Thursday, November 04, 2010

Dreams teach . . .

. . .and sometimes I learn things about myself, or have things confirmed that I'd known or suspected.  The last two nights are no exception.  And somehow I feel as though I've been tested and passed muster.  I have my suspicions there, but I'll keep those cards close to my vest as they say.  A least for the nonce.

Anyway, back to my dreams.  Or should I say nightmares.  They have been such a constant part of my life for so many years it's hard to say anymore where the line between dreams and nightmares exists, or even if it does.  I oft wonder if it is not so much a line as much a matter of degree?

Night before last I was out walking somewhere, in a city I'm not familiar with, when I was accosted by a complete stranger that decided I was not at home raising children doting on my husband like I was supposed to be. He decided I was evil because I wasn't sufficiently (or at all) cowed by his presence.  He warned me that God had given him the right, the duty, to smite me if need be.  Maybe I should have been showing the fear and terror of being put upon by this person that I was feeling or something, but instead I looked at him and said I seriously doubt you are permitted by God to smite me.  That is not the way God works.  Some more words of madness from him and finally I said, "Fine, you and I don't agree, I get that, and you feel you have to smite me, I get that too.  Before we get to the smiting part of our program can I just mention that with great power comes great responsibility?  And that it might be possible that while the lighting flashed and the sparks showered in one blink of your eyes you had had missed seeing?  That I could not be responsible for actions you take, only my own?  'The sun is warm, the wind is mild, willows are green along the shore, Here no bull can hide?'"  In a moment that felt much like Yosemite Sam facing off against Bugs Bunny he bellowed "Enough nonsense woman, prepare to meet your maker!"

I simply said "I put no distance between myself and where I am, what of you?  If smiting me is what you plan to do, might I suggest you just get on with it and stop wasting both of our time?"

I watched as his hands began to glow and thought it strange, after all, as a healer I could do the same thing but would never think to use it to harm another being.  So I set my hands to glowing and increased my own shielding against negative energy.  At which point his eyes took on an intensity that almost reminded me of a Stargate universe Goa'uld and I thought "ah, false gods," as a massive amount of energy poured out of the heavens in my direction, hit my shielding and enveloped him.  It wasn't pretty from there.  I felt slightly guilty, like I should have perhaps shielded him as well and dissipated the blast harmlessly, but it was to late for that and I awoke shaken from my encounter with an agent of a false god.

So last night was an even longer, more involved nightmare typical of many, if not most of mine.  I'm being chased by people that wish to harm me, captured, and then forced to work on their behalf to do things they wanted me to all while threatening to hurt or kill me if I didn't do just what they wanted, the way they wanted.  Over the course of several days things came to a head with one of the leaders of these people falling seriously ill.  My own nature was to help him, heal him is I could, and prevent harm from coming to him.  So again I lit up my hands and encouraged one of the people with me, who was also being held against her will, to help with the healing as well.  One of the other people stood there stunned and said "We were most likely going to kill you when we were done with you, why do you willingly help heal someone who is going to kill you?"

I pointed out that it was not my job to be his judge, jury and executioner, and not my nature to refuse to help someone based on a judgement call of such magnitude.  Mine is not to decide another's fate, mine is only to lessen if at all possible suffering and to use my gifts for the greater good.  To sit back and watch him die was not in my nature, regardless of what was in his.  I was already suffering at his hands, and letting him die would not change what I'd experienced.

Awakening from this dream I felt as though I'd passed some sort of test.  I was also reminded of why despite the way Earl and his parents were treating me, I still fought tirelessly to help him heal and grow.  How despite my own subjective distress I could remain objective in my care and treatment of Earl.

I am Buddhist person.  Not because of what I say, but because of what I do.  I am Buddhist person not because of the preaching or pronouncements of myself, my god or others, but because of the path I walk.  These two dreams helped me to remember what I've known all along but had been distracted from.  Sleep is one of the ultimate forms of meditation, and through dreams, we learn or are reminded of what we already know.

Buddhism to me is much less a form or religion in the common use of the word, and certainly not deist, or dogmatic in anyway, but a method of navigating the great path.  I follow no one, practice no "rituals" other than perhaps meditation if one could call that a ritual, and I choose not to lead.  Buddha teaches that all is illusion, and not to believe in him or what he says, but to find our path to enlightenment and walk it ourselves just as he has done.  Zen Buddhism, which is littered in my remarks above, has only Koans to meditate upon, things to ponder and take from them what we may.  Things like:

"The river tells no lies, yet standing at it's shores the dishonest man still hears them"


"If you immediately know the candlelight is fire, the meal was cooked a long time ago."

So there is little or no chance of being locked into dogmatic thinking, or a set of sound bites or bullet points to shout from a position of self importance.  In Zen Buddhist, nothing is a given and everything is possible.  The "four noble truths for example do not exist as things set in stone, but as reminders of a place and time that flavored the thinking and experiences of the person who shared them.  That even the eightfold path as right as it can be, is not the be all and end all of Buddhist experience on the road to the great path.

"All roads lead to the great path, many cross."

And dreams, be they during sleep, or while in deep meditation, can and often do teach . . .