Monday, January 26, 2009

The Dream of the Lost Souls

Yellow Hat Monks in Kathmandu, Nepal
A few days after I was married, I left on a buying trip to Nepal, by myself. My husband had obligations and couldn't come with me. (From a previous post.)

It used to take me a full day of travel just to reach Bangkok. I would fly across the US, to LA to Osaka, Japan and then up to Bangkok, Thailand. By the time that I arrived it would be late in the evening and I would take a taxi to a $20 hotel in the business district near the French Embassy. It has changed a lot since I used to go there. At that time it was always open with rooms available 24 hours a day. A couple of teenage boys would sleep on chairs in the lobby. So whenever I arrived, someone could check me in. The rooms were very simple, but clean enough.

As you might imagine, I would be absolutely wiped out from the trip. And my internal clock was completely turned upside down from the time change. So, as soon as I arrived, I showered and went to bed.

Dreams have some catching up to do after you have been without sleep for so long. I always find that my dreams are more colorful and fantastic when I have been without them for a while. But sometimes I have dreams that are not of the same quality as the others. I have had a few that have come true in inconsequential ways, some that are scary and some that are easy to control so that I can take flight and go where I like. This type of lucid dreaming is my favorite. But three times in my life, I have had a very different kind of dream. The first time, was the night that I first started my menses. I was fifteen and in terrible pain. My parents left me to sleep in our play room because they knew I was having a rough time and they didn't want to wake me to send me to bed. That night, I was aware of my surroundings as if I was asleep with my eyes wide open. A man walked in the door of the playroom and stood there. I don't know what he wanted, but I was terrified. I screamed silently in my sleep until I screamed myself awake. When I finally managed to open my eyes, the scene in the room was exactly the same although I could no longer see the man standing in the doorway watching me. I had to get up and run through the man to get out of the room. I put my head down and ran into my parents room and jumped into bed with them, something I hadn't done in about 10 years.

The second time that I had this kind of dream was only two years later. Again a was suddenly aware of being able to see the room around me quite clearly. I sat up at the edge of the bed and put my hand out to turn on the light. My hand went right through the light and I could see my body still lying on the bed. The shock of this caused me to slip and roll back into myself. As soon as I was fully reconnected with my body I jumped out of bed for real and went to find my father who was still up and washing dishes in the kitchen. I decided not to say what woke me up.

The third time that I had one of these dreams was after that long journey to Thailand shortly after I was married at 29. My hotel room had two single beds. I fell asleep very quickly, but shortly after I fell asleep, I was aware of the room again as if I was looking through the backs of my eye-lids. Everything in the room was exactly as it had been when I went to bed except that I had visitors. There was a monk lying seemingly deceased on the bed next to mine. Around the departed or nearly departed, three other monks in long dark red robes with large yellow hats were marching clockwise around the body. One of them swung an incense burner as they circumambulated and chanted. They were completely absorbed in what they were doing until they came around the foot of the bed when one of the monks realized that I was there and looked at me right into my eyes with a fierce and fixed gaze. I cannot ever remember the feeling of being seen in any other dream than this one. Usually it is the dreamer that does all of the seeing.

In seconds I was awake again and running down the stairs to the lobby. I was asking the teenagers how old the building was and had anyone ever seen any ghosts there before. They said that the building was quite old but they hadn't heard about any ghosts. They also pointed out that Thai monks wear orange robes and do not have big yellow hats.

I couldn't go back to sleep that night. I didn't want to be alone in the room, so I went out on the town with another guest at the hotel.

The dream was vivid in my imagination for years. A couple of years after my first child was born, I was on another buying trip in Nepal. There on the wall of a different hotel was a mural of the same red robed monks with large yellow hats that I had seen in my dreams. It just so happened that on this trip, I was treated to a dinner by a member of the Dalai Lama's family because I had done her a small favor. (It's a very big family.) I was so surprised about the painting that I had seen on the wall, that I had to tell her my dream. She was sure that it was a reincarnation dream and that perhaps my son was a reincarnate. She urged me to contact his holiness's office. I still have his business card, but I was not prepared for the prospect of a special Buddhist education for my child. I have never made any contact.

Over the years I have thought many times of Lhasa's lost. All of those deeply religious gentle souls that passed so quickly and so violently. I think about their spirits being scattered around the world still praying for the enlightenment of all of us.


  1. Wow, what a story. Your dreams are really strange. What do you think is going on with the man staring at you?

    I had a dream one time - or was it a dream? I was curled around my ex-husband - in a spooning position, sound asleep, and someone/something slapped me on the rear end really really hard! It woke me up and I asked him why he hit me and he said he didn't hit me - and I don't know how he could have as he was in front of me. I actually had a red mark and stinging on my rear end. This was many many years ago, during turbulent times in my early twenties. I always thought it was my high-school sweetheart that had died a couple of years before. Strange. ??

  2. I wouldn't call those experiences dreams. In some you were astral projecting, though the other experiences seem to be some type of encounter with the dead. Very cool stories!

    The monks with the big yellow hats came to Washington DC a few years ago and made a sand mandala of peace. Later when I was studying craniosacral therapy, I couldn't help but notice that the interior structure of the skull (talking about the membrane that separates right and left brain) looks just like those hats.

    I'm so glad I "know" you. You are so cool!

  3. I like this post and I wish I can have one of those dreams to post on my corner Posted Dreams, if you do not mind. You describe them as there are real.

  4. The Lemonade Award is for sites which show great attitude and/or attitude!

    I have one for you!

    "Wake at dawn with a winged heart and gives thanks for another day of loving."
    Khalil Gibran


  5. Thanks Khaled,

    Very sweet of you. I don't think I know 10 different blogs yet. I haven't been doing this very long. But certainly you would be on my list! I have been showing my appreciation by leaving little poems as comments for people. Thank you for the gift.

  6. Human beings have different kinds of dreams. Your level of awareness determines the depth of detail you retain and recall. Astral and lucid dreaming are concepts that you would benefit from exploring in more detail. My blog has a thread of posts about this. Many other sites also go into these topics. In June, I will finish an ebook on different kinds of dreams. This will offer an overview of different kinds of dreams and also contain sample analyses. It will be available on my site.

    Another point to consider about your own dreams is that spiritual places or spiritual encounters influence the nature of dreams. You only ever dream what you are ready to accept. Dreams are marvelous tools for awakening. Nobody knows you better than you.

  7. Wow, how did I miss this one?? Next question...I'll send you an email. This story is stunning.