Transcending the Suffering of Drama with Meditative Witnessing

Do you ever feel like a victim?  Do you ever feel like you are being unfairly attacked?  All of us are victimized; all of us do get unfairly attacked.  So how can we stay out of drama? How can we keep happy, joyous, at peace in the face of injustice?

Could the solution be as simple as becoming like a heron, standing on one foot, gazing into the water?  For Claudia, that’s an important part of the answer. Try it!  Perhaps Claudia’s heron can help you too!

What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?

1. How can I eat more chocolate without becoming fat?

2. How can I smoke more without developing lung cancer?

3. How can I become less critical sounding?  Not so pessimistic?

Tell me a dream you remember.  It can be an old one, a repetitive dream, a nightmare, or one that you’re sure you understand.

Shadie and Dayo were attacked by a mafia-type guy.  The man came with a shovel and Dayo ran.  Shadie laid there and is cut by the shovel.  I cry for help…An old lady takes me in her house and gives me tea. She is having a little tea-party-blether. The phone rings.  It’s for me.  The message is that my mother is in the hospital dying.  I feel that I am in the dramas of the dog, the superficiality of this old ladie’s circle, and my mother.

Dayo and Shadie:

Why do you think that you had this dream?

It’s like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder!  I kept losing things in my nightmares that I love.  This is a repetitive theme in my dreams.  I think I have them because my dogs have been ill.  I’ve been very worried about them.

If this dream were playing at a theater, what name would be on the marquee?


These are the characters in the dream, beside yourself…

Two dogs, the shovel, a man that knows that he can hurt me when he hurts what I love, the old lady, mother in the hospital, street, house

If one character had something especially important to tell you, what would it be?

Shadie.  I have the strongest feelings for him….

Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor?  It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are this or that character in your dream and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind.  If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say!

Shadie, would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?

I have had my head bashed in by the shovel.  There is blood all over.  I am dead and I am not dead because I am a dream dog.  I’m just alive.  I don’t feel good.  This is Claudia’s dream, that something bad always happens to me, and I don’t like it!

What do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

I stay in a good mood.

What do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses?  What are they?

I am so passive when the man came and attacked me.

Shadie, you are in Claudia’s life experience, correct?  She created you, right?  Shadie, what aspect of Claudia do you represent or most closely personify?

The part that always gets hit over the head!

Shadie, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change?  If so, how?

No! Claudia would change it, but I don’t!  It’s equal.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s aggression.  Either I get my head bashed in or someone has my teeth in his throat.  But I can’t be bothered to attack.  Claudia would love me to kill him, but I can’t be bothered.

What would happen next if the dream were to go on?

I am dead, Claudia brings me away from the street, and Claudia is very sad.

I would become a white Heron because I can stand passively and look at the water. If you can wait for half a day, I might say something.  I’m just standing here

Shall I continue to speak to Shadie or the Heron?

I have had enough of this blood!  I will be the heron!

(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)

Heron, you are in Claudia’s life experience, correct?  She created you, right?  Shadie, what aspect of Claudia do you represent or most closely personify?

It’s a part that can stand on one foot all day and look at the water and only move when it sees a fish~! I represent her equanimity.

Heron, how would you score yourself 0-10, in confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, peace of mind, and witnessing?  Why?

Confidence: 10 A fish always comes by!

Compassion: 10  5  for me, 5 for the fish!

Wisdom: 10  I know where the best fish are.

Acceptance:      Sure!

Inner Peace:  9 Also on one foot!

Witnessing:  8 I stay very calm and see everything.

Heron, if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different?  If so, how?

When I have a ten in compassion I become a vegetarian!  Or I will have to say a prayer before and after meals! In the other things, it doesn’t matter…

How would Claudia’s life be different if she naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time?

Her problem is that she has a compassion of ten!

Do you think it would be good if she had less compassion??

During the dramas, drink a tea!  She is suffering with so many things all the time!

Do you think that the suffering of others makes her become like Shadie?

No, she is suffering with Shadie.  It’s best for her to go to the sea and look at the water and not suffer with others.  If she was a ten in all things she wouldn’t look at dolphins and other things getting killed on the TV after days with already enough drama.

If you could live Claudia life for her, how would you live it differently?

