For a long time, for what seemed like months, as my morning meditation practice grew, the dreams had stopped coming while I was asleep at night. I have always been a good sleeper, but these dreamless sleeps had taken it to a greater depth of dreamless sleeping. I would awaken greatly refreshed, ready to go upstairs and begin my day with meditation, and so on.
But then, over the last week or two or so, as is the wont of change that often comes suddenly, the ‘dreaming while sleeping’ returned. The seemingly ‘on-the-surface’ yet ‘active’ dreams took me on journeys with long-out-of-touch friends and long-departed family members. How ‘real’ they seemed while I was “in” them, and how quickly they disappeared on the first early-morning awakening out of broken sleep! And as is also often their wont, the more I tried to remember them, the more they slipped through my awareness like water flowing through fingers. And the net result was that I awoke tired, even lethargic.
Lethargy is not this seeker’s friend. Or of the wanderer. Of of the explorer. Or even the sitter. So, being the engineer and analyst that I am, the one whose propensity is to ask “why”, I asked – why did they return? Was it because of my increased work-related tasks, my staying up later and later before bed, the usual uptick in reading during summer, or the general cluttering of the brain? Regardless, I would like to return to my dreamless state, so I can wake up to my previous, non-lethargic, jump-out-of-bed and ready-to-go state?
But, I digress a bit (as is my wont). From a spiritual perspective, our ‘dream state’ goes beyond the surface dreams that occasionally may come. We are immersed in the deep, deep ocean of this great dream that you, the reader, is somehow fundamentally different than me, the writer. And hence, we live most of our physical life immersed in the ocean, like fish in deep water, whose awareness knows only water, and more so, its immediate waters. We may even claim ‘privilege’ of prosperity, of wealth, of knowledge, of (yes) spirituality, over those, some of whom we may even call family, friends and neighbors. We are unaware, or have lost awareness that our differences, our dreams, depend simply on our degrees of manifestation. Is this not simply a deeper dream state that we can perhaps awaken from?
Perhaps this awakening to reality is the purpose of the work of our spiritual practices.
For what is ‘reality’? Is it not the awareness that we ALL are “Infinite, Absolute, Eternal, Knowledge, Existence, Bliss”? If this reality is our truth, then perhaps we can let go of our current dream-state of illusions and delusions. If not, then immersed we shall remain, until, perhaps, grace finds us, ready to return us to a dreamless state.
For no matter how sweet my dreams may be, I feel an awareness, a knowing, that walking in an awakened reality is going to be sweeter than the sweetest of dreams.
P.S. This post was heavily inspired by my stumbling upon the essay, “Vedanta and Privilege” by Swami Vivekananda. Do read if you have a chance. And then join us for #SpiritChat on Twitter – Sunday August 5 at 9amET/ 630pmET. Namaste. – Kumud
What is the the flower’s dream? What is its reality?