A Day in a Life: Of Blue Jays, Dreams & Resolutions

What's the story Mr. Jay? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
What’s the story Mr. Jay?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Why are there so many blue jays in my yard? I ask this question because it’s true; the jays have taken over! I study them as they come to feed on the seeds I’ve put out. If I don’t get there early enough they knock impatiently on the window, suggesting that I hurry up and feed them! Their coloring is a combination of blue, gray, white and black. They have come to teach me something, I surmise.

Along with the usual New Year’s resolution to do more yoga and meditation, to eat healthier, to cut back on what I know is not good for me, I have set the intent to become a better dreamer, to train myself to be aware while I dream, and to discover what the shamans and Buddhists, and many others mean when they say that all worlds are one, whether we are awake or dreaming. I’ve had plenty of experiences of this concept, but I’m interested in going more deeply into the true meaning of reality while I’m asleep and my energy body is active. So far, I’ve had some pretty cool dreaming experiences, which I won’t go into here, but suffice it to say, my intent is working.

If I am to use my dreams to evolve beyond this reality, as is my underlying intent, I must learn how to remain fully aware as I dream. This is all in preparation for the time of my death when I intend to seamlessly pass through the bardos and achieve life beyond human form. At least that’s my intent. As far as I know, this is what we are all challenged with, to find a means of not having to reincarnate in human form more than we absolutely have to. If I can do this, I feel that I will have not only accomplished my own personal soul intent, but that I will free up space on earth for others to live more comfortably. We all know that the earth is overpopulated and overtaxed. I don’t really want to come back again, knowing that I could possibly have done more to free myself of this realm, and this realm of me! Now, back to the blue jays.

While they sit and scarf down the seeds I’ve put out, I study their coloring and the way their wings lie enfolded across their backs. When in repose, an intricate pattern appears, so beautiful that I am reminded of stained glass windows. As soon as they spread their wings and fly, solid bars of color appear and the intricate pattern disappears. Okay, this, I see, is what I am being shown, what I must learn something from.

Ted Andrews, in his book Animal Speak, says that the blue jay “has the ability to link the heavens and earth, to access each for greater power.” The jay represents both heaven and earth, the white of the heavens and the dark of the earth separated by the blue of the sky. The gray perhaps represents the veils that keep us from fully knowing and experiencing our full potential, to be both of the heavens and the earth, aware in dreaming and while awake. The colors also represent our light and dark sides, what we show about ourselves and what we keep hidden, to both ourselves and others. Andrews also notes that the jay is a little tricky in that it can be a bit of a dabbler. It shows us our potential, but if we are to gain mastery and fully utilize all that we are capable of we must grapple with this side of ourselves. I see how my New Year’s resolution, to train my dreaming intent could be a challenge if I don’t stick with it, but I have no intent of dabbling.

I notice that when in repose—in dreaming, as I see it—the blue jay’s colors are all present, though the pattern of them is quite different from when they are actively flying—going about in their everyday reality, as I see it. We all wear certain stripes and patterns. We are perceived and perceive of ourselves in a certain way. But in actuality, all that we are is present in us at any given moment. When we dream, I surmise, everything that we are in waking life is also present. Likewise, in waking reality, all that we are when we dream is present as well.

Will I remain aware when I enter the bardos? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Will I remain aware when I enter the bardos?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

It’s easy to assign to our dreaming selves some of our more challenging possibilities; the ability to fly or shape shift, to instantaneously be in one place or a thousand miles away. But, if we keep in mind that all that we are, all of our potential, is present in us at all times—like the colors of the blue jay—we might just be able to appreciate what our dreaming self is trying to teach us about the oneness of worlds, the fluidity of our energetic selves, and the fact that all realities, dreaming and awake, are equal and the same, just formatted a little differently. Whether we are in stained glass pattern or striped pattern, it doesn’t matter, we’re all composed of the same substance, and that is energy.

I watch the blue jays fly back and forth, feeding on the seeds and then flying into the trees or off to have an adventure in the world. They drop to the earth with ease; they fly to the heavens with ease. This is what we are challenged to do in our lives, to be fully energetically present in our daily lives, finding the means to realize our fullest potential at all times, all parts of us assimilated and in alignment with the fact that we too can fly. At night when we spread our wings, disrupting the usual patterns of who we are on a daily basis, we earn our energetic stripes as we fly through our dreams.

And so, if we can just remember that we are energetic beings all the time and not only while we dream, we are well on the way to achieving what the Buddhists call enlightenment, freedom from samsara, the suffering of being in human form. With intent, we can gain mastery to fly seamlessly, and with awareness, between heaven and earth, just like the blue jay!

Happy dreaming!

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