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I am in the garden reading a book that I have saved for this vacation — Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature by Janine Benyus.

Biomimicry is about observing nature’s strategies to come up with advanced solutions for human challenges such as food spoilage and shortages, harmful chemicals, and water scarcity.

Immediately as I read the opening quote from Václav Havel, I sense synchronicity: here I am in the Czech Republic. And here is the quote:

We must draw our standards from the natural world. We must honor with the humility of the wise the bounds of that natural world and the mystery which lies beyond them, admitting that there is something in the order of being which evidently exceeds all our competence.

Václav Havel

There is a soft murmuring of water from a fountain behind me and a rippling pool in front, as the swimmers float gently from side to side. I settle deeper into the lounge, adjust the sand-colored shade above the chair and continue reading.

A honeybee lands on the top edge of the book with stubbly legs and an unmistakable aura of purpose. He is so close to me yet focused on the book and he seems to not even see me. I hold the book still, my gaze moving from the words on the page to the movement of the bee above it. He heaves into the pages then rises up with a pregnant pause. Curious. And this repeats, again and again. I have a fantasy that perhaps the previous owner of this second-hand book imbued it with some invisible sweetness. He comes to his senses and takes off into a vertical flight path. I follow him with my gaze until his black and gold body evanesces from my field of vision. I continue reading until I reach this point:

“The changes we make now, no matter how incremental they seem, may be the nucleus for this new reality. When we emerge from the fog, my hope is that we’ll have turned this juggernaut around, and instead of fleeing the Earth, we’ll be homeward bound, letting nature lead us to our landing, as the orchid leads the bee.”


Marienbad is a renowned Bohemian spa town, known as Mariánské Lázne in Czech. Situated in a geological basin, the marshy valley’s curative mineral springs have been a draw for centuries. And not just a few springs — we’re talking about 140 mineral springs in the town and the surrounding area. In the 1780s a humble spa house with four baths beside the “Maria Spring” gave the town its name. Marienbad’s reputation grew steadily, and the town gained its official public bath status in 1818.

You may have heard of the town from the French film directed by Alain Resnais, L’Année dernière à Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad), which won the 1961 Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival. The film wallows in ambiguities and repetitions which will render you either a) studious and somnambulant or b) bewildered throughout the entire 4-hour film that they insist is only 94 minutes.

Did the man and woman meet last year or not? And was it Marienbad — or not? It may have been, it’s not certain. But the film itself was made in palaces and lodges in and around Munich, not in Marienbad. Nonetheless, the town offers itself up to such a dreamy composition and juxtapositions — reflecting the highly civilized Bohemian spa town of the Belle Époque with all of its intellectual and cultural influences — and the primeval, mud-oozing, rough and gorgeous forest-dwellings of hunter-gatherers.

My mind wanders to the heyday of the spa town, in the 1870s. I imagine an elderly woman out for her daily walk…

The Baroness Ulrike von Levetzow then sits down with an English friend for a cup of tea. Her friend talks about having spent the early summer in the “colonies”, by which she actually means New England, in the United States. She discovered a book there by a “transcendentalist”, Thoreau. “THO-ro” she pronounces it. The book is Walden – or Life in the Woods, a beautifully-written work inspired by his experiment living simply in nature. “You know, his marriage proposal was rejected by a lady. Had she not declined his proposal, he may never have ventured to live in nature alone and to write about it. "You had a similar experience, didn’t you, Ulli?” The baroness’s focus softens as she goes inward. She remembers walking in town with her mother and sister in the 1820s, and being introduced to an elderly gentleman. She was only 17 when they met in Marienbad. He asked for her hand in marriage two years later. At that time, he was about the age that she is now, 73. She glances at the back of her hand. It had seemed inappropriate to her then and she was relieved that her parents had felt the same way, despite how illustrious her suitor had been...

Mir ist das All, ich bin mir selbst verloren,
Der ich noch erst den Göttern Liebling war;
Sie prüften mich, verliehen mir Pandoren,
So reich an Gütern, reicher an Gefahr;
Sie drängten mich zum gabeseligen Munde,
Sie trennen mich, und richten mich zugrunde.

