Dreams of Flower Garland temples
And islands floating in the air.
What a disappointment!
I awake to find
Early in the morning, a few days ago, I had the most wonderful dream. It involved some fabulous realm of light, with iridescent temples carved with the most incredible detail and a feeling of transcendent bliss. I mean, my brain was really cranking it out! A Buddhist epic with John Cameron-like intensity, complete with budget-busting special effects! Then suddenly, I awoke!
And there I was, back in my own bedroom, in the same old body. The same old me, like a magician's assistant, sawed-in-half and stitched back together. Facing another day of being me, I slowly climbed out of bed, wisps of dreamworld quickly fading from my mind and tottered towards the bathroom door. The transition had been abrupt and not all that pretty. I muttered aloud "What a disappointment!" Then the poem above came to me in a flash, as they often do and I quickly scribbled it in my notebook. My subconscious was trying to tell me something.
Almost as soon as I had written it down, my perspective began to change. A cup of good coffee, a chat with my wife and a half-hour of meditation seated in our light-filled living room confirmed my feeling, so that now I saw the dream as the disappointment. I looked around and considered. Actual life, just as it is lived, aches and pains included, is the real wonder. As compelling or as vividly imagined as a dream or a work of art may be, it is only a pale reflection of the real deal! Fun is fun, but nothing beats a direct and unhindered view of "this". Yahoo!
But wait! Even dreams are a part of this "real" world. Every action of the mind, from the smallest hunch to the wildest dream, crazy as it may be, is still a part of the seamless fabric of "this". Woops! There goes the whole dualistic carpet, right out from under my feet! Nowhere to stand. Ahh...
Image from: http://wisdomquarterly.blogspot.com/2009/12/story-of-mahayana-part-ii.html