Trudy Goodman

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Life Is But A Dream

I wake up to a clear winter sunrise in LA. It’s already the fifth day of the new year. Like a dream, the holidays are past, whether sparkling or somber. It’s 2019 now. Here we are, rowing our boats gently down the swift stream of time. Is life really but a dream, as our childhood song tells us? Who creates this dream life? Is it a lucid dream, where we are aware that we are dreaming?   

Living immersed in our culture, it’s not easy to stay aware of the ephemeral, dream-like nature of this life. I sometimes find myself asleep in a way, distracted – check my phone, intend to answer an email but get drawn into answering a text and then forget the email. I know I’m not alone, if this happens to me, it probably happens to you, too. We’re already living in a virtual reality, a dream world where we forget who and what we truly are. 

One New Year’s Eve, when people gathered to reflect on how they’d fulfilled their intentions for the year past, a very accomplished young teacher laughed and confessed: “I can’t even remember what my intentions were!” Her honesty was full of self-acceptance and light-hearted compassion. This is how it is sometimes: dreaming of a being a better self, we set intentions and…forget. It’s OK.  The grace of mindfulness and meditation is remembering. We learn how to step back from forgetfulness into loving awareness, any time we remember to wake up. Waking up, we perceive time itself – present, past & future — has the quality of a dream. If life is but a dream – let’s make this year a good dream!