(To me is all, I to myself am lost,
Who the immortals’ fav’rite erst was thought;
They, tempting, sent Pandoras to my cost,
So rich in wealth, with danger far more fraught;
They urged me to those lips, with rapture crown’d,
Deserted me, and hurl’d me to the ground.)


The baroness walks back to her hotel, reflecting on these lines from the Marienbad Elegy – poetry inspired by her refusal to marry Herr Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Goethe never returned to Bohemia, but she encounters his spirit every season she is in Marienbad. She arrives at the Tuscan villa style Hotel Casino -- designed by Viennese architect Emil von Förster -- rebuilt after a fire, true to its original design. A phoenix of sorts. A grand dame of the Bohemian spa town...

To a Marsh Hawk in Spring

There is health in thy gray wing, 

Health of nature’s furnishing. 

Say, thou modern-winged antique, 

Was thy mistress ever sick? 

In each heaving of thy wing 

Thou dost health and leisure bring, 

Thou dost waive disease and pain 

And resume new life again. 


It was originally called the Hotel Casino. Later it became the Grand Spa Hotel and is now also known as the Falkensteiner Spa Resort-Marienbad, after the Austrian consortium that restored the building and added new structures.

The hotel has its own mineral water source, the Alexandra Spring. If you are new to drinking mineral waters at a spa town, or even if you have experience elsewhere but Marienbad is new for you – it is important to consult with a doctor to make sure that you are drinking from the correct springs for your constitution and the right amount. At hotels or in shops around town you can purchase a specially-designed cup with a spout that invites sipping.

It is also possible to bathe in the Alexandra Spring water in the spa, which is said to promote relaxation, lower blood pressure, and improve blood circulation. The moor mud bath, fango bath with essential oils, fango pack with colloidal silver and dry CO2 bath are other specialties.

I combined the following treatments to superb effect: the Alexandra spring water bath, partial fango pack (heated pad with mud peloid), and then a massage. Another powerful combination: the moor mud bath and a yin yoga class. The relaxation goes deep into regeneration.

The spectrum of curative sources in Marienbad is also compelling. Some of the conditions that are treated are cardiovascular diseases, problems with limbs, digestion, and metabolism, and respiratory difficulties.

One of our favorite places in the hotel is the spacious library. We ensconce ourselves at tea time and after dinner with our spaniel. I find myself thinking about the visual symbols in this Bohemian spa town. Marsh, wetlands, peat, and salt. Ore and stone. Forest and wood. Basin, fountain, and water…

Elements and materials that we must use wisely and take care of, and — in order to do that — think well of.❂


Benyus, Janine. Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. HarperCollins, 1997.

L’Année dernière à Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad). Directed by Alain Resnais from a screenplay by Alain Robbe-Grillet, 1961.

Feature photo by Kat Smith

The writer does not work for, consult, own shares in, or receive funding from any company or organization mentioned in this article.

The information, materials, and content in this post and on this website are for general educational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or to serve as a substitute for professional medical consultations, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare practitioners before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness routine or other health and wellness program

Three Books and an Emerging, Ancient Field

“It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Three Books and an Emerging, Ancient Field

In light of recent developments in artificial intelligence — acknowledging that computer programs can now create art, music, and literature — it is comforting and invigorating to center ourselves in the essence of our humanity, which reaches far deeper than the creation of things...

Book 1

Biophilia is the work of evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson, published in 1984, in which he posited “that our natural affinity for life—biophilia—is the very essence of our humanity and binds us to all other living species.”(1)

Book 2 

Building on the biophilia hypothesis, social ecology professor Stephen Kellert wrote Building for Life: Designing and Understanding the Human-Nature Connection among other works, and “pioneered the concept of biophilic design, an emerging field that promotes improved health and wellbeing by creating connections between people and nature in the built environment.”(2)

Book 3 

In Creating Biophilic Buildings, author Amanda Sturgeon presents case studies of buildings designed recently with biophilic elements and attributes. But, as Sturgeon reminds us, “it is not a new practice.” (3)

While some may describe biophilic design as an emerging field in the 21st century, biophilic principles have been utilized for millennia. In a sense, we are emerging now from the dark ages of built environments into a renaissance through biophilic design, which both requires and delivers verve and vitality. It is a virtuous cycle, which turns as most do: on life-affirming choices, habits, coherency, generosity. 

