Don Miguel Ruiz, best-selling author of The Four Agreements, is a nagual of the Eagle Knight lineage who has passed his knowledge on to his son, Don José Luis. Here, Don José Luis speaks about the three basic skills — awareness, stalking, and intent — that a warrior develops in order to transcend the realm of the ordinary, and their esoteric application to dreaming.
Julia: What is the difference between Toltec dreaming and some of the Western teachings regarding lucid dreaming?
Don José: Dreaming is a big Being, and we are married to Dreaming. All of life is a dream. We are a walking mirror.
God is a mirror — everything we think, feel, or believe is reflected back to us through this great mirror that is life. The world is a mirror that reflects back to us all that we believe. The world does not create what we are experiencing. We do that.
We create our beliefs, and the mirror of God reflects them back to us. God can send us only love and beauty. We create the distortions in this mirror of our life that is so short — and so beautiful.
There is an exercise I like to use with mirror work:
Put a candle in front of a mirror and look at yourself in the mirror. Look at the image as though it is a person you have never seen, and think about this person. It is the only person who is completely loyal to you and who totally loves you. When you think about your image in this way, it will help you to pull out of the lies and move into love.
Julia: A shaman uses stalking in dreaming to find the weaknesses in his consciousness. How is the art of stalking used in Toltec dreaming?
Don José: Stalking is used in dreaming to find the mental and emotional images that prevent us from being free. When we dream, we must learn to discover in our dreams the forms or energies that limit us. They may repeatedly take the same form, or they may take different forms. They may appear in many different dreams, or just one dream that reoccurs.
We must dream with the purpose of stalking, to try to stalk who is within ourselves and see what our beliefs are. We primarily stalk two things in dreaming: thinking (what is in the head) and heartbreak.
By heartbreak, I mean the incredible pain we feel from the terrible things that have happened to us. When we feel the pain of heartbreak, we close off parts of ourselves. In some way, we stop living. If the same situation comes up again, we say, “Oh, no, I won’t let myself be hurt again!”
But this is no way to live.
Life is so short and so incredibly beautiful. It is such a gift. You must forgive yourself for experiencing heartbreak. You must love the heartbreak in your life, because it is part of living. Most importantly, you must create a better dream.
We also stalk to find the thoughts that keep us chained in “reality.” These thoughts that we think so many times limit us. If we can identify these limiting thoughts, we can pull the energy back from their mental patterns and create anew.
It is so important to take back these lost energies and share with the world the gifts given to us from the angels and God. Heartbreak and limiting thoughts are like a cage. They keep us caged, imprisoned, in the three-dimensional world. The cage is created from the fear of being the Self, of being authentic.
Lies and fears about our Self are the forces that keep us in the cage—and they are not real. We must reclaim the key to our cage by pulling the energy back from our thoughts and our heartbreak. In this way, we become free.
Stalking in dreaming can be compared to opening gates. If a state of mind or heartbreak has been identified in dreaming, then we find the opening point of the wound, or the judgment, and we go in our memory to the point just before it occurred. When we remember the time before the memory occurred, we find a closing point for the wound — and then we go a little further back in time, so we can avoid returning to the wound.
Now we can see an entirely different world, or movie. We have created a better dream. It is possible to use this technique to open a gate and see a different view.
Julia: Can you explain a little more about using stalking to create a better dream?
Don José: Again, until we are free, heartbreak and thinking will always appear in our dreams. This is because life is nothing but a reflection of ourselves and our memories.
One way of using stalking with heartbreak is to relive all the heartbreak in your life. Take one incident at a time and imagine that you are pulling all of the energy out of that terrible experience. Imagine it over and over until you can feel nothing when you watch images in your mind.
Then take the experience and “dream” a whole different reality. See your life moving in a different direction, a wonderful dream, with a happy experience in place of the heartbreak.
See the way that you want to live, as opposed to how you have been living. It is possible to do this with all of your life.
For example, let’s say there is a teenage girl who has a beautiful voice. She goes about singing with this exquisite voice, and the birds answer her. Everyone pauses to hear her. Then one day her mother tells her, “Stop singing. You have an ugly voice.”The girl stops singing, and the world is deprived of the beauty of her gift.
She could imagine, in place of her heartbreak, that the experience with her mother never occurred — or that she told her mother that she was wrong. Then she must see herself singing during those lost years, and in the present and the future.
It is so ironic. We listen the most to the ones we think love us the most, and so often they do not know us at all. These people that we think love us don’t even know themselves, so they cannot possibly know us. And yet we lose our gifts and powers to these people.
An exercise I use with group dreaming is called “Mirror Mitote.” You imagine that the voices in your mind are like the sounds in a supermarket, where we can hear other people talking very loudly and we have trouble focusing.
The mind reflects this kind of environment. We hear the voices and opinions of others when we don’t believe in ourselves. The voices become very loud. We have to learn to look at our beauty, and see the opinions as lies.
