heads touching, as I try to tell her about my dream with Reinaldo, thinking I just need to tell her about my dream with Reinaldo in waking reality because her dream self is distracted. At that point, I wake up for real.

Dream Notes:

Unbeknownst to me, Mami was just this week photocopying all of Reinaldo’s beautiful letters to her and re-reading them. In his words to her, his generous, beautiful spirit shines in an inspiring, uplifting way. I had no idea she was doing this. Reinaldo wrote many books, including El Color del Verano, his final memoir, where he says exactly what he thinks about many famous writers and people, scathing things, tearing them to pieces, hence his acerbic comments at the beginning of my dream, which also possibly related to the horrible Cuban male machismo which may have had something to do with his homosexuality. The only famous writer Reinaldo did not mention in this book was my mother, whom he adored.

When I was nineteen-years-old in Miami, I was unfortunately present the day when my new boyfriend (who unbeknownst to me was also Reinaldo’s lover) beat him up in a fit of jealous rage from which I naturally ran in terror, and which resulted in me breaking up with him. So perhaps Reinaldo did in fact save me from something bad. I will never forget the way he looked up at me from the floor, the sweetest expression of regret and apology on his face, his concern primarily for me.

In my dream, the way he ate up the cigarette, which was still burning, strikes me as a symbol for suicide, for not waiting for your life to burn out before you end it. (In an early poem of mine, I compare a burning cigarette to our physical life gradually burning away until it is finally extinguished). I did not know he committed suicide, I had always believed he died naturally of AIDS, but in fact he overdosed on pills and alcohol before the disease could kill him. He lived in a small apartment on the sixth floor of a building in New York in an area then known as “Hell’s Kitchen”. In the dream, I entered a kitchen where he stood, and had just prepared himself a drink. I also saw what looked like pills in his mouth. At the time of his death, his writing career was busier than ever, with several contracted books in the works. His having committed suicide may be one reason he was berating himself in the dream. It makes me happy how pleased he seemed when I fervently defended him with the statement, “Better men are overrated, sometimes you have to be bad to be good.”

Mami re-reading his letters this week may have “focused” his soul on hers, and because I am linked to Mami (in ways that are manifesting quite obviously in dreams lately) I picked up on his presence when I was on the Other Side (the dream space) and deliberately sought him out to greet him on her behalf. Or he may have became aware of my “luminous presence” through her soul reaching out to his in appreciation as she read his letters to her.

It meant a great deal to Mami that I was greeting Reinaldo on her behalf, and that it happened on the day of Christ the King. God Speed, Reinaldo!

My Halloween Mansion

NoteI am now waiting up to 5 months before posting my lucid dreams. This means I am always approximately 25 lucid dreams behind.

November 1, 2013

I’m lying in bed, on my back, in the rec room. The wind outside is so strong, the sound of it blowing, and the little noises it causes, keeps me from drifting off to sleep. Then I notice the room is in disarray, and I see a project folder lying at the foot of the bed. As I sit up and reach for the folder, I realize it isn’t real… I am out of body. Suddenly, I lose all visuals, but that’s okay. Floating just above the floor, I lean back into the gently enfolding embrace of dream gravity, half sitting, half reclining as I feel myself gliding toward the Bay Windows. I know I’ll get visuals back eventually; I don’t stress over it or try to force them to return. Outside, I continue floating along, and soon the formless grayness is replaced by a stunning view of jagged snow-covered mountain peaks outlined against a bright blue sky. I am high in the sky moving right-to-left at a good clip and yet also peacefully; I don’t feel the need to do anything except coast along and enjoy the stunning view.

 

As my effortless progress slows somewhat, I very deliberately gaze down at my dream body. It looks just like my waking reality body. I’m convinced I’m wearing exactly the same thing I wore to bed because the lighting is clear and I distinctly see myself in realistic detail. In reality I went to bed in a black camisole but in the dream it is a totally lovely deep blue color, and hanging open around it is a short blue-and-white speckled wrap. It is a very nice combination such as I might actually wear.