Kellert’s framework of “Biophilic Design Elements and Attributes” referenced by Sturgeon, is a coherent, generous list from which we can make choices and set healthier patterns and programs in motion. There are many polished pieces, ready to set into place, but let us remember that there are also treasures to be (re)discovered. With that thought in mind, one case study that resonates strongly in Creating Biophilic Buildings is the David & Lucile Packard Foundation office in northern California – as it expresses one of the “lesser known” design elements and attributes: age, change, and the patina of time.

Age, Change, and the Patina of Time (Natural Patterns + Processes)

Natural materials used for the building include stone, copper, glass, and wood (specifically, Western red cedar and Douglas-fir from Oregon), and, as Sturgeon spells it out, “the building exterior, too, will mark the passage of time, as the copper develops a pleasing patina and the Western red cedar siding weathers.” 

This description along with the visuals provided brings up vividly: the atmosphere of the Pacific Northwest forests, being barefoot outdoors, the first time I heard the term patina (when getting married, in reference to how wedding rings change subtly over the years, faithfully etched with subtle impressions from an individual’s life), and thoughts about who may reflect on the patina of objects and built environments — imbued with love and respect — hundreds of years from now. 

So shall we make space for the patina of time to inspire the places we make.

With biophilic design, we align to affect the quality of the built environment, and the quality of the day.❀


(1) Harvard University Press | Wilson, E.O. Biophilia, Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press, 1984

(2) Remembering Stephen Kellert

(3) Sturgeon, Amanda. Creating Biophilic Buildings, Seattle, WA.: Ecotone Publishing, 2017

Feature photo by Jacob Colvin

Biome sweet biome

Where do you live? 

If you were asked this question while away from home, you probably would mention your city or state. If abroad, you would likely mention your nationality or the country in which you live. If you encounter someone from your own city or town, you might talk about your neighborhood, your Kiez or quartier — maybe even your street or building.

Where do you really live?

Something has been missing from the framework: a piece that references and connects us with nature. Your biome. If you do not know about your biome, you are not alone. We could all improve our ecoliteracy (i.e., the “knowledge of the environment necessary for informed decision-making”).

A biome is “a community of plants and animals living together in a certain kind of climate”, also known as a bioclimatic landscape. Do you share yours with water buffalo, i’iwi, monkey beetles, snow leopards, bridled nail-tail wallabies, Atlantic puffins, monarch butterflies, oriental sweetgum or pine oaks?

There are countless ways we can play a role in protecting our environments; instead of allowing grim dystopian narratives to enforce a sort of psychic paralysis vis-à-vis daunting global environmental challenges — we can get our ecoliteracy up to speed, and choose to perceive differently and act locally.

Knowing the details about our biomes and ecosystems allows us to envision specific conservation goals – in the context of our communities, moving past the disheartening discord of climate crisis news reports — moving into local, immediate, and sustainable engagement.

What’s your biome?

What are current threats to your region’s habitats? What are priority conservation actions where you live? These are essential for getting aligned correctly as individuals and making better decisions.

People and societies must change behaviorally in leaps and bounds in response to complex climate crises, but we require mentality-shifting frameworks and habits in order to do so.

Perhaps now we can imagine ourselves in a new light as we access new layers of meaning in our biomes. As professor and author Karen Bakker recently noted in The Guardian: “with the help of artificial intelligence (AI), researchers are now decoding complex communication in other species.”

In the article, Bakker cites various research, sharing revelations that “bats remember favors and hold grudges, mother bats babble to their babies in ‘motherese’ in a manner similar to humans, flowers flood themselves with nectar in response to the buzz of bees, and sea turtles make more than 200 distinct sounds, [such as the sounds they make] while still in their eggs, before they hatch, to coordinate the moment of their birth.”

