Tuesday, July 14, 2015

it's a dream and ain't that something?

All composite things
are like a dream, like a fantasy. Like a
bubble and a shadow. Like a dewdrop
and a flash of lightning. They are thus to
be regarded.
-- The Diamond Sutra
In the past, I have viewed this Buddhist nutshell as somewhere between a gentle nudge and a fiery kick in the ass: Stop putting faith in that which will prove faithless in the end; stop deluding yourself; stop relying on what is unreliable and, worse, painful.

Running on a set of parallel tracks was the plaint, "Oh, if only I could see clearly!" If relying on the ephemeral doesn't work, what does? I fled (to the extent anyone can use that word) my own dreams and fantasies and immersed myself in a Zen practice that -- please! please! please! -- would steer a reliable course. I wouldn't be tricked any more. I'd be clear-eyed and happy and ... well ... you know ... better.

But today I am inclined not so much to lay down some critical assessment -- some make-better critique. Today it occurs to me that the Diamond Sutra was right, but there is no need for criticism or the fears that attend upon critique.

Today I think that dreams are really pretty good things. They are, when asleep, crystalline in their directness. No one sits around in a dream and applies some Zen Buddhist critique, some Diamond Sutra, some potentate's wisdom. Hell, you just dream and it's clean as a hound's tooth ... scary, delightful, dramatic, elevating, laughing, crying ... without any add-ons. It's not 'just a dream' ... it's 'just a dream.' Later you can wax wise or write a sutra, but in the moment, is there a better instructor than the directness of a dream?

Just munching ... today, as occasionally before, I think it is somehow important to acknowledge the fruitfulness of what otherwise may be deemed fruitless.

1 comment:

  1. I like dreams. Mine seem to reflect my outer world. They're mostly dreams of working and frustration, but as i say, that's my world.