So as you know by now I suppose, this is how the story goes: There are twelve ancient Giants sleeping throughout the world. One of them is in Liverpool and it’s dreaming as it sleeps. It’s dreaming a dream of waking up, and all the people of Liverpool and everyone coming to visit there are part of the Giant’s dreaming. The Giant is calling to all of us to help it awake, and the very fact that you’re dreaming this now and I’m part of your dreaming just goes to show that the time of the Giant’s awakening is drawing near. Now. If the Giant is dreaming it must be alive. If it’s alive it must be breathing. And a very good way to be more aware of the what and the when and the how and the where of the Giant’s awakening is to follow the Giant’s breath.
Actually, there’s a whole Buddhist practice of following the breath. It’s one of the basic meditation ways - it’s especially useful as a beginning technique though it’s sufficiently complete to be used all the way through the many stages of awakening. So you won’t go wrong if you follow the breath, and if you continue to follow that way you’ll surely arrive eventually where you already are right now. Hey, it’s not that surprising the breath should be key, cause you gotta do it, you really do, and maybe you decide not to recognize the official practice of following along - doesn’t matter, it still keeps on going anyway - the breath goes in, the breath goes out - maybe so, but you gotta ask: why would you follow the Giant’s breath, the Giant’s not you, the Giant’s some other, what’s up with that?
Hmmm. Just to make this easier. Let’s put aside the possibility that you and the Giant aren’t really other. Let’s consider this instead: as the Giant begins to awake, the dream that it’s dreaming begins to change. And as the Giant’s dream is changing, the Giant’s breath is changing as well. Bound to, right? If you watch someone sleeping it’s easy to see that their breathing reflects the state of their dreaming. The dreaming, the sleeping, the waking up, it’s all connected intimately with the way the breath moves and the breather breathes.
And it could well be that the sleeping Giant is following its breath. Or maybe not, it’s hard to say - maybe it’s not for us to know how it is either way. But what we can do (if we want to do something) is to follow the Giant’s breath ourselves. Won’t do no harm and it gives the Giant a pretty good clue about what to do to begin to awaken. And if it turns out that the Giant has already started to follow it’s breath on its own, we’ll be right there to strengthen its will and to focus its energy.
Or to put it another way, what about this: the Giant is already starting to wake and because that’s so, it’s breath is stronger and more aware and that’s something for us to notice and share. The breath itself is informing the dreaming, the Giant is breathing a growing awareness into the dream of the Biennial and if we make even the smallest effort to follow that breath, we’ll see so much more than we have before of what the dream is and where it is going and how the impending awakening occurs.
Now it’s hard to see breath - it’s just air on air - so that’s why we’ve made lots of dream flags to hang all around the town. The Giant breathes; the dream flags move; you and I and the Giant too, we’ll see just where the dream is going and how to begin the awakening. The dream flags we’ve made are in seven shades, one colour for each of the Giant’s chakras. Now just between you and me and the trees - these chakra colours are very important. The Giant itself is breathing these colours; why we don’t know, but we do know this: whenever a Giant begins to awake, these colours always appear.
So that’s how it goes - the deal is this: the chakra colours begin to show as part of the breath that the Giant is breathing whenever the time of awakening is close at hand. Pay attention to the Giant’s breath; but when you see the colours too, pay close attention. And if we do we’ll certainly see that the Giant’s breath and the colours it shows are actively forming the Giant’s dream. There’s something actually going on, and if you see it you’ll see that it’s true that the Giant is actually breathing the dream that all of us actors are acting upon and within as we move about Liverpool.
The dream flags are likely to stay in their place as they let the Giant’s breath flow by, easy to keep an eye on them because there they are right there where they be. But these chakra colours could easily move throughout the city in much the same way that the flags stay still as they wave in the sky. With this in mind we’ve made some dream flags particularly large, 12 feet long and 4 feet wide. With two people holding them tight from each end they should be a sight as they glide and sway their way throughout the city. And it wouldn’t be all that surprising if they wanted to move along the line of the Giant’s energy channels. If we follow their path and see how they go, we’d be able to know where the blockages are in the flow of the Giant’s chi.
Two monks watching a flag in the wind. One says the flag moves, one says the wind. A third comes along and says it’s their minds.
Who says there’s anything moving at all? Not me. Not you. Not even the Giant.
Still, even so, the Giant is waking up.