Imagine really understanding, and even communicating with the plants and animals in your biome. Sounds like the birth of new communities. Stay tuned.❂


Bakker, K. (2022) The Sounds of Life: How Digital Technology is Bringing Us Closer to the Worlds of Animals and Plants. Princeton University Press

Ecoregions 2017 © Resolve – Find out about your biome and ecoregion and explore further.

McBride, B. B., C. A. Brewer, A. R. Berkowitz, and W. T. Borrie. 2013. Environmental literacy, ecological literacy, ecoliteracy: What do we mean and how did we get here? Ecosphere 4(5):67.

One Earth – Bioregions 2020 navigator

Feature photo by Skyler Ewing

Sustainable. But have you ever been to Baden-Württemberg?

What makes a building a green building?

Green buildings are designed with sustainability goals and fulfill specific criteria in their construction, maintenance, and life cycle — designated by certifications such as LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) from the U.S. Green Building Council or the DGNB System (Deutsches Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen) from the German Sustainable Building Council.

For those looking for entry points and a general understanding of how a building is actually a sustainable building though, it helps to consider models and look at details. 

“The most sustainable building in the world”

Earning a platinum certificate with the highest DGNB certification score achieved thus far, the building known as the Eisbärhaus (Polar Bear House) in Baden-Württemberg, Germany proffers many mindful details. These include: building material choices, such as using recycled concrete in the reinforced concrete-wood hybrid structure; energy efficiency solutions, such as a battery storage system for storing the electricity generated by a photovoltaic system — to use when needed; and a software system, which controls various features in response to current local weather conditions — and records consumption data to allow for improved efficiency over time.

It is a project that is meant to show what is possible, inform and inspire. Is it “the most sustainable building in the world” as has been claimed? It may be — and that also may be another example of clever marketing. Let’s hope this one sticks, too, and gets around the world.

Nett hier. Aber waren Sie schon mal in Baden-Württemberg?

Feature photo by Robert Anthony Carbone

Timeless in Tuscany

It’s 3 o’clock on a Saturday. Saturn-Day, as in Saturn, the great teacher. We’ve arrived. The grandfather clock behind the reception desk stands still, frozen at some previous, unspecified 4 o’clock. Looking closely, I make out the phrase on its face: tempus fugit.

“Sed fugit interea,
fugit inreparabile tempus,
singular dum capti
circumvectamur amore” 

Virgil, Georgics

“Fugit inreparabile tempus” (It escapes, irretrievable time), wrote the poet Virgil — later expressed in English as: time flies.

While time may fly, it can also stop for a spell. Also not flying on this day: our luggage — left behind by the airline along the way. We check in and then go to the center of this piccolo villaggio, hoping for a shop with swimwear.

Aha, a shop: Fata Morgana. This is the Italian name of the Fairy Morgana, the sorceress Morgan le Fay in Arthurian legend.

Fata Morgana is also the name of a mirage of sorts, visible above the horizon, once believed to be fairy castles conjured up by witchcraft. Now known as an “optical phenomenon.” They are sometimes seen in the Strait of Messina — these fairy castles/mirages/optical phenomena. This shop, however, is convincingly sensate. I touch the stone of the building as we take the few steps down into a cool interior, and immediately draw to us swim trunks and a bathing suit that we like, that fit. While I realize that may sound like a fairy tale — it is reassuringly real. The owner is an artist, creator of the colorful jewelry on display in her shop. And on a counter, I see a pair of earrings she has engraved with these words:

“Art has no time”.

This catches my attention. I was just thinking that we are not living in a time, anywhere. We are going through a transition — and in a transition — there is no “time”, at least not as we have known it. 

No–it is n art. Transition.

An art? In art? Yes. One’s choice.

The center of Bagno Vignoni is a pool with hot springs from a volcanic source. In the rectangular pool, 49 by 24 meters (161 by 79 feet), the water bubbles and ripples – embraced by its wall and surrounded by golden-tan and cream-colored travertine stone buildings. Strolling around the piazza, in the path between the pool and the buildings feels like walking in between gentle, lovely parents, secure in your place in the world. In addition to dwellings, the piazza features a few shops, restaurants, cafés; an inn and spa. Some steps further and we are in another shop, greeted by its sprightly owner. In this shop, Maledetti Toscani, I find a shirt with flying dragons, made from Tencel and algae. Tempus fugit.

