Why Confine Peace to a Dream?

There is no peace in dreams
only the drama of nightly wandering.
Fractured images, salvaged glimpses
of what might have been….

Some twenty years ago–maybe even longer than that–these lines opened an untitled poem I never completed. The lines have stayed around, although it is not as if they are always with me.

It is the nature of the unfinished to reappear and so it did when October’s Bloggers for Peace post challenge was announced: describe your dream of peace. These many years later, my mostly Buddhist self believes peace is accessible in every moment so why confine it to a dream?forpeace6

If I have a dream of peace, it is for a day like today, full of the daily drama of the story we live, each moment ripe with possibility. The state of world peace is the reflection of our inner revelations regarding ourselves.

As Mooji said, “You don’t awaken to Truth by analyzing the dream. Find out who the dreamer is.” Our truth is our inner state of peace, an ongoing awakening from one dream after another.
Sands of Truth 1013

Dreams allow us to test our truth in single scenarios, salvaging glimpses of what might have been for no peace, no truth ever stays forever.  It is not the nature of being.

The reason everything looks beautiful is
because it is out of balance,
but its background is always in perfect harmony.

This is how everything exists
in the realm of Buddha nature, losing its balance
against a background of perfect balance….

~Shunryu Suzuki~

Dreams pass into memory where they pop up like lines of a lost poem, an opportunity to reexamine what once was, a momentary imbalance. Such is the undulating weave of existence—the web without a weaver—the constant that holds the chaos of everyday drama. 

Listen closely… the eternal hush of silence goes on and on throughout all this,
and has been going on, and will go on and on.
This is because the world is nothing but a dream and is just thought of
and the everlasting eternity pays no attention to it.

~ Jack Kerouac~

It is the nature of peace and dreams to wander in and out of every moment of existence. The challenge is to remember we are part and parcel of that everlasting eternity, offered one experience after another, day and night.

If we try to hold a dream, to confine it as we wish it to be, it splinters; all we salvage is a glimpse of what might have been. We find it unsettling to view peace and dreams as elusive—it is like trying to touch the wind—but we can breathe the air that is available, seek the peace that is accessible. 

A good traveler has no fixed plans
and has no intent of arriving.

~Lao Tzu~

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13 thoughts on “Why Confine Peace to a Dream?

  1. l agree with Athena, this is one of your bests. Some highlights. I read the poem fragment wondering what famous poet wrote it, and was pleasantly surprised that you had written it. A carpooler to the Vipassana retreat told me about Mooji, so your post and quotation reminded me of a fragment that I had forgotten. Love Kerouac’s quote on silence. Researching Richard Rohr: Finding God in Depths of Silence, so something is resonating in silence. Love the web without a weaver. I have been getting glimpses of the observer becoming the observed, but no major connections except that we are all connected.
    I know this is a bit scattered, but your post really got me thinking/being. {{{Hugs}}} kozo


    1. More and more, I am attracted to silence, and what it reveals. Currently, I am listening to Marianne Williamson’s “Everyday Grace,” an early work but she like so many reminds us that all the ancient traditions offer silence as a way through our every day. If I have not mentioned Michael Singer to you previously, I think his “The Untethered Soul” is a stunning work on the observer. You have been experiencing so much, my friend, and I remain fascinated by your exploration. Thanks so much, Kozo.


      1. Will check out Singer. Thank you, my friend. Yes, life has been a lot of being and happening over here lately. Trying to keep it all together which seems futile. Merely being. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo


    1. Thanks, Diana! I was not familiar with that particular quote and was delighted to discover it. As for the poem fragment, I find it interesting that it drops in so frequently yet the poem remains unfinished. Glad you enjoyed the post and the images.


  2. Hi Karen, what a beautiful post, one of your best I think. You have this way of blending the magical with the ordinary and creating something entirely unique in the process. I love the quotes and recognise many of them,as if you are reminding least I should forget. I especially like the last one
    ” The traveller has no fixed plans and no intent of arriving”


    1. Thanks so much, Athena! Your kind words do mean a great deal to me. The Tao is so crisp and clear in revealing life in all its mystery, reminding us to just be aware of the awe of the experience of it all. Lao Tzu’s words have given me many a pleasurable moment. Great to see you out and about on the blogosphere.
      Again, thanks, Athena.


  3. I really love this point, Karen: “Dreams allow us to test our truth in single scenarios, salvaging glimpses of what might have been for no peace, no truth ever stays forever. It is not the nature of being.”

    I am so guilty of finding a peaceful moment and wanting to cling to it, as if only that one image of peace is real. But nothing lasts, and so any dream/image of peace is only one glimpse of what peace can look like … not an all-encompassing (and therefore limiting) definition.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking (as always) post! 🙂


    1. Thanks, Kenetha! I, too, work at not clinging, which is such a human quality. No other sentient being tries to live in moments that have not yet occurred or have already passed. Cooper helped me the most with this, I think, and feline EmmaRose has picked up where he left off. And you’re absolutely right about being open to life/peace in each moment for only then do we not limit ourselves. A truly beautiful comment, and I thank you.


  4. I agree. Peace may well be a dream for most; but as you say it is a dream that we can, should – and must – live. We must also, I think, accept what comes to us on the way as the dream unfolds in our realities; and if we have a mind focussed on peace – peace within ourselves, acceptance of others, and tolerance – then what comes our way will always be good.

    Thank you Karen, once again, for sharing your thoughts – and I hope people listen!


    1. Thanks, Matthew! Precisely as you say, if we are at peace with ourselves, then our perspective on what we see outside ourselves is broader and perhaps even more compassionate. Of course, this just may be why peace is so elusive, because we must–and I agree it is must–begin with ourselves and only accept that peace is as fluid as our lives and revel in that opportunity. Once again, I appreciate your thoughtful comment.


  5. I find that peace resides in not dwelling so much on human concerns but on living in the whole. Watching an ant walk up a blade of grass, seeing a hawk wheel in the sky, feeling an unexpected breeze, all assure me that peace is there, a constant that holds steady behind the flurry of human activity. Your ideas and photos are beautiful Karen.


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