Dreaming in the New Year


My family enjoys making homemade gifts for friends and family. Just for fun we made eatkamloops.org labels for our gifts.

Back in December 2009, I wrote:
I dream about a world where my needs can be met without those needs costing someone else dearly. I dream about food that will nourish the body and community that will nourish the spirit. I dream about producing food for our families in a way that won?t cost ?the world”. I dream about a world where our children are surrounded by a caring loving community that thinks about our shared future.

How do we become more enlightened about our behaviors so we can live our dreams? How can we change our thinking so our actions will follow? Maybe we need to just ?buy into? a new vision. Of course, this vision isn?t new but very old. Maybe we need to learn how to tame our technology and harness our brilliance. All the answers are out there, we just have to apply them.

How are you dreaming in the new year?

Traditionally, these long nights have been for resting, watching for the signs, and planning the new year. Beyond the action of planning is the action of envisioning. Beyond envisioning is the act of creation.

Many powerful forces have been working on me these dark nights. I cannot say what these forces will bring in the new year, but 2012 looks to be a very special time.


Erika enjoying her Christmas morning. We are still trying to keep Christmas simple.

Here are my projects for this winter:
1. I am working through the ten week program as outlined in The Presence Process: A Journey into Present Moment Awareness by Michael Brown. I sit twice a day and just try to be present.
2. I am working through the Wilderness Awareness School’s Kamana courses. I have joined their 8 Shield Village Online Community which seems like an oxymoron to me, but who knows, maybe it will work. I have found a beautiful “sit spot” near my home in the industrial park. I am spending some nights in my tent getting used to cold Kamloops nights.
3. I am converting my synthetic clothing to natural products. I haven’t been cold since I found a pair of Danish army surplus wool pants. I am learning about weaving, felting and knitting. I am trying to learn the fiber making plants in my bioregion.
4. I am doing research. I am watching the signs which lead my research to sometimes strange and wondrous places. I have found a number of traditional patterns: trade cloth dress, capote, and moccasins. I am reading every book I can find about Tom Brown and trying out wilderness survival skills.
5. I have convinced the family to take three days off each week. We are going to spend the time up in Sunpeaks. I have never wanted to downhill ski but the hill is a great opportunity to get outside in high elevation. The exercise, fresh air, and time off is the salve my family needs at this time.

Lastly, I want to share what has moved me. Occasionally, I go the Birken in Kamloops events. This month Ajahn Sona spoke on making your life into an act of art. He talked about Joshua Bell playing in a Washington, DC subway and almost no one noticed. (I will link to the dhamma talk when it is available.) I loved his talk. I was moved to tears.

Lastly, I would like to share my sister Christine’s 2011 Solstice Greeting. Rest, watch for the signs, build an artful life and don’t worry if no one notices.

6 thoughts on “Dreaming in the New Year

  1. When dreaming leads to learning it’s a good thing. I thrive on learning, so there are many dreams in my new year. When the dust settles from Christmas I will take some time to put those down on paper, which makes it more likely they will happen. Writing a few articles for eatkamloops is high up there – notes have been made; it’s coming together slowly. Here is a course I plan to have my teen start soon. I’m hoping to glean from him:

    Have a relaxing Christmas celebration with your family.

  2. Hi Maureen,

    I had a chance to see Daniel Vitalis in person this summer when I was at Rootstalk, a herbal conference, in Oregon. Everyone was very busy selling their supplements so our conversation was very short.

    I don’t relate very well to people that are almost rubbing their hands with glee about a “time of rioting and collapse.” Anyone who has any imagination knows war, famine and plague or terrible human and environmental tragedies, not adventure. I hope these guys are not like that and I will look forward to your summary of their work. Here are some of my thoughts about being prepared for what may come:
    1. We all should prepare for short-term periods of scarcity. Fire, flood and storms can happen and a family needs a portable “go box” full of appropriate supplies. It should be always packed and ready to go in case we have to leave our homes suddenly.
    2. It would be great if everyone had a store of food in their homes. Some religious groups like the Mormons and Amish require their community to have six months to a year of food stored in case of disaster. All of us could learn from these traditional communities that will survival a crisis extremely well. The web of community support is incredibly important during a crisis.
    3. If a family is interested, having skills for living off the land is a good idea. During the good times, families need to practice survival camping, hunting, fishing, and gathering local plants. Or a family can learn how to farm and garden and develop a forest garden. Here are some really good videos on basic survival skills. These skills aren’t any good unless someone practices the skills on a regular basis:
    4. A very importance part of dealing with crisis is how someone thinks about the situation. Fear, shock and panic are the real killers in crisis. Be prepared, have skills, and work from the strength of supportive community.
    5. Maybe a year ago I found a very useful website called http://www.postpeakliving.com. They have a really great series of free videos. I caution people that look at this site to not be possessed by fear:

    Our society is facing some serious problems but my research has shown me all the answers are already out there. We just have to apply them to our personal lives and convince the government to change policies that make it difficult for people to take action.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  3. Here is a link to a video about the strength the individual finds in supportive community:

    I loved the story about what the Bushman call the “ropes”. Watching Mark Morey’s body language explains the importance of “ropes” in our own lives and in our relationships. I have been wondering how my “clan” will rise again. This video has given me the answer.

  4. The winter solstice video was just lovely! Pictures of your family around the table reminded me of the visit earlier this year. We wish you the health and inspiration to keep your momentum going towards dreams and goals in the new year. Hugs to your lovely girls and best wishes to you all. Sui

  5. Hi Sui,
    My family very much enjoyed your visit. You and your family are welcome anytime. In the “comment” section of this posting is a link to a video I watched this week. The video is long, but talks about how our communities will rise again out of the ashes of consumerism society.
    Blessing on your coming year. My your dreams come true!
    Cheers, Caroline

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