Wednesday, January 04, 2012


I was reading in Nanamoli's The Life of the Buddha (p.22) that the Buddha had 5 dreams before he became enlightened.  I'm going to present the dream, my thoughts in parenthesis, and what the text makes of it.

1.  Laying all over the Indian subcontinent, feet in the south, hands in each ocean and head on the pillow of the himalayans.

(Bigger than Gulliver's Travels, does it predict the spread of Buddhism?  What a weird thing to be so huge.  The body as a subcontinent.  A pure land.)

The text says it foretells his enlightenment.

2.  A "creeper" grew out of his belly botton and touched the clouds.

(I'm guessing that's a vine.  Or umbilical chord?  Up to the clouds--elevating, transcendent.  He's going to nourish us with his umbilical chord?)

The text says it foretells the noble 8 fold path.

3.  White grubs with black heads crawled and covered him from his feet to his knees.

(Yikes!  Sounds like an anxiety dream to me, but he's probably relaxed.  Later when he wonders of anyone can get the Dharma, he doesn't remember this premonition?  Why are the heads black?  Maybe nobody can be as pure as the Buddha?)

The text says it foretells people joining his sangha, people would go for to him.

4.  Four birds of different colors come and alight on his feet, and they call become white.

(Purity theme, birds are ancient dinosaurs.  I love feathers.  When we talk about caste, at first I was afraid this was in support of the caste system, but then they all turned the same white, seems like he wants to transcend the caste system, which indeed he did.  I can't stand the caste system.  Jai Bhim!)

The text says all 4 castes can become enlightened.  What about the casteless?  Perhaps that didn't exist then?

5.  He walked up a huge pile of dirt and didn't get dirty.

(Nice.  Not to be buffeted by the worldly winds.  To still be in the world, but not sucked into the undertow.  I like that one.  But in a way, I want the Boddhisattva to get dirty, in a way.  Do themes and images of purity lead to splitting and the negative sense of spirituality, that is alienated from the earth and our bodies?  If you don't get too literal, it's a lovely image.)

"...the perfect one would obtain the requisites of robes, alms food, abode and medicine, and yet he would use them without greed or delusion or clinging, perceiving their dangers and understanding their purpose."


That's it.

I had a dream last night, I was showing a friend from India around a Buddhist center.  I hope to begin a sitting group in a couple months, and I'm excited.  Soon I will begin gathering cushions, and soon I will begin advertising the group, in my neighborhood.  I have set a starting date and a schedule for the roll out plan.  I have developed an action plan.

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