Smoothly and gently, I come to a natural stop as I land on a white road just a short distance from where it gently forks—it extends straight ahead for as far as I can see, but not far from me it also branches off at a slight right angle, detouring beneath a black stone archway long enough to be considered a tunnel. Beyond this archway-tunnel, in the near distance, I spot the silhouette of a tall figure clad in a black hooded robe or a voluminous black coat. A man is approaching the tunnel. I wonder who it is and, hesitating only an instant, begin walking toward him. But even as the figure draws nearer it seamlessly transforms into two small children, a little boy and a little girl. When they see me, they run eagerly toward me. The little boy passes beneath the archway first and pauses on a low step as I quickly kneel down to embrace him fondly, delighted by the feel of his little body in my arms, a sensation I have not experienced very often in waking reality because I have no children. He smiles happily up at me. He has a sweet face with pale yet healthy looking skin. He says earnestly, “I just wanted to tell you what a beautiful Mansion you have!”

I am surprised and pleased as I receive a flashing visual of a large white Mansion somewhere beyond the black tunnel. It occupies a prominent place along this white road and I recognize that it is indeed my Mansion which belongs exclusively to me. I feel very happy and flattered, because a Mansion in the dream space symbolizes the soul, which means the little boy is is telling me that I am a very beautiful soul. I say, “Well, you know it’s yours too.” He shakes his head, and looks very serious as he insists, “No, no, that’s not true, it’s yours!” I smile and reply, “Well, you know you’re welcome in it any time.”

False awakening: My sister Lourdes and I are in the rec room when I see a car pulling up the driveway with a cage on it and a woman in the cage. I say, “Oh my God, go make sure the Sun Room door is locked!” as I quickly run to secure the rec room door. But the people break in anyway, a whole group of them, and two women grab my arms, intending to put me in bondage, and I know they mean to inflict real pain. Somehow I manage to grab hold of my phone and dial 911. A police officer answers and I tell him what’s going on, giving him my address and directions on how to get here. I speak as clearly and lucidly as in waking reality. He says it is a bit far out and asks me to tell him again where I am. I repeat my brief but detailed directions. Then I raise my voice in desperation, “They broke into my home! They don’t understand that I’m not into this! That I don’t want them here!” Suddenly, the people around me look abashed and begin getting their stuff together to leave. I inform the officer of this development as it occurs to me that perhaps I should have simply told the intruders this when they first arrived; that I should have been more assertive. The officer asks me if I’m going to be all right and I say, “I think so, thank you” as I hang up.

Dream Notes:

Because it was the early morning hours of November 1, I was hoping to lucid dream with people I love who have passed away. I forgot that here in in the U.S. All Saints Day has been perverted into Halloween, a night where adults (many of whom don’t even believe in their eternal souls) go to costume  parties and get drunk and “let it all out”. In many respects it is a morbid holiday populated with witches, ghosts and skeletons. Perhaps when I told the little boy in my lucid dream that my Mansion was also his and that he was always welcome in it, other souls overheard my invitation and felt free to let themselves in! This would not be the first time the mysterious “light of lucidity” has attracted crowds of dream characters like moths to a flame, and these people often have a dark, sinister, threatening feel to them. I was open to receiving visits from deceased loved ones, but perhaps it is wise to realize that when loudly broadcasting an intent, other souls besides those you are thinking about might overhear and be unable to resist crashing your dream space! Maybe the little boy knew this and that is why he insisted, almost anxiously, that my Mansion belonged to me and no one else. Since I believe the Mansion symbolizes my Soul, and that the dream space is it’s living expression, I was, in essence (as a dreamer friend suggested) declaring some kind of open house on my dream space!

Love’s 4th Dimension

Me & Papi Early 1960s

When someone you love dies, wouldn’t it be wonderful to still be able to see them on a regular basis? This might popularly be considered a “pipe dream” question but the actual answer is—Yes, you can, in your dreams.

The knowledge that we have ‘bodies terrestrial and bodies celestial’ is by no means new. One of the profound joys of lucid dreaming is the gift of directly, consciously experiencing our supra-physical body while still “muffled in flesh.” Many lucid dreamers, myself included, lose their fear of death. A lucid dream is, in essence, an out of (physical) body experience. Whether it be termed a Lucid Dream or an O.B.E. the experience of transcendence, which is also vividly sensual, is a life-changing revelation. And dreams have always, without fail, let me know when someone I loved was getting ready to cross over. In the summer of 2006, I had this vivid little dream:

My father, I call him Papi, and his wife are sitting together at a small round table on an upper balcony of an outdoor restaurant. The sun is shining but they both look very sad, depressed, low energy. I walk up to them and remind Papi that we’re supposed to visit the pyramids together. He tells me he doesn’t think he can make it. I’m very upset and insist we have to go, reminding him he promised me we would.

