Day 194 “Buddha Nature”

The bus I am riding on is actually a small house. The bus driver sits at the front door and collects fares. The front door opens into a dining room, where riders are playing cards. I move back further, into the adjacent sitting area. My friend Sandy is here and she has a young child; a girl. The girl remembers me although I am sure I have not seen her in ages. The bus stops, and panicked I rush to get off, only to discover this is not my stop, so I rush back on the bus. I feel frazzled, but laugh at my error and return to my seat trying to relax. Then I realize I am missing my purse. Thinking I’d left it at the last stop, I holler to the driver to go back, but then see that I’d left it on a table in the front hall. I pick it up and notice that it is lighter than it was. In fact, it is the purse, emptied of its contents. I am outraged, and accuse all the occupants of the bus. As it turns out, I know many of them, and I rifle through their belongings looking to recover mine. Worst of all, my passport was in the purse and losing that is a nightmare. I know the culprit is on board.

Coming to terms with the diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is difficult, not unlike being robbed of one’s identification. In the dream, it is my passport I am worried about. My passport, in particular, is the only document that bears my full legal name. More importantly, it allows me to travel.

Replacing a passport is possible, but difficult. Metaphorically, I have lost my passport to come and go freely. Life now needs to be measured or paced, and I do not have credit to draw on. My purse has been emptied.

The bus that I travel on is me: the driver, the same robotic ego that takes me mindlessly through my daily route. The passengers are me also. Sandy is my over-analytical, uptight self, which is balanced by- or, perhaps (if I am more honest) protective of- my little girl innocence. The card players, and readers on board are me too. So is the thief.

Why is my bus a small house? My husband and I bought a small house over a year ago to retire in. We haven’t moved in yet, but it continues to be our promise for the future. Is this a premonition dream then? That the greatest struggle, or lost, will come when we move to our little house? Time alone will tell.

Derek Lin says that we each have a Buddha Self – an enlightened, loving self that lies at our inner core. As in the dream, I am struggling to find my bearings, conscious of the need to register my progress, and be on alert. I have long since moved away from a time when I trusted the process, and I am feeling disconnected from my Buddha Nature.

I can only hope that those who surround me don’t lose sight of it also. Reconnection will be my saving grace.

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.