Dream of: 13 July 1998 "Buddhist Music"


to someone through a dream is

a highly skilled art

In a Buddhist temple which I had recently begun visiting, I was thinking about frequenting the temple even more, perhaps even living there. Other members of the temple were seated in the room and everyone had a musical instrument. I had my silver flute which I had not played in a very long time. However, since the others were apparently preparing to play music together, I thought I should probably try to join them. I held the flute in my hands, trying to remember the fingerings. I had problems, especially since the head of the flute seemed to belong to a musical instrument other than the flute. When the others began playing their music, however, I managed to figure out where my fingers should go, and I also began playing.

Although I was surprised by how precise and clear were the notes emanating from my flute, I was aware that I was not playing the same music as the others. I was playing a little tune on my own, trying my best not to be in discord with the sweeping music of the other Buddhists, but aware that the tune I was playing was definitely different from theirs.

Abruptly the others stopped playing and I could hear someone complaining about how the flute playing did not comport with the rest of the orchestra. I felt abashed and uncertain what to do. A man (probably in his mid 30s) who seemed to be dressed in white and who seemed to be in charge of the temple stepped up to me. He seemed strong but not threatening. He quickly engaged me in conversation and questioned me about my abilities with the flute, and as we talked, I realized just how important the flute was to me. Although I had badly neglected the flute for a long time, I felt as if the flute was an important part of me and that I should focus my attention on playing it again. Just holding it in my hands made me feel good.

As the man seemed concentrated on determining whether I could learn to play along in the Buddhist orchestra, I realized I did want to play with them, and that I was willing to work to be a part of the orchestra. When the man asked me if I knew how to read music, I told him I had a "rudimentary" understanding of written music. I said I could both read and write music, but then I corrected myself and explained that what I meant by "writing" was that I could write the notes, although I did not know how to compose music. I told him I knew how to write a "C" note and I knew how to write other notes, such as quarter notes, half notes and whole notes. I could read music, although I had some problems reading complicated music. However, if I were given the chance, I was sure I could learn to read the music which the other Buddhists were playing.

The man seemed satisfied, although somewhat dubious, of what I was saying. Clearly he intended to give me a chance to learn to play music with the others. I realized if I were going to be successful, I would have to work hard.

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