The name of the shop is also the title of a book by the 20th century journalist and novelist Curzio Malaparte — born Kurt Erich Suckert to a German father and an Italian mother. Maledetti Toscani (Damned Tuscans).

This reminds me, it’s good to be at least somewhat prepared for the Tuscan tone and wit before one’s arrival, lest the irony fly over your head, along with the time and the dragons…

There are other garments in the shop printed with excerpts from Dante’s Divine Comedy, but only from Inferno. What is it about hell that captures the human imagination so?

Interviewed in This Jungian Life podcast episode, “Time and Truth about Its Use”, the author Oliver Burkeman referred to a headline in a Catholic magazine, “Heaven: will it be boring?” 

It seems as if the tension, tragedy, conflict, and drama in the circles of hell continue to hold human attention — and along with that, comes the learned helplessness that locks people in hell or keeps them in loops of purgatory.

Burkeman also cited the work of Cathleen Kaveny, professor of law and theology – who wrote about the deep unhappiness and alienation of lawyers – linking this to the commodification of their time. It is the billable hour, according to professor Kaveny: “which ultimately reduces the value of time to money, [and] is deeply inimical to human flourishing.” As lawyers “internalize this commodified account of their time, they may find themselves increasingly alienated from events in their lives that draw upon a different and non-commodified understanding of time”. 

While Kaveny wrote about the legal profession, Burkeman and others have recently underscored the broader relevance: “The billable hour is a trap more and more of us are falling into” (Tim Harford, Financial Times, 29 April 2022).

As the Jungian analyst Deborah Stewart so aptly describes it:

“I’m thinking about this from the point of view of ego, versus something else — the something else that allows us to drop down and drop into a kind of timeless space – and find that sort of still point of the turning world versus our so-called rational and cognitive capacities that deceive us into thinking that doing things and pleasing people and getting through our to-do lists — that that’s the priority. And that — it’s just not true. Giving it such prominence as if it is the reality — is the falsehood.”

That’s the mirage.

We are around the other side of the piazza now, and can see Fata Morgana. Something is gleaming at the entrance, reflecting light across the square. We take a seat at an outdoor café, and enjoy an espresso and gelato. We linger in the sunshine and observe the tide of tourists and time travelers: a group of cyclists from France and Belgium, a large family from Rome enjoying the countryside; pilgrims on their way to Rome, resting from their journey on the Via Francigena; solo travelers, couples and friends from various places, together for now in this time and space.

There is time here, naturally — even if so many clocks have stopped. Its presence and movement delineated by light, its dance across and over the hills; the rhythms of life on our rotating earth, opening the way for a deeper dive into each moment. We create a bouquet that will stay fresh as long as our imaginations nourish it; so we can always breathe in the memories: entering and floating in the warm thermal springs pool in the early morning as vapor ascends and blends into the cool air; feeling the relaxing properties of the bicarbonate-sulfate-alkaline waters; napping in the garden in the afternoon; strolling the antiques market in Arezzo and finding crystals, cleansing them in the stream and energizing them with sunshine and moonlight; browsing and finding regional cookbooks in the libreria on the square; traveling through the countryside, chatting with Tuscans and other travelers; luncheons in Bagno Vignoni and Cortona; an afternoon at a vineyard and wine estate in Montalcino; an underground tour of an impressive wine cellar in Montepulciano, contemplating the fabulous story of its origins; then soaking before bedtime in the thermal springs pool, under the stars.

Refreshed by this timeless-line of experiences, we return to a timeline we inhabit: the one with to-do lists and clocks that show, with precision, the current hours, minutes, and seconds. 

It’s another Saturn-Day — to be followed, naturally, by Sun-day, Moon-day, Mars-day, Mercury-Day, Jupiter-Day and Venus-Day…

The great teacher seems satisfied with our progress. We’ve learned that while hell and purgatory have limits and loops and billable hours, paradise expands endlessly in response to one’s co-creative spirit.

“Ma tutti fanno bello il primo giro, 
e differentemente han dolce vita
per sentir più e men l’etterno spiro.” 

