First dream was that the Triratna Buddhist Community had the original copy of the Heart Sutra. It was placed under glass, and there was a meditation area where you could meditate around it. But because the TBC was generous, it let other groups come in a worship the text, so it made it more of a circus atmosphere. There were all kinds of sectarian issues related to this sharing of the Heart Sutra, because different groups practice differently. Like all dreams there was a vague feeling, and not a lot of specifics. I kind of feel like dreams are like improve settings, you put two improbably things together and then go...
My second dream was that there was a weird kind of amusement park at Bodh Gaya. There were these giant disks, with cogs, almost like a bike gear, but a platform where people sat to meditate, but then the disk would rotate along a kind of rail that would transport people. If you sat near the middle you didn't get as dizzy. You sat along the edges to get more of an amusement park ride. Most of the people didn't want an amusement park ride, they wanted peaceful meditation.
My thoughts upon awaking are that the first dream suggests that I find the TBC to have the best grasp of Buddhism, the one that resonates most with me. I haven't actually delved into other groups beyond superficially, and I want to do that. So maybe it's also a fears dream about sectarian nonsense.
I think the second dream was about how in a way meditation ends up not being about what you think it will be. Many people say to me when I'm going onto retreat, "oh, that must be relaxing." Um, no. I'm crying, tense, I get energy I don't really know how to control yet, and I have this kind of exhausted insomnia feeling. Don't get me wrong, it's the healthiest I ever am, I feel like I'm purifying my unhealthiness, but it's not pleasant in any way. My knees hurt, I'm restless, then I'm tired and feel like I'm in a tupor. Everyone is on their best behavior, but that doesn't actually guarantee some people won't be very very difficult. And you've got all the time in the world to just look at why certain things bother you and you realize that even though you realize it's all in your mind, in some way that's not quite enough to stop it, and there's so so so much more work to do.
So maybe my second dream was about how meditation really is a scary journey that people come to seeking more peace, but end up getting even more disturbed. Perhaps in the name of a more transcendent peace of mind, but actually it's more grounding and centered in your experience, and there's a reason we're so distracted from ourselves, because there's all kinds of deep wounds and confusion, bewilderment and stuff to disentangle. I come face to face with my own unhealthy desire and tendency to not become enlightened, to do everything but move in that direction. Egad.
But then when you bring your fears out into the broad daylight, they lose some power, and I wonder, what was I so scared of? And that gives me faith on the path; that as hard, scary, confusing, frustrating and just plain difficult, it's still the only game in town for me.
(PS, if I'm taking the not given by putting up that picture of the painting of Amoghasiddhi by Aloka, please let me know.)