Natural Dreamwork with Mary Jo

the staying power…

Our dreams bring lovely, connected and supported moments. They also bring material that can be difficult to be with. We don’t want to feel it in waking life and we don’t want to feel it in our dreams. 
Having a meditation practice has helped me be with these difficult moments…to feel the feeling…take a breath and stay a bit longer, letting the feeling move through me…all of me. That’s what it wants…that’s what the dream needs for its medicine to work.

About the same time I began training in meditation in the 70’s, I also read a book that helped me learn to stay with these feelings, not react, learn what it is they have to reveal…and then see changes in myself, reflected in both my inner and outer world. It was a novel, Hanta Yo, about the Lakota Sioux.  A young boy, Ahbleza, had shamanic tendencies, one of which his teacher recognized as the ‘staying power.’  
That became a teaching for me.  
to stay with whatever arises…
to take one more breath into it…and perhaps another…
the staying power…
until it teaches me what it wants to teach me.
In so many situations, difficult situations, I always ask myself this question…“Do I have the staying power?”  Working with my dreams, trusting them, their personal mapping for me, open to what they reveal, the still small voice inside asks me this question in any moment…Do I have the staying power?
Is this what the about-to-be Buddha, taking the one seat under the bodhi tree for 49 days was doing…staying…under the onslaught of Mara…staying…touching his finger to the ground…calling the earth to bear witness…staying…and he awakened? 

Is this what Jesus was doing for 40 days in the desert…fasting…staying…tempted…. staying...tempted yet again…staying…and he awakened?
Is this what they and other teachers model, what meditation trains me in…the staying power?  As my breath rises and falls…I stay.  As my thoughts rise and dissolve…I stay.  As my feelings arise…delicious, painful, loving, fearful, aching…I stay.
Perhaps staying is a verb of awakening…my willingness to stay with whatever arises.

Mary Jo Heyen is a Natural Dreamwork Practitioner working with clients throughout the country and abroad in person, phone or Skype. Learn more about her work with dreams at or 

4 thoughts on “the staying power…”

  1. Thank you, Mary Jo—this is so moving and powerfully expressed! I referred to your work in a spiritual direction session with a client and suggested that she look at your website and blog, particularly this article. You have so much wisdom to offer.

  2. Thank you Kirsten…I think we both write from our depths and that is not always easy. I am touched that you spoke of me to a client and I hope if they visit my site they find support…in addition to the wonderful work I'm sure that you are doing with them.

  3. Are you familiar with the work of Ezra Bayda? He’s a Buddhist teacher—and this quote from him reminds me of your description of “staying power”:“Put simply, the solution is never about fixing, but rather about staying—especially staying with the fear of helplessness and the loss of control.”

  4. Hi Kirsten – I don't know the work of Ezra Bayda…but I sure want to learn more about him. This quote speaks so much to what we ask of ourselves and our clients…can we stay in the fear, loss of control…and take just one more breath there… As always, thank you!!

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