While attending a week long Zazen Sesshin at Bodhi Zendo, on the second night, I had this strange dream.
I am in a boat that is moving at high speed. A ship appears on the left and it seems that it will cross our path ahead. To avoid a collision our boat turns left and veers right after crossing the ship. A huge log of wood that is being dragged by the ship is in front of us. Our boat veers left to avoid the log and turns right again. Another log appears in front of us. Our boat turns left again and this time it keeps going straight.
I am wondering why we are going in a different direction. A small island can be seen on the right. Couple of BEST bus like boats is speeding towards us. They pass our boat from the left side. I assure a co-passenger that it is rush hour traffic and there is nothing to worry about.
We seem to hit grade 4 rapids when I realize that there is no boat. I am riding the waves which are getting bigger and bigger. I notice a friend getting on to a rock. I want to ask him to get back in the water and stay close. But by now I have drifted far away and he is out of sight now.
I look in the direction in which I am going and see a couple of colleagues tackle a wave ahead of me. One of them is adept at the “rat race.” I wonder what he is doing here and think that as long as he is enjoying the ride it is fine.
I go over a particularly big wave and while sliding down the other side I see another big wave ahead.
I am afraid that I might swallow water on hitting the trough of the wave, so I take a deep breath. I continue sliding down and feel that I can’t hold the breath much longer. So I breathe out and quickly take another deep breath. I continue falling so I stop holding my breath.
Suddenly there is no water and I am sliding down on land. I reach the valley at high speed and go hurtling up the next mountain.
On reaching the peak, I get hurtled in to the air and I am flying over a market place. After bouncing off the floor couple of times, I see a small temple – the kind you see on street corners. I bounce off the roof of the temple, take a somersault and land on my bum.
I see more people bouncing off near by. A young priest is going about his routine without taking much notice of me. I am thinking of asking him if this is normal, i.e. people falling off the sky. Before I could say anything I find myself few feet away from where I was. I could see a man sitting in front of a temple. We appear to be on an island and the ocean can be seen further away on the right.
I see a bald monk in maroon robe besides me and realize that I am a monk too.
I walk up to the sitting man and ask him if he has lost his way. He turns to look at me and says yes. I tell him that I will show him the way and lead him to a monastery.
On reaching the monastery the man decides to stay. I tell him that his family may be worried about him and ask him to go meet them and say good bye before returning. The man promises to come back soon and leaves.
The other monk, watching the man walk away, asks me, “Do you think he will come back?”
“He may not come back immediately,” I say, “but he has heard the call. He will come home one day.”