For most people, dreams are very important. If they don’t dream when they sleep, they may fall sick. What are dreams? Sometimes, when we have no way to express our opinions in the daytime, we can release or give vent to some of them in our dreams. Otherwise, we feel very tired and stressed. Or perhaps we hate someone or are angry with someone in the daytime, but we have no way to express it, or it’s inconvenient to speak out — sometimes because we don’t want to disrupt the harmony in the family or because we dare not speak out. For example, when we’re angry because our boss is in a higher position than we are, or our Master is at a higher level than we are, (Master laughs) we dare not voice it. Instead, we vent our anger in dreams.
People who practice martial arts usually have the means to burn off their poison so they don’t need to dream too much. However, for most people, dreaming is very important. Without dreams, we may fall ill because we haven’t dispelled the toxic gases in our bodies. Therefore, ill people can’t sleep well. And when they can’t sleep well, their illness gets even worse because excessive toxic gas and undesirable thoughts accumulate in their bodies. Even good thoughts, when accumulated in the body excessively, are too much.
When we dream, it means that our daytime struggles come to a halt and the toxic gases can be released, or our unsatisfied desires are realized. In dreams, we can imagine and enjoy a little, just to comfort our minds somewhat. For example, someone who loves money dearly would most probably see himself as a wealthy person in his dreams. At least, in his dreams, he can relax and enjoy the pleasure of being rich for an hour or half an hour. This is better for him because he won’t be as agonized in real life.
Sometimes, the state of one’s dreams can affect one for an entire day. For example, after a nightmare, don’t we wake up still feeling horrified? (Audience answers: Yes.) If we have too many nightmares, we feel frightened even after a day or two. Thus, dreams can affect us more or less the way real life does. Sometimes, if we have very bad dreams, we wake up very hot-tempered, and treat other people awfully. It’s also bad for the body and spirit of the one who dreams.
That’s why I teach you to meditate, focus your mind on the wisdom eye, think of good things and recite the Holy Names before going to sleep. In this way, at least we can minimize the influence of the negative atmosphere in our surroundings. In this world, even if our thinking isn’t bad, the atmosphere of the society and family can still affect us, and make us bad, stupid, nervous and less benevolent.
Mo-Tzu (the founder of Mohism, who emphasized universal love and peace in ancient China) called society a terrible dyeing vat. Even Saints will be contaminated if they come here! Shakyamuni Buddha was originally the Hu-ming Bodhisattva descending from the Tusita Heaven (a Buddhist Heaven of full knowledge and satisfaction, where no greed or worldly desires exist). He was very intelligent and could walk at the time of birth. He learned anything immediately, better than all His teachers. However, He was still ignorant; only when He was almost thirty years old, when He went outside and observed the suffering of sentient beings, did He awaken and turn to spiritual pursuits. He was originally a Bodhisattva and had practiced spirituality life after life, having gained more merits than He could ever use. That was why He was able to deliver so many sentient beings. Nevertheless, He was still contaminated upon arrival in this world. Lao Tzu, Confucius and Zhuang Tzu (great philosophers of ancient China) were all contaminated. They only woke up after a certain period of time, and then began to practice spiritually. Therefore, they weren’t saints from birth.
After we attain the great enlightenment, we clearly discern that the world is just like a dream. At that moment, it’s like we’ve awakened from the dream. The dreams we have every day are merely small dreams while this world is a big dream, which is more difficult to wake up from. When someone is having a nightmare and screaming out loud, he needs another person to reassure him: “Hey! Wake up! It’s all right!” Similarly, in this big dream, we also need an enlightened Master to remind us, but whoever doesn’t want to be reminded and wants to carry on sleeping we just leave alone. These people are seriously ill and they’re also dreaming. Since we can’t wake them up, we just let them go on sleeping. It’s as though they’re anaesthetized and can’t wake up. However, they’ll get well by themselves after some time. Thus, those who want to pursue spirituality may come. If they don’t want to, we cannot force them.
“Dreams and Spiritual Cultivation”
Q: She asks You if You have a dream?
M: Yes, I have dream. I dream that all the world will become peaceful. I dream that everyone becomes Buddha. I dream that all killing will stop. I dream that all the children will walk in peace and harmony. I dream that all the nations shake hands with each other, protect each other, and help each other. I dream that our beautiful planet will not be destroyed by some crazy atom bomb. It took billion, trillions of years to produce this planet and it’s so beautiful, so wonderful. I dream that it will continue, but in peace, beauty and love. Yes, that is my dream. (Audience applaud.)
“Is God A Being Or A Non-Being”