Last night I dreamed of the Dalai Lama, for the first time in my life. Though I’ve studied Buddhism for the past 16 years, he hasn’t made a single appearance in my subconscious, even though some part of me might have found that comforting.
In the dream, my husband and I were in my car. I was driving, and we were with a lot of other cars, inching into a crowded stadium parking lot. We were going to some sort of event, when all of a sudden, I saw a black car next to ours, on my left. I noticed a man get out of the car and stand by the side as the traffic inched along. He was wearing a rust colored sweater over maroon colored robes that fell to the ground, and had a bald head. I told my husband that it was the Dalai Lama, and all of a sudden he turned to face me and I saw that it really was.
Without thinking, I put the car in park and got out r to approach him. In real life, the Dalai Lama is probably at the very top of the list of people I’d like to meet. I don’t care too much about actors and sports figures, though I have my favorites.
In the dream, the Dalai Lama turned to me and I said my name was Alyson and that I’d always wanted to meet him. He smiled warmly and said he was happy I’d come. We continued to walk alongside the cars. I kept looking right and left, worried that someone might try to hurt him (his security is always very tight), but he was relaxed and open. I asked my husband to get back in the car so we wouldn’t back up traffic and he went back. I told the Dalai Lama that I had always wanted to go to Dharamsala but hadn’t had a chance yet and he said I would have to come, that it was beautiful and we would have tea. We kept walking and talking, discussing the various movies that had been made about Tibet, some of which his own life had been dramatized. Then we were in a backstage area, where people were rushing around getting ready for the show. He touched my arm and said he had to go now, but he was glad I came.
As he moved away from me, disappearing into the crowd, I realized I would have to go back and find my husband so I could see the talk, a musical performance, and then a screening of a new movie about Tibet. Arto Lindsay and another guy were playing nearby and being filmed, so I realized I would have to jump over the fence. I hurtled over one and then another and another before I realized I couldn’t get out that way. So I had to climb back over the third fence, getting nails stuck in my gray cashmere sweater (someone had made homemade razor wire to keep people form jumping the fence in the first place). Then I woke up.
Sometimes, dreams aren’t subtle. I have a pretty big meeting scheduled for Monday. I had begun to feel a little anxious about it (not hugely, but still), and voila, a dream about the Dalai Lama, who seems to be himself so effortlessly, all welcoming and compassionate, yet also sharply intelligent and devoted to living his life for the alleviation of suffering. I want to do that as well, in my own way, as much as I can. I’m sure I can and will take a page from his book before Monday, and try to be half the person he is when my time comes.