Wednesday, February 8, 2012


NOTE: In case you missed my previous note, I have had to start moderating comments on The Buddha Diaries. I did so in response to a welter of unwelcome advertisements from spammers, when there seemed to be no other way. I trust this will in no way deter your efforts to post a comment. I do welcome and look forward to response...

(But first, Happy Birthday, Flora. I hope the snow has melted and warmth has returned to Cirencester!)

In this dream, I find myself teaching a class... I'm back in my old life, a college professor--a path abandoned many years ago. But here I am. There is this girl in the class, this young woman, who is anxious to meet me for some reason in private; we make a date to meet at 2:30 at a local coffee shop.

The place, when we arrive there, is not as I remember it. We are escorted to a back room, furnished as a living room, and invited to sit on a love seat as we order our coffee. Much to my surprise, I discover the reason for the young woman's request: she needs to confess to a murder. What should she do?

What should I advise? I wonder about the Buddhist approach: compassion is called for, but she must also take responsibility for her unskillful action. As I debate the issue, I notice a broken clarinet at our feet (oh, come on! Even Freud admitted that a cigar was sometimes just a cigar. Or was that someone else? As I was saying, a broken clarinet, don't laugh...)

Close by there is a young couple, somehow familiar, who seem to be threatening us for unspecified reasons. The young woman leaves... and my eyes light on an empty wallet on the floor at my feet. My wallet. It is empty. All the money has gone, all the identification, all the credit cards. I begin to think about the nightmare of notifying all the banks. I wonder if this young woman is already off on a spending spree with my cards.

I leave the coffee shop. A long flight of steps leads up to the road I must take to get home. As I climb them, I remember suddenly that I have forgotten to pay for the coffee. I return to the coffee shop to explain, to excuse myself, to assure them I will return to pay the bill if only they will understand my dilemma... And wake up, still worried about that bill I failed to pay.

Riddle me that one. I fear it might have something to do with growing old!


heartinsanfrancisco said...

I have had to enable comment moderation on posts older than 30 days because since early December, I have been getting spam on old posts, many of them every day, and it's a real nuisance.

Your dream is quite interesting. I think the broken clarinet indicates fear of impotence of some sort, not necessarily sexual, despite what Freud would doubtless say. Perhaps you are also concerned that your natural kindness will end up hurting you, which would be terribly unfair, and that you might lose the qualities that make you the unique person you are. There could be some freedom in losing ones identity, but clearly that is not your preferred path. (Or mine.) You treasure your responsibilities because they allow you to be your best self, hence your concern about not being able to pay for something since your money was stolen.

I think you need to create a lucid dream in which this one is resolved. Try to meditate on it as you go to sleep and you may be able to return to it and write a more satisfying ending.

PeterAtLarge said...

Thanks for the useful thoughts about the dream--and especially for the suggestion. I'll give it a try!