Dante, Paradiso 4.34 – 4.36


Curzio Malaparte. Maledetti Toscani – con un saggio critico di Luigi Martellini. Milano: Leonardo, (1994).

Dante Alighieri. La Commedia (1320).

Deborah Stewart. This Jungian Life Podcast, Episode 174: Time and Truth about Its Use 

M. C. KavenyBillable Hours in Ordinary Time: A Theological Critique of the Instrumentalization of Time in Professional Life, 33 Loy. U. Chi. L. J. 173 (2002).  Available at:

Michel de Montaigne. Journal du Voyage en Italie (1774).

Oliver Burkeman. Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals

The works of Virgil containing his Pastorals, Georgics and Aeneis : adorn’d with a hundred sculptures / translated into English verse by Mr. Dryden. Virgil., Virgil. Bucolica., Virgil. Georgica., Virgil. Aeneis., Dryden, John, 1631-1700. London: Printed for Jacob Tonson, 1697.


Accommodations: Albergo Posta Marcucci | Other wellness hotels in Bagno Vignoni: the Albergo le Terme and the Adler Spa Resort.

Enjoy a cozy dining experience in Bagno Vignoni at Osteria del Leone.

Refine your knowledge of Tuscan cuisine in a cooking class with Michelin-starred chef Silvia Regi Baracchi, Maître de Maison at Relais & Chateaux Il Falconiere in Cortona (Executive Chef Richard Titi). A place and experience so authentic, fantastic, and welcoming — it feels as if you’ve landed in an Etruscan timeline.

Muse on the gorgeous landscape from a high-altitude estate and learn more about Brunello di Montalcino at the Gloder family’s Poggio Antico winery.

Visit the De’ Ricci wine cellar in Montepulciano, organized by tour operator, Umbria Con Me.

Stroll through and find special items at the Arezzo Antiques Market (“every first Sunday of the month and the preceding Saturday”). Dine afterwards at Tabac Club in the historic center, Via Beccheria 3/B

The writer does not work for, consult, own shares in, or receive funding from any company or organization mentioned in this article.

Lucid Dreaming

What distinguishes lucid dreaming from dreaming? What makes a lucid dream – lucid? Why explore and develop this skill? How could it contribute to better health and well-being? 

To begin exploring this, let us first land upon a story shared in the Zhuangzi, by the master Zhuang.

In the “Butterfly Dream”, Zhuang Zhou dreams of being a butterfly, happily fluttering around. He awakens from this vivid dream and – pauses, wonders – is he Zhuang Zhou who dreamt of being a butterfly? Or is he a butterfly, dreaming that he is Zhuang Zhou?

“The Butterfly Dream” of Zhuang Zhou is a dream, recalled — and a portal through which we can move between the concepts of dreaming and lucid dreaming.

Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.

-C.G. Jung

Psychophysiologist Stephen LaBerge specializes in the scientific study of lucid dreaming. He describes lucid dreaming as “fully reflective consciousness during unequivocal (REM) sleep” — and also simply: “dreaming while knowing that you are dreaming.”

When you become aware that you are dreaming, myriad new possibilities emerge in your dreams. Applications being explored by lucid dreamers include: healing themselves, clearing up nightmares, problem-solving, increasing their playfulness and joy, creativity — e.g., creative writing, rehearsing to improve in public speaking, artistic performances or sports; spiritual practices, transcendence.

The term “lucid dream” was coined by the Dutch psychiatrist and writer Frederik van Eeden in his 1913 “Study of Dreams”. Dr. Eeden believed in carefully observing and studying dreams and also became an experienced lucid dreamer. He rejected the idea set forth by the German poet Novalis (Friedrich von Hardenberg) that “we are near waking when we dream we are dreaming.” For Dr. Eeden, “lucid dreams occur in deep sleep and do not as a rule end in waking up, unless I wish it and do it by an act of volition.”

Could it be that the poet was referring to something beyond the literal meaning? Perhaps he was hinting at transcendence made more accessible while awake. Dreaming and lucid dreaming; lucid consciousness while asleep and while awake.

