A few years ago, I was in a group called “Awakening in the Dream” where we mused and shared about the idea that all we experience is a dream–and we can change that dream any time we want. (Really, most of the time we commiserated about trials that had happened in our week–in this “real” world!). The group facilitator was a Buddhist, and one week he invited us to meet with two beloved Buddhist lamas–brothers who were known worldwide.
We drove to a lovely home in Lake Oswego and entered this beautiful living room where disciples of these lamas were sitting cross-legged on the floor in silence, draped in their oh-so-spiritual Buddhist blankets. (I hope those of you who are Buddhist, do not take offense to this!!) I felt a little out of place as 1) my legs would not cross like that 2) my snazzy Bhuddist blanket consisted of being wrapped in my jacket, and 3) instead of perfecting serenity and silence, I kept sneezing!
The brothers entered the room draped in their orange cloths and sat in front of us in chairs. What I remember most about them is the joy and smiling radiance on their faces. One by one, the devotees around me raised their hands and asked the lamas questions: very, complicated, serious, Buddhisty-type questions, such as: “In France, what is the difference between this and that and the other teaching, big words, blah, blah, blah…. I kept thinking to myself, I have a question but it’s gonna sound so stupid after these highly insightful, spiritually evolved queries. I raised my hand.
“Lamas, I am wondering if you can say anything to help me find peace about something that has been bothering me. I have these two beautiful children whom I adore and are the “jackpot” of my life. I made a decision to be a full-time, devoted mother. However, my other heart’s desire is singing and dancing, but I have let go of my music gift–and a career in the arts–to raise my children. How do I accept the feeling of loss about this choice?”
The brothers looked at each other, stared up at the ceiling, looked at each other again, conferred quietly in Tibetan, and repeated this whole cycle seemingly for many minutes. Finally, they looked at me beaming with broad smiles as if they had figured out, with great pride, the answer to a mysterious puzzle.
“Your children are your song and your dance!”
Next, it was me smiling from ear to ear. I loved that answer. Still do. In addition, the brothers’ main message was that no matter what choices we make on this earth, the point is to have fun! What?? We all (clueless me and the oh-so-serious disciples) learned a sweet lesson that day. Lighten up and enjoy what you have.
So, today, in the 41st week of this one-week job project, I am changing my waking dream by singing each day, attempting to polish this rusty voice. I don’t know if it can be done, and there is much frustration and discouragement, but I aim to try. I will be performing in August for one of my one-week jobs–and my “song and dance” children will be there to support me as I resurrect this passion.
And I plan on having fun:)