A few days later, I received an email from my father informing me that he had been diagnosed with Leukemia. In the following months we grew closer than ever as together we confronted the mystery of death, and I did my best to help him face it without fear. The pyramids of ancient Egypt are monumental expressions of an unshakable belief in immortality. Metaphorically speaking, my father and I did, indeed, visit them together. Seven months after his diagnosis, he passed away. The evening after his funeral, I was standing in the bathroom of a hotel room my husband and I were staying in on our way home, and as I brushed my hair I heard my father say joyfully, “Maria, my love!” His voice did not register in my physical eardrums but was not outside of me either; it was as clear as a bell ringing directly in my head. “You were right, Maria! You were right!” I went to bed that night determined to have a lucid dream and find him on the Other Side:

I find myself standing in a small town of sorts staring at the entrance to a theater, and at once I become lucid. I concentrate on the open door through which people are streaming out onto the street, absolutely determined my father will be one of them… and there he is! At once we’re embracing, but I notice he looks a bit groggy and confused. He warns me in the way he always did when he was worried about me—You have to be careful here, Maria. Even as I keep my eyes on his face I realize it has changed and I am hugging a man with a similar build and complexion who isn’t my father anymore. Abruptly he collapses at my feet as though shot through the heart at the same time I notice another man standing nearby. The stranger’s intensely focused eyes stare directly into mine and his smile is so chilling, I realize it is imperative I get away from there as fast as possible. I launch myself into the sky and fly away…

I believe this man was one of my Guides protecting me from the dangers of a “place” on the Other Side I was not prepared for, but to which the force of my grief and love propelled me, hence my father’s warning.

I had the following dream about a year ago:

I’m working late at night in my study, writing about lucid dreaming. As I finish a chapter and sit back contentedly, Papi walks in. The sense of him is utterly real, totally present, his white dress shirt luminous in the darkness. Smiling down at me, he rests his hand on the back of my chair and says—This is the future. I understand he means we’re already living in the future by being together in my lucid dreams.

Not long ago, I had one of the most special dreams of my life to date:

I’m driving alone at night and turn left into the driveway of my childhood home. I think of parking on the grass to the right of the driveway, but that isn’t necessary; I can park in the official spot because I’m in charge of the place now that no one is living in it anymore. The inside of the house is the deepest, darkest black imaginable. I experience a faint tinge of anxiety about entering it and staying there for a while, but I know there aren’t any intruders lying in wait for me or any other hostile forces I need fear. But as I approach the front door a car pulls up and parks in the grass in front of the house. I’m very happy my family has arrived and I need not wait for them inside all alone. I’m so happy Papi is in the back seat! As he leans forward, he says something to me…

I don’t remember the transition but now it’s a lovely sunny day and I’m walking toward a long white structure. The single story building is surrounded by a white stone walkway punctuated with matching benches looking out on lush grass and flowering trees. I follow the walkway until I come upon Papi sitting on one of the benches. I ask him if I can sit with him and he promptly moves over as he apologizes—Sorry, but here we tend to sit in the center just because we can. I reach for his hand and cling to it. In the peaceful silence, I become acutely aware of being there with him. I look around us, and the lucid sense of being fully present in the moment intensifies as I say—You know, we’re sitting here now in reality, but we could also already be sitting together on the Other Side, with nothing to fear, not ever… To which Papi replies—I feel we could be, because of the sun.

Minutes after waking from this dream, I walked outside with my dog and a fine mountain mist enabled me to look directly at the rising sun. There it was in all it’s orange-gold splendor, the solar disc as clearly visible to my naked eye as the full moon. The vision felt like a blessing, like a gift from my father telling me we truly had been together in my dream.

