(The Secret of the Plumed Serpent by Armando Torres)
I remember spending years in a kind of lethargy, not knowing what was really happening to me. At one point I came to believe I was suffering from amnesia or some other memory problem, whilst on another level of awareness I knew very well what was going on. What helped me not lose the plot was the trust I had in doña Silvia, and the powerful feeling that I was finally involved in something extraordinary.
During my first attempts at dreaming, I would invariably let myself be pulled in by torrents of visions that appeared like a whirlwind before me. It was like sinking into a film projection, and from that one into another one, and another, and on and on until I woke up. Following doña Silvia’s instructions, however, I learned to keep my awareness fixed for longer periods before being pulled into the next dream.
To galvanize my attention, she suggested that I watch the flame of a candle every night without distraction. She said I should increase the length of the exercise, keeping my gaze on the flame from the moment it was lit until it was extinguished.
With her help, and the help of the other healers, I prepared a net to catch my dreaming: following their advice, I drew upon everything I could to reach my goal. I wore my nightcap and my dreaming band. I made a belt to hold pebbles in place on my umbilical region. To help me with the task, I placed a multitude of amulets strategically by the head of my bed.
As a very special dreaming aid, I made a sheepskin sleeping bag with the fur inside, and dedicated it exclusively to my dreaming practice. During one period, I spent all the time I could inside it. With actions like these, one becomes available to the intent of entering the other world.
Doña Silvia also taught me that the body position one adopted before entering dreaming was very important. She said that in the beginning it was preferable to make the attempt from sitting position, and only after achieving a certain degree of control could one start from any position, even lying down. She said:
“An experienced sorcerer can enter dreaming while awake, starting straight from his daily awareness, and that is how one creates a double.”
I asked her how that was done. She replied:
“When you close your eyes, beyond the images projected by your brain you can see a point of light that is sometimes very clear and sometimes isn’t. If one can place one’s attention on this point, one can perceive the world of dreaming even when awake.”
“With experience, it is possible to enter that other world without having to go through the transition phase of going to bed and falling asleep. That is the rudiment of the technique used by sorcerers to enter dreaming while awake.”
To help me get into dreaming, doña Silvia also made me align my bed with my personal direction. She said we all had a beneficial cardinal direction that kept us in good form. I arranged my bedroll so that it was facing my good direction.
On another occasion she said:
“If we wish, we can recall our ordinary dreams. Children usually don’t have a problem doing that. Remembering dreams is the first real step towards deliberate control of dreaming. That is why one must pay close attention to any recurring dreams one might have.”
I also remember my horror when doña Silvia said I should deliberately seek my nightmares. Luckily she first helped me understand and accept the reasons for my bad dreams until one fine day I found that I was simply no longer afraid of my night visions. Instead, when they occurred, I would watch them without emotion, feeling only a strange sensation that I was forgetting something important I ought to be doing.