Sunday, December 19, 2010
Reflections: Weird Plasma Field Dream, Gridlines & the Ten Thousand Things
I had this ‘dream’ yesterday morning I thought it would be fun to share. It’s a bit wacky though, kind of in the science fiction vein, and it wasn’t actually a dream because it occurred as I was waking up.
It seemed like I was waking up to a colorful plasma field. It was a bit like the molecules of air had slowed down and condensed and I had expanded to match (in wavelengths or impedance or something) because I wasn’t solid either, I was part of the plasma. Anyhow, if I moved even a little I could see and feel ripples and swirls and even backwashes of energy and changing colors rolling through the plasma in several directions as far as I could see and sense it. I hung out there for awhile between sleep and wakefulness because it was a warm and cozy space to be in, pleasant -- as long as I didn’t move much. (I didn’t want to move much because it actually made me dizzy or sea-sick.)
The reason I wanted to share this is because, as I became more conscious, it reminded me of this drawing Okumura had on his white board much of the time he was lecturing on the Genjo-Koan. It was of a circle with gridlines, a bit like one of those little screens you would put in a faucet. Each node or crossing point was a person and the gridlines were cause and effect. It seemed like Okumura’s grid could be a simpler version of the plasma field I was experiencing.
Another thing that Okumura said that left an impression and relates to the above imagery is that delusion is not like a sickness that can be fixed by working only on ourselves (like, for example, cutting out cancer), we also have to work on our relation with all beings -- the way we interact with the whole grid (or plasma field), which means practicing the noble eightfold path. Its one of the first Buddhisty things I learned about, but I seem to have a long way to go in practicing it well...
Both Dogen and Muho-san’s comments on practice-enlightenment seem to offer some good advice though. Paraphrasing Muho-san: ..its what we can discover in each moment -- Do we project ourselves (mainly our preconceived notions of how things should be) onto the ten thousand things, or do we let the ten thousand things approach and interact with us, discover what they can awaken in us? The first approach results in delusions about the permanence of things, boredom, and suffering as a function of loss, whereas the latter allows life to be richer, because the things we allow ourselves the freedom to perceive and the ‘self’ that we experience is constantly fresh and new. It's pretty amazing what we can discover about ourselves.
Well, whatever. The dream sure was cool. That's about all I can think of to share at the moment. So time to wrap this post up.