Time travel

You can’t change the past.

But you can change how you feel about it. I discovered this almost by accident some years ago, during a meditation.

To be honest the meditation was one where I lost focus fell asleep and started dreaming. The dream was more of a nightmare as I let myself slip into a time of my life I really hate remembering.

My first year at university was the worst year of my life so far. Last year at work came a very close second but at least last year it was only in the professional area of my life that things were hard. My first year at university just about everything was bad.

I found myself in the dream looking down at my eighteen year old self as she sat crosslegged on her bed in the hall of residence, late at night, crying bitterly. Usually when I dream I am the dreamer. This time I was an observer, floating high above my younger self, detached and strangely compassionate. I wanted to communicate with myself and tell myself things would change and I would get through the whole silly mess I was in. I think I tried to touch myself and the figure on the bed looked up. The lights in the room were blazing. I had had a lot of trouble and had begun to be very scared of the dark, though don’t ask what I was scared of. That’s another story. I even slept with the lights on back then.

The weird thing is this was now a lucid dream. I was fully aware I was dreaming and yet, there was something incredibly real about the whole thing. I found I remembered that evening, remembered a comforting presence being in the room, though not being able to hear what was said.

The dream lost focus and I woke up.

I found that I felt totally different about that time; I felt that whether or not I did actually visit and comfort my old self, the comfort had come through. Time and the mind are very odd things.

I’ve done this in waking meditations now. It takes a fair bit of effort to stay focussed and having another person talk one through would surely be a help too.

“You can’t change the past but you can change how you feel about it”

……or perhaps you can change it, subtly.

Dark place, deep place, old place

Dark place, deep place, old place


I am in the dark place;

So dark I cannot see the walls,

Only the light that glimmers

Faintly round the edges of my hands.

Not enough to see by,

Only enough to remind me

That I still exist at all.

I hear distant voices,

Too far off to tell

Whether they mock me,

Encourage me, torment me

Or are simply oblivious

That I am here alone

In the dark place again.

It’s cold, but it always is here,

The steady unchanging chill

Of cellar or deep cave

Untouched by warmth of sun

Or the night-ice of frosts.

I am in the deep place,

So deep I cannot see the sky,

Only hear the birdsong

Far off in the distant world.

Not enough to climb towards,

Only enough to remind me

That the world exists at all.

My own voice rises,

Too indistinct for anyone to tell

Whether I am calling for help,

Or crying or simply singing,

Having forgotten the world out there

And have settled down to wait,

Here in the deep place alone.

It’s damp here, but it always is,

With the constant moisture

Of rivers and the moving spirit

Untouched by the need to conform,

To twist the soul to safe shapes.

I am in the old place,

So old I feel like a child again,

Only the heartbeat of earth

Distantly drumming in my ears,

Not enough to dominate,

Only enough to remind me

That I am not truly alone:

When I lie waiting to be reborn,

I lie surrounded by bright spirits

Whose home is here

In the dark place,

The deep place,

The old place

And who wait to guide me

Back to the healing light.

I have put this in today in response to an inspirational piece “Embracing the Shadow” over at Fibi’s blog  http://searchforwisdom.wordpress.com