In sleep, a nightmare may cause you so much disturbance that you eventually escape that dream by waking. Now from the awakened perspective, you realize that it was only a dream and that there’s nothing to be afraid of. Calm settles over you, you close your eyes and drift off into a peaceful sleep.
To believe you are only this physical form, this body and mind in this time and place, is like being lost in a dream without knowing it. To be spiritually unawake is to experience the ups and downs of temporary highs followed by suffering and depression. All the while, you are afraid because you feel vulnerable; seeing this temporary existence as all there is.
Terrible suffering, like a terrible dream, reminds us that there is a way out. We remember that it is possible to awaken. Life gives you whatever level of suffering you need to reach this point of escape from the dream. If a little bit of suffering doesn’t do the trick, here comes a bit more, and still more, and finally a challenge so impossible, a pain so deep that you reach your limit.
Spiritual awakening is like coming up for air, entering another realm, finding peace and love like you’ve never known. From this higher perspective, life is no longer scary. You can rest your head on the pillow and go on—this time without the ups and downs, without the suffering—in peace and stillness. This time the colors are more alive, there is beauty everywhere and life becomes a good dream.
These spiritual teachings are pointers that I hope you remember when the suffering becomes too great. Better yet, don’t wait for any more suffering. Awaken from life while you are still alive, while you can still enjoy this dream. We continue tomorrow and each day after that.