I would meditate more on one foot and look on the water!  After half a day, change feet!

If you could live Claudia’s waking life for her today, would you handle her three life issues differently?  If so, how?

1. How can I eat more chocolate without becoming fat? I eat only fish and don’t get fat!  Ask a nutritional expert!

2. How can I smoke more without developing lung cancer? There is a man in a boat that always smokes who doesn’t feel well because he is always coughing.  I’m not the expert for this because I don’t smoke.  The Heron says, “STOP IT!”  How do you go about stopping? You start!   The inner pathologist can tell you about lungs and smoking…

What would help to stop it?


3. How can I become less critical sounding?  Not so pessimistic?

Are you critical, Heron?  Are you pessimistic?

Why should I be?

Is Claudia so critical?

No, she is self-critical. She criticizes herself for not saving enough lives and not doing enough to protect others from getting hurt or dying.  She suffers and is empathetic.

What three life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of her life?

1. To stand on one foot and look at the water – that’s all!

2. Not to forget to get on the other foot when the one becomes cold!

3. Always look in the water.  Always remember that I am here….

In what life situations would it be most beneficial for Claudia to imagine that she is you and act as you would?

Always at the right time. Whenever the drama is too much and her balance is threatened.

Heron, do you do drama?  If not, why not?

No!  Too boring!

I thought drama was exciting?

Oh yeah?

What is your secret for staying out of drama?

It’s always the same, isn’t it?  If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.  You look in the other direction!  Don’t place yourself in the middle of drama! No TV!  But she doesn’t need to follow all my advice.

Why do you think that you are in Claudia’s life?

To show her that there are other things in life besides drama.

How is Claudia most likely to ignore what you are saying to her?

By saying I’m just fantasy?

Aren’t you?

What’s reality?  Who knows?

What would you recommend that she do about that?

Realizing that SHE just might be fantasy!

Why would she want to do that?

To put things into proper relationship.

I think Claudia had this dream because

Because she only sees one side of reality and that’s suffering and death.

Why does she does that?

That’s what she’s learned.  You lose what you love.  What you love gets killed, gets run over, dies.

What do you think about what she’s learned, Heron?

That’s part of the truth.  The other part is life.  Being alive, standing on one foot, waiting for a fish.  You don’t know what I think and where I go in my mind when I’m standing here, gazing in the water.  Other people can’t stand on TWO legs, let alone one!

I think this dream event happened or (some character) was in the dream because…

To scare herself, to hurt herself.

Why would she want to do that?

Because that’s what she’s used to…

What have you heard yourself say?

To be in absolute balance is the most important thing.  There is a part inside of me that is very calm, in balance, and doesn’t get in drama.

If this experience were a wake-up call from the most central part of who you are, what do you think it would be saying to you?

Stand often on one foot!  Maintain balance!  Self-confidence.  Concentration.

“You have a part of yourself that can stand on one foot and it is good for maintaining your inner sense of balance in your life.  You have a part that can choose not to suffer but to be in balance.  There are always enough dramas in the world; it’s important to be in balance.”

It’s important to find a part of myself that can stand still, balance, and look into the water. Perhaps it is important to take this yoga position before the water!  It’s important to feel myself as a heron in my normal life when people are into drama.

What would be the subject for the next interview regarding this dream?

Nobody.  It’s only important to get out of the drama.  The best thing would be to get out while Claudia is dreaming….

What did you hear Heron say?

That he’s getting tired of being asked all these questions.  He wants to get back to the water!

Practically: Don’t waste much time with dreaming dreams of victimization.  Look for a way out of the drama!  The Shadie part of myself was bored by the same thing happening.  I’m victimizing myself in the dream, Shadie in the dream, my mother in the dream because she also dies, I victimize the man because I want to kill him.  I victimize the Dayo part of myself because he gets scared.  It’s almost like these other parts of oneself are bored by it all and only get into the drama because we want them to in our dreams…

Notice that Claudia is slowly waking up. She is seeing her life dramas of suffering and victimization as self-created repetitive boredom that persecutes the other parts of herself that have to show up to play these tired, melodramatic roles.  Ideally, she will learn to wake up in dreams, to realize what she is doing, and stop it.

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