We were given the programming ages ago to “suspend disbelief” – in order to believe something that isn’t true – so the story goes, to enjoy fiction. Millennia later, along with the benefits, that has left most people generally focused externally, watching the world, attached to its apparent material realities. It has weakened (or disconnected many from) inner creative forces. That, of course, is also reflected in the degree of dream recall, the quality of dreams, and levels of lucidity.

What may best distinguish lucid dreaming from dreaming is a skill that develops in lucid dreaming: to consciously navigate between your lucid dreams and the world you inhabit with others, weaving more and more intentionality and coherence between them.

Everything changes when you start to emit your own frequency rather than absorbing the frequencies around you; when you start imprinting your intent on the universe rather than receiving an imprint from existence.

Barbara Marciniak

“The Butterfly Dream” of Zhuang Zhou is a dream, recalled. It is also a portal through which we can move between the concepts of dreaming and lucid dreaming. The portal is found in the pause, in that suspension of disbelief and suspension of belief. That’s where we can make choices at a higher level of consciousness and find ways to transform ourselves and our environments.❂

For more information on lucid dreaming:

Video – How Lucid Dreaming Really Works

Feature photo by Saeeed Karimi

The information, materials, and content in this post and on this website are for general educational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or to serve as a substitute for professional medical consultations, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare practitioners before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness routine or other wellness program.

If Ewe Know, Ewe Know

Night and Light and the Half-Light

The Gaelic seasonal festival Imbolc takes place halfway in the cycle between the winter solstice and the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere (1 February in the calendar of days). 

It is a celebration of the returning of the light, or the returning to the light, depending on one’s perception. (After all, does the sun really ‘rise’ in the east and ‘set’ in the west?) At this time, some will walk ‘round holy wells. If we tune in, we sense the days getting longer. The stretching glow of candles in the home softens the breath in the evening. Sparks. Fresh energy.

These spheres ripple into our fields, always present if not always acknowledged, until they reach the graspable routine of 24 hours, in the lived experiences of our circadian rhythms.

Responding to the light and the dark, these biological rhythms affect our health by influencing hormone release, body temperature, and rest and digest functions.

Our internal circadian clocks need to adjust and readjust to remain in alignment with external time, changing seasons, environmental changes.

According to a recent article by researchers at the University of Oxford, “Such an alignment allows organisms to deliver the correct materials, in the correct concentration to the correct organ systems at the optimal time of day. This ‘fine-tuning’ of biology is essential for survival. Without entrainment of the circadian system all ‘fine-tuning’ is lost and physiology and behaviour drifts into chaos, termed ‘internal desynchrony'”. (1)

A wellness home and work space then is designed with consideration for these deeper rhythms and to support circadian entrainment.

Circadian Lighting

This may include an indoor lighting system that is dynamic – with illumination, color mix and temperature that can be adjusted and shift subtly throughout the day, into twilight and the night.

If you are designing a property in Germany, guidelines for “biologically effective illumination” are found in DIN SPEC 67600. The international standard CIE S026 also provides guidelines and a toolbox for implementing the standard.

Experts are cautious though regarding simulated, commercial lighting systems; they underscore that there are still risks and uncertainties.

While preparing to design and implement technologies such as tunable lighting, let us remember first to tune into the earth properly. We require better scientific understanding of circadian entrainment to implement effective and beneficial circadian lighting systems. We can also seek now to restore and integrate ancient wisdom about living in harmony with nature — and then enhance this with scientific knowledge and technology.

In sum, wellness real estate design focuses on promoting circadian entrainment with a holistic lifestyle approach, implementing circadian lighting systems carefully — with technical knowledge of standards and recommended practices. A wellness building’s circadian entrainment design situates the occupants’ circadian rhythms and the earth’s rhythms in the center, acknowledged and respected, rippling in, and out — back into space.❂


(1) Ashton, Anna et al. “Photic Entrainment of the Circadian System.” International journal of molecular sciences vol. 23,2 729. 10 Jan. 2022, doi:10.3390/ijms23020729

Feature photo by cottonbro

Photos by Gaspar Zaldo, Dmitriy Ganin, Rene Asmussen, Volkan Vardar