In our recreation room there is a very comfortable queen size guest bed that folds down from the wall. A few months ago, I decided to make this room my official lucid dreaming space on two nights a week. At the very least, I would be guaranteed sleep uninterrupted by my husband tugging on the sheets or the cat jumping on the bed, and I also felt it might help concentrate my intent to become lucid on an even more regular basis. On my first night sleeping in my new space, I had this dream:

May 2, 2013

I believe I’m awake and lying in my new lucid dreaming bed in the rec room when my husband suddenly walks in with our dog, who he mischievously drops on the bed. I demand—What are you doing here? You know I’m trying to sleep and have a lucid dream! It’s extremely unlikely he is really there and I wonder—Am I dreaming this? I’m not sure if I wake for a few moments after this and go back to sleep, or whether the false awakening continues, but now I’m alone facing the wall at the foot of the bed and a door that is not there in waking reality. The door is open and I recognize my parents’ old bedroom, the one they shared when I was a child. I get the strong sense of Papi, but of course he won’t be in there anymore… Feeling just a little unnerved, I close the door. I would rather fly through the window, but when I plant my hands against it I’m disappointed it feels perfectly real and solid… Waking, I open my eyes to the star-like waning moon shining down on my face. I lay there absorbing its light feeling it can help me lucid dream…

I believe I’m awake lying on my left side facing the dark room, the glass doors behind me. In the dream the flat screen TV runs parallel to the top of my head whereas in reality it forms a right angle with my head. I tense when I hear a quiet yet distinct, absolutely real voice. There is someone in the room with me, I have no doubt about that, but I’m not as scared as I should be because it sounded just like Papi who spoke a single word in Spanish—Porfavor. (Please.) I find the courage to ask—Que? (What?) He answers—Ven aqui. (Come here.) That seems like too much to ask because this is really creepy. I protest—Pero tengo miedo, Papi! (But I’m afraid!) His reply translates to—Move now. Don’t wait. I struggle to sit up; it’s difficult to move and not just because I’m scared; I have a hard time coordinating my limbs. Managing a sitting position, I know for a fact I’m dreaming when I see my father sitting in front of the bay windows, his sky-blue sweat pants distinctly visible in the darkness. My fear mostly evaporates then and I approach him. I’m not surprised Papi is here; it feels right and natural, like the next step in our nocturnal relationship. He gestures apologetically and I notice that in the dream space there are no other chairs. I say quickly—That’s okay, I’ll just sit here. I perch on a child-size circular table in front of him, the sort kids sit around to draw and have fun. Papi is smiling at me but I’m a little concerned he is as thin now as he was before he died. He begins speaking in Spanish—You know, when you’re rupturing inside… The details escape me but I understand he’s talking about the last few hours of his life and the nightmare ride in the ambulance in the middle of the night. I sense he needs to share this with me, for both our sake, but am distracted by how oddly high-pitched and reedy his voice is becoming. I say—Papi, you sound funny… and you don’t really look like yourself. His smiling response is perfectly eloquent. Of course, on the Other Side no one has a fixed form. As I study his face, familiar yet slightly different, I phase out of the dream.

I woke too soon to hear everything he had to say, but my father apparently wanted to share the last moments of his life with me, when he was confronting the ultimate fear. The more I thought about it, the more this dream seemed to embody the question—Are you ready to rise above your fears? I may have passed an important test by conquering my dread and getting up to speak with him. The child’s drawing table was a very positive symbol of beginning something, of creatively learning and growing. “Move now, don’t wait,” Papi said, words I don’t believe are meant to be taken only literally. It is significant that the first night I slept in my new dream space my father came to me so vividly. I believe he is encouraging me to do everything I can to strengthen and fully develop my natural lucid dreaming abilities, urging me to “move now” with my dreams. The door to his old bedroom appeared at the foot of my bed, opening onto the past and our physical life together, then he greeted me with the word “Please” from the opposite side of the room… Please let us continue growing together in this lucid 4th Dimension bridging physical reality and the Other Side?

Three months later, there is no doubt in my heart that Papi helped baptize my new lucid dreaming space. So far, every time I move to the rec room at around 3:00 in the morning, during my Wake Back to Bed ritual which includes thoughtfully reviewing my feelings and intents, I have at least one, and frequently three or more lucid dreams. Most nights my dreams begin in the rec room and, recognizing it, I immediately become lucid.

My father’s love and presence are as much a part of my life now as before he crossed over, and in a profound sense I feel closer to him than ever before. Perhaps because I wholeheartedly believe an ongoing relationship with deceased loved ones is possible, is one reason I remain accessible to them in dreams, my love and faith akin to a bonfire burning in the darkness of Mystery.

