There is a fascinating teaching in the Tibetan approach to working with dreams….that in our dreams we are actually working out our karma. Each night healing and understanding come by way of our dreams, even if we don’t understand consciously what is happening…it is happening. If that is so, we can see why it can take countless lifetimes to awaken.
The Buddha was asked, “How long have you been on this journey?” He replied, “Imagine a mountain three miles long, three miles wide, three miles high. Every 100 years, a bird flies over the mountain with a silk scarf in its beak and it runs the silk scarf over the mountain. In the length of time it would take the silk scarf to wear away the mountain, that’s how long I have been doing this.”
Wow…the eternity of eternity…humbling and at the same time creating a space for kindness for ourselves on this monumental journey back to soul.
As I’ve shared here before…once in a deep meditation, feeling a self-imposed pressure to achieve something, arrive somewhere, be a better person, I heard a distinct voice in my ear say, “Relax, we’re going to be here a while”…and I burst out laughing…yes, we are.
Is there a way to advocate for ourselves in this whole process? I believe there is. By consciously working with our dreams, by going out to meet them, engage them, feel into what it is they are trying to teach us we can perhaps accelerate the process of waking up, returning to our true self. To be willing to make conscious things that are unconscious rather than letting them slip away each morning we can come to many awakenings in one lifetime what could have otherwise taken scores.
In meditation we’re taught to let go of thoughts, to quiet the mind, which is critical in the awakening process. Yet, if that were the single answer to awakening it would seem there should be millions of awakened beings. There must be another piece. Is there something about being human that can support our awakening? Why go to all this trouble of being born, dying, being reborn again (if that is one’s belief)?
My own experience tells me that it’s not some accident or cosmic caprice. Is there something in taking human birth that is a key to awakening and if so, what? Is there something we can do in the body that may be difficult or even impossible to do any other way? Would we have been given this dilemma without a way to solve it?
Maybe one of the answers is as near as our willingness to explore and be in conversation with our dreams.
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’