the lion’s roar…
It is not easy to work with some of the material that comes up in our dreams. Who we think we are is challenged, our egos get pinched. Our dreams don’t care if they step on our toes or get in our face. All they care about is helping us return to wholeness. All of who we are that does not serve our soul, our true nature, is exposed. It takes great courage and commitment to acknowledge these broken and disconnected parts of ourselves.
It is told that on the night of the Buddha’s awakening, Mara, the tempter, came and tormented him, sending demons and darkness, temptations and distractions.
These weren’t your garden variety demons, monsters, things that go bump in the night. All of the Buddha’s own darkness, his own conditioned behavior, was exposed to him, all of his mind, all of his stuck places, all that would keep him from his true nature, from waking up.
Everything we face each night in our dreams was flung at him that one night sitting under the Bodhi tree. His very right to awaken was challenged. We are only asked to face this in nightly pieces and yet we often turn away. Why wouldn’t he want to stop after a few minutes? But he didn’t.
The Buddha responded with a gesture. He touched the earth and asked her to bear witness as he declared his right to awaken. This gesture and declaration of one’s right to awaken is called the Lion’s Roar.
Each night we have our own form of Mara coming in our dreams, showing us the places we’re stuck, how we’re behaving in ways that do not serve our true selves or our relationships, how we are separate from soul. This is painful stuff. Why wouldn’t we want to forget our dreams, avoid exploring them, dismiss them as ‘only a dream.’
Yet each time we are willing to step back into a dream and face a difficult truth, are willing to look at what keeps us from soul, each time we stay a bit longer…take another breath into the difficult places…each time we feel what wants to be felt all the way through, we, too, are responding to our own dark and broken places with the Lion’s Roar…the declaration of our right to awaken to our true nature…to true relationship…to wholeness…to soul.
Mary Jo Heyen is a Natural Dreamwork Practitioner working with clients throughout the country and abroad in person, phone or Skype. Learn more about her work with dreams at her website: http://maryjoheyen.com/ or on her Facebook page, ‘Mary Jo’s Dream Page.’