Epilogue

I now know one of the reasons Papi came to me in the rec room that night.

I sent his wife, Adela, a printed copy of this article, which was published in the Lucid Dreaming Experience, Vol. 2, No. 2, September 2013. She called me and spoke to me for a long time. She confessed that she had never told me the full story of my father’s last day. When she called me from the hospital at 5:00 in the morning to tell me Papi had died, I assumed they had just taken an ambulance there, because the last I had heard he was at home. In truth, the previous morning, Papi had begun coughing up blood. He didn’t want to go the hospital but Adela finally persuaded him to and so at around 10:00 the ambulance came and took them. He went first to the emergency room but his doctor managed to put him in his old ocean facing room, where he remained. During that time, many friends and loved ones came to see him, as did their priest, and Adela said he was calm and at peace. He firmly refused another blood transfusion, which his doctor kept trying to persuade him to get. He simply said to her every time she insisted, “Let’s wait until tomorrow.” He knew there would be no tomorrow. He reassured Adela that he knew he was going to a better place and wasn’t afraid anymore. When night fell and everyone else left, she stayed with him on a cot placed next to his bed, although she didn’t sleep but mostly sat watching him. She was there when she heard the machine helping him breathe stop, which meant he had passed. The nurses later assured her he hadn’t been in any serious pain for he only pressed the medication button 3 time during his stay.

I knew in the dream Papi had been speaking to me about the last hours of his life when he was “rupturing inside” but because I didn’t know the full story, I assumed he was referring to an ambulance ride in the middle of the night. As Adela was telling me what actually happened, a light seemed to fill my heart and I understood that Papi had arranged for this conversation between us. I felt, I knew, Papi wanted me to know the truth of how he really spent the last day of his life. He wanted me to know he had been at peace, that he had known he was living his last day and that he wasn’t afraid or in pain. I knew he wanted me to stop thinking about the last hours of his life as a “nightmare ambulance ride in the middle of the night”. In truth he spent the day looking out at the ocean surrounded by loved ones, Adela’s extended family, who all lived in Miami, unlike his three children who lived in different States and wouldn’t have been able to make it there in time. I only wish he had called me that last day so I could have spoken to him, as I did everyday. In more than seven years since his passing, Adela had never told me what really happened. It seems Papi knew he had to get her to do so, hence my dream, which led me to write this article for the Lucid Dreaming Experience, which I then sent her. Now the dream feels complete and makes perfect sense to me. As Adela spoke, I felt I was hearing everything Papi had said to me in the dream.

Papi’s Challenge

July 16, 2013

I’m with Papi. I remember talking with him for a long time as we walk along a dark walkway of sorts. He’s wearing a dark-brown suit. We’re deep in a conversation, the subject of which, based on my responses, is my belief in my immortal soul. I clearly recall formulating my thoughts and saying something about our cells flowing through the darkness of our blood like stars in the universe. My exact words elude me, but I point out that the odds are a million to one, actually much greater, that this incredible creation which is my body and my self is a mere “coincidence” generating consciousness. Deep in this conversation, we keep moving and end up sitting down at the end of this elevated walkway, with Papi on the edge facing me. Once again, I remember replying clearly, very lucidly, to his persistent questions, which are more like a challenge. I am really with Papi because I realize I forgot, or didn’t care to remember, how much it annoyed and angered me when he gestured dismissively at something I said he seemed to consider ridiculously naive, literally waving his hand in a repelling gesture. After he does this a few times in response to my replies, I get up and slap him hard on the right cheek. “Papi, stop it!” I cry. In response, he puffs out his cheeks, smiling at me with an oddly jocular defiance, and goes on in this strange dual vein of grilling me with questions and scoffing impatiently at my responses. Finally I sit down on his right, very conscious of our black “clothing” touching/merging in the darkness, and conclude, “Papi, how can you keep denying what I’m saying when we’re having this conversation in a dream!? Obviously, it’s all true!” He looks sideways at me and gives me that broad special Papi smile that never fades in my memory. The moment is a star of lucidity, it’s the only way I can describe it. His smile feels like the equivalent of the stars my grade school teachers used to paste on the top of my A+ papers.