Lovely Rita

The Beatles released their classic album Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Band in 1967. The cover features the song “Lovely Rita Meter Maid” which describes an initial encounter between the singer and a meter maid who is taking his number. Although initially annoyed, he realizes that “it would be better to love her”. In waking reality, Rita has been “taking the number” of the collective dream community and moving about through the streets and byways of our global community to encourage drivers to be mindful of their dreams and evaluate whether they had been parked and inactive for too long a period of time before taking action and getting moving. Anyone lucky enough to have Rita personally “take your number” has definitely come to love her and she has become a legendary, beloved figure among the global dream community for the last quarter century.

I first met Rita in 1983 at a dream retreat workshop held in Batesville, a small community located a few miles outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. Henry Reed and I were conducting this workshop and, besides Rita, another dream appreciator who also participated was Carol Warner. At the conclusion of the workshop, we wanted to gather all of the participants together to take a group photo, but Rita declined because she was extremely sensitive about her personal appearance as the result of having been the victim of a tragic accident in an aerospace lab where she was working that resulted in her undergoing extensive skin grafts over a period of many years. That NDE led to a complete redirection of her energy and becoming a spokesperson for the power of dreams. During the subsequent years, she has maintained a close relationship with Ed Butler, her lab colleague whose precognitive dreams enabled him to instantaneously appear at her side and save her life after her other lab partner had abandoned her and fled from the dangerous situation.

At the conclusion of our Batesville workshop, I encouraged Rita to attend the forthcoming first ASD conference to be held a few month later in San Francisco. and she went to it. It was clear that dreams were an important personal topic for her and she was hoping to meet other individuals who also shared her excitement about the unlimited possibilities of dreams for unlocking human potential. I hosted the subsequent ASD conference at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville the following year. I drafted her to serve as Secretary for our various board meetings and she quickly became an absolutely indispensable component of our organization. In addition to having served as Secretary at that Virginia conference, she has also served as a Conference Host, Chair of the Board, Vice President, President, and Executive Officer of ASD. In addition to being the “connective tissue” for the body of that organization’s activities, she has also served as the organizer for the world’s longest continuing dream group, the Metro DC Dream Community, that she founded in Vienna, Virginia in 1983. Rita has never charged a fee for attending these meetings that she hosts. There is a line in the Lovely Rita song that asks “... where would I be without you?” That’s a good question to ponder for all of us, as the answer might well be ”nowhere”, if she hadn’t continued her rounds of monitoring whether the dream scene was stagnating and inactive or was showing tangible movement. When the singer entices Rita to have tea with him, she turns out to be the one who winds up paying the bill. I’ll let the reader develop that metaphor in their own way.

Rita’s attendance at all our ASD events and board meetings has been exemplary and no one else comes close to having earned as many gold stars for attendance and participation as she has. Rita has also been an advocate for attempting to bring dreams to other settings besides those of the annual conference and has been extremely active in serving as the coordinator for regional dream events held at many locations throughout the country. She has also twice organized weekend programs presented at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC to bring public awareness of dreams to that prestigious setting. She attended the international ASD meetings that were held in Ottawa, London, Leiden and Copenhagen. She quickly established family bonds with all these attendees in foreign countries, and once she has met someone, Rita displays an uncanny ability to later remember their names, names of their family members and the town that they lived in. She is one of those remarkable people who seem to display a “photographic memory” for faces, names and places. Many have entrusted their personal dramas to Rita and people turn to Rita much as they would to Dear Abby’s well known advice column.

