A dream I had of the Goddess Kannon, and thoughts about our approaching foot pilgrimage


 

A dream I had of the Goddess Kannon, and thoughts about our approaching foot pilgrimage 

It has been a very snowy ski season in Colorado.

We had witnessed an avalanche that closed the highway for many hours, and many more avalanches were reported in our area.

Ski season was fun, with friends who came over to ski with us and a mixture of heavy snow and sunny lovely days of good skiing.

In two short weeks, we will leave the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to walk the Chugoku Kannon pilgrimage in Japan.

I am both excited and anxious, feeling as if I have never walked a pilgrimage before.

My mind is full of self doubts.

After three months of winter without any walking, can we really walk every day for eight hours per day for three months?….

Can I really live for three months with only two sets of clothing and one pair of shoes?…

Will this pilgrimage be fruitful and enrich us mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually?

Or will it be an enormous expense for everyday experiences of looking for places to eat, sleep and with only small rewards?….

A while ago, I had a vivid dream.

I was a little girl wearing a white dress with small red Polka Dots, and red shoes.

I was standing in front of the Goddess Kannon.

She was an enormous being, glowing golden rays, emanating love, kindness and endless compassion.

In my little arms, I was holding a little dog who had died.
I was sad.

I put the little brown dog in her arms.

The dog awoke and returned to life.
It perked up and playfully ran around, wagging its tail.

The Goddess Kannon stayed kneeling in front of me, as if she knew I had more to ask her.
I placed the head of my mother in her enormous open hands.

In seconds, the worries and wrinkles in my mother’s face had disappeared, and she was restored to a youthful vibrancy.

I woke up from the dream feeling a sense of hope and well-being.
Then I told the dream to Jules and meditated about the significance of it.

I know that in Truth, time does not exist.
Then why do bodies grow old?

“It is a MISTAKE, a MISUNDERSTANDING of the Truth!,”
said a calm inner voice.

“Time does not exist and you are NOT a soul living inside a body, moving from one lifetime to the next.

You are LIFE itself! 

LIFE is eternal!

Everything that God created is ETERNAL and never ending.

Anything else, well, it simply does not exist….” 

I welcome any and all help I can get to grow in understanding and to overcome all hurdles that I have in my understanding of how to bring these Truths into physical reality.

Perhaps walking this long Kannon Pilgrimage will help…

I ask myself, what am I trying to find?
Am I looking for the gifts of a smooth skin and eternal youth?
Am I looking to live a longer than average, joyful life in the same physical body?

No.

If anything, I am weary of the physical reality.
If there is another layer, a deeper layer of Truth beyond the veil of illusion, I want to experience, live and know it!
Everything else is boring to me and a waste of my time.

I do not welcome mundane interactions, nor the earthly ambitions and career goals that occupy most people’s time.

They hold absolutely NO allure for me. I want to use my time not coasting idly through this lifetime.

I do enjoy the company of friends whom I love and I do feel enriched by their good energies, but becoming influential, making money and the myriads of earthly bonds and rewards, hold no appeal for me.
They feel like heavy shackles on my heart.

A smile came to my face as I remembered a poem, written by a Palestinian- American poet whose work I adore.

Naomi Shihab Nye wrote:

“The Art of Disappearing”

“When they say:
“Don’t I know you?”
Say: “no!”

“When they invite you to the party,
remember what parties are like, before answering;

Someone is telling you in a loud voice
That they once wrote a poem, 

greasy sausage balls on a paper plate,
Then reply.

If they say: “We should get together,”
Say: “why?”

“It’s not that you don’t love them anymore.
You’re trying to remember something
too important to forget.

Trees…
The monastery bell at twilight…

Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.

When someone recognizes you in a grocery store,
nod briefly and become a cabbage.

When someone you haven’t seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don’t start singing to him all your new songs.

You will never catch up.

Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know that you could tumble any second.

Then decide what to do with your time…”

From “The Words Under the Words” Selected Poems,  written by Naomi Shihab Nye (Portland, Oregon: Far Corner Books, 1995).

It is this that I too, am trying to remember…

The sound of the temple’s bell at twilight…. 

The way I feel when I walk through an unknown forest with my pilgrimage bag on my back…. 

Last night, I found myself unable to sleep.
I put my earbuds in my ears and listened to the Buddhist Monk Kanho Yakushiji from Japan, chanting the Buddha’s Heart Sutra.

As his deep voice started the incantation, I felt tears flood my eyes and my heart felt SO homesick.
It was overwhelming.

I asked myself, what was I so homesick for?…
I knew that it was not Japan, not for the beautiful aesthetics of the food, nor for the beauty of the culture.

Not even for the wonderful hot springs and the beautiful ancient temples.

Yes, I love all those, but these are abstract concepts.
There are many criminals in Japan, dirty urban streets, crumbling old houses, as well as lonely old people and fattening, greasy food.

I am homesick for the subtle vibrations emanating towards me from behind the veil of time….. from other lifetimes, from eternity…..my heart yearns for God…

For eternity, before the separation from all that is, which never really occurred…

I am homesick for my REAL eternal HOME….
The vibrations of home are emanating from the places I love,
Still resonating to the music of my soul…

I find them in the chanting of the Heart Sutra, in the Nio guardians at the gates of beautiful old temples, in the forests, in the Onsens, in the flowers, and in the fields.

This quote of the famous Haiku poet Matsuo Basho comes to my mind:

“The temple bell stops.

But the sound keeps coming

Out of the flowers….”

I wish you a wonderful week, full of blessings and a rich inner joy,

Tali 

 

2 Comments on “A dream I had of the Goddess Kannon, and thoughts about our approaching foot pilgrimage

  1. Hello Tali,

    You wrote:”I welcome any and all help I can get to grow in understanding and to overcome all hurdles that I have in my understanding of how to bring these Truths into physical reality”.

    Reading Rav Kook and Rav Shagar, coming to Tzfat, Israel (where I live and you are welcome to visit) and donating some of your money to people who need it. I know you through Mikaere (Mike) Nixon from New Zealand). These are my suggestions.

    • Dear Amy,
      Thank you for caring and for offering your insights.
      I hope you and Mike are enjoying Tzfat.
      I guess you moved there from Jerusalem.

      I have been to Tzfat many times.
      There was a spiritual healing retreat there that I used to go to once per month.
      It is a place with great vibrations.
      Thanks for the invitation to visit you.
      Maybe someday we will meet.

      Since you are familiar with the writings of Rav Shagar and Rav Kook, you know that they stated that the “land of Israel” or ארץ ישראל, is really more of a state of mind than an actual location…..

      Please send my warm regards to Mike,
      Blessings and light,
      Tali

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