Julia: I remember reading about recapitulation in Castaneda’s books. How does that relate to dreaming?
Don José: Recapitulation is more like daydreaming. We use recapitulation during our waking hours to review our limitations, our fears and heartbreak. We review experiences that keep us in limitation until those experiences become like a ghost town, until visiting them is like going to a village that used to be alive and is now gray and old with no one in it.
Before recapitulation, the memory may have been vivid — you could hear all the characters speak, and you reacted to them. But now the memory, or the town, is empty. There is no emotional or mental response. You have recaptured all energy from that moment, from that time in your life. It doesn’t have the same flavor or taste. It is flat.
Detachment is a principle point to achieve. Whenever we are living in our opinions, we are in judgment of our Self or other people. We are seeing only our own expectations or limitations. Doubt is also a lie that inhibits intent.
Even our names are a lie. Have you ever thought of that? All of our lies, opinions, and judgments keep us caged inside the body. All limitations come from fear. We must detach from our fears.
When we achieve detachment, we pull the energy out of the lies in our lives, and it goes back into the assemblage point.
Julia: What is the assemblage point? How does it affect dreaming?
Don José: The assemblage point is our point of focus. It is one of the keys to dreaming. It is exactly like a television with many channels. You can choose any channel, and anything might be on that channel — wrestling, a sad love story, the news… Our assemblage point is like a vortex of perception, an altar that opens us to experience. We can expand or reduce that perception.
Everyone thinks of something as they fall asleep. I do not care what people say — everyone thinks of some incident, person, or place. And as they fix their minds, they are focusing their assemblage point. People do this in real life when they go into a theater to watch a sad movie. What happens when they come out? They are sad or crying. Why? The emotional state changes because they have shifted their assemblage point to experience sadness.
When we can pull all of the energies of our life back into the assemblage point, we begin to become free.
We can focus the assemblage point on any channel. But we are accustomed to focusing on the channels we have learned through our life’s memories and the channels that are familiar to the mass consciousness.
We have to learn to change our perceptions from our reason, which is composed of our objective thoughts, to our Will. When we will the dream, our personal power changes from the mental construct to spiritual perception. When we are free from the cage of the mind, our energy increases dramatically, and we can discover our true identity.
It takes faith, strength, and tenacity to learn to change the focus of the assemblage point through intent. It also takes patience. Intent is faith — it is believing in our magic more than we believe what we think we see in the mirror called life.
The Buddha turned arrows into flowers. He understood the dream. Intent is a silent knowing that we are the creator of the dream.
A true master knows that anything is possible. He no longer doubts. And everyone can be a master. Everyone can create an incredible life through the magical part of the Self, and dreaming is a vehicle to do so.
Julia: When we begin to dream with intent, how does this change our lives?
Don José: We become free of expectation and limitation. We are no longer bothered by the opinions of the mass consciousness. Our desire or intent for freedom becomes so strong that we dream it and live it.
When heartbreak occurs, we begin to see that it is illusion. We are able to say, “That was a good one, that illusion almost tricked me. But I won’t fall for it.”
We realize that all of the “bad” things that have happened in our lives are just that — stories that we tell to ourselves and to whomever will listen. We stop letting our stories hurt us. We learn to take the energy back from the story and end it in a different way.
You see, we are always doing one of two things: We are either creating, or we are living lies. When we are creating, we start to have faith, love, and gratitude. We say “thank you” to the Earth and God for everything.
We learn to speak in the true language of feelings or emotions, rather than opinions and words. We begin to create our dream through the good feelings and happy thoughts that we have. This leads us to God. Through the clear channel of the Self that is created, many miracles happen, like the flowers that the Buddha created. This makes us fall in love with living.
Love of life is contagious. When we are not affected by illusions, we can create, and we can help other people find love in living.
A good analogy is to look at both dreams and life as a vacation or a movie. It is best to plan our vacation, to drive the correct vehicle, to make reservations, to choose the right geography. Or we can make a great movie if we plan or create it. If we don’t create or plan, then obstacles occur. The obstacles could be compared to the illusions of the mind. But if we have created carefully, we make the most beautiful movie imaginable.
This is how it is to live on Earth. We can travel blindly through the obstacles of our thoughts and emotions, or we can gather back the energy and create the dream. It is a catwalk between illusion and creating, but we must do our best to enjoy the gift of living. When we are capable of creating the dream, all of living becomes a Paradise on Earth.
It is all about spirituality and love. The angels are taking over the planet, little by little. We are all angels, and we have forgotten. We must let the flow of life within us live. We must remember that all of life is a dream, a movie — we can choose to watch a beautiful movie.
It is all beautiful if we can only remember.
Julia Griffin, intuitive healer and owner of One True Self, began her work fifteen years ago under the tutelage of real wolves. Following their direction, Julia sees and reads energy, including animals, plants, and people. She works with people in session to find their resonance with the soul, clearing patterns and creating alignment with their inner path.