I have very many special memories of when Rita and I traveled together to Moscow to attend the “Dreaming in Russia” conference organized by Robbie Bosnak. It was an extraordinary time in history because when we arrived in August, 1991, the former Soviet government was collapsing. We were stunned that we were greeted by the sight of Soviet tanks in the streets and armed soldiers who were standing at guard throughout the city. The plan was to have 50 Russian and 50 American dream representatives share their respective views about how dreams were researched and utilized in our respective cultures. While there, we had no contact with the outside world for several days during the emergency period that was declared. These unusual circumstances offered a wonderful opportunity to interact at much deeper levels with our Russian dreaming cohorts and discover, among many other surprises, how much spiritual emphasis was given to efforts to understand the source of dream imagery. Rita has always been a firm proponent for considering dreams as a vehicle to discover “the interconnection of everything, including angels and all beings, lower or higher.. All parts of creation in this flowing, unfolding universe and perhaps beyond.” She and Rosemary Guiley came up with the idea for a dream activism group following the 9/11 tragedy. A reminder is sent once a month for the purpose of dreaming “the awakened heart.” As Rita explains it, “... this focused intent isn’t just about having good dreams, for all dreams come in service of wholeness and healing, but rather about having dreams that move us to concrete action within the parts of the world in which we reside, waking us up to our personal soul purposes or callings that can improve our world through our works, large or small.” The request made to the group once a month is to “Please join, wherever you live on this planet, aligning spirit, soul and psyche searching for dreams that will awaken our hearts and move us to actions.”

In addition to playing a central role in several online dream groups, Rita has also been active in the annual Cyber Dreaming Conference which has been taking place in early Fall for the last seven years. Approximately 150 dreamers from around the world participate in this two-week event which provides non-stop possibilities for sharing questions and observations about dreams in response to papers written by well known experts in many topics related to psychic dreaming. Rita has teamed up with me for several years to conduct our annual Dream Telepathy contest at our annual ASD conference. She helps to facilitate all aspects of the contest while it is ongoing at the conference, and also writes up an interesting detailed report about many of the impressive dreams which were submitted and their close correspondence to the pictures which served as the target material. Rita herself possesses impressive psychic skills as a dreamer and her “hits” frequently receive prizes for the skills that she demonstrates during the Cyber dreaming contests and are also acknowledged by members of her dream groups.

I felt especially honored when Rita served as the moderator for an address I gave on the topic of Angel Figures in Dreams at one of our ASD conferences. This experience was particularly meaningful to me personally because, of all of the people that I have encountered during my span of 80 years, Rita is certainly the most angelic being that I have ever been privileged to encounter. She exudes warmth, kindness, love, support, understanding, acceptance, and a long list of other positive attributes. Rita is an exceptionally advanced spiritual person who seems to be nourished by an intense inner light that enables her to manifest all of these qualities so steadily and effortlessly.

Her generosity of Spirit is pervasive and extends to every single member of the global community. I don’t know of anyone who has ever dealt with Rita Reincarnation Experiment Website: The Soul Genome Book at discount on in any encounter who did not feel the presence of an extraordinary amount of love and compassion. These maternal qualities also expand out to her extended family, including her nine grandchildren. She embodies the archetypal imagery associated with “The Earth Mother” and seems to represent a very wise clan mother who reaches out to and nourishes every member of her dream clan.

I was recently reading some comments that Rita had prepared for for one of the books she had reviewed, She Who Dreams: A Journey Into Healing Through Dreamwork by Wanda Easter Burch. Rita wrote:

“This is a deeply inspiring story of a woman’s brave battle with breast cancer... these stormy seasons of her soul are tempered with an in indomitable will to be healed at all levels of her being. Experiencing surgery and then chemotherapy with its dreadful side effects never stops her from turning to her dreams for help and healing. She recounts dreams, her ways of sharing and working with them and using the wisdom she reaps from them. Tested to her depths, she emerges as a beacon to others, a Wounded Healer whose example offers the greatest hope of all to those of us who face life challenges. Her illness may have stolen her breast, but it didn’t harm the caring heart beating beneath it, nor her sharp mind, nor her glowing spirit... all of which are put to use as she rewrites her life contract and now walks on a new path as a Dream Guide and Dream Bringer to others.”

These words used by Rita to describe Wanda’s challenges and how she triumphed through dreams seem to correspond extremely well with the journey that Rita herself traveled after her traumatic encounters when her own body was engulfed in flames in 1959. ∞