Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 11/03/2015

Metta in a Nightmare

I rarely have dreams that radically delay from the mundane: so pedestrian are they, in fact, that it is a kind of running home between my wife and I. Rarer still are dreams which could be called nightmares but I believe I had one last night. 

Although I don’t remember the details leading up to the scene in question, I somehow found myself in a dark bungalow at night. I seem to have gotten the feeling that it was my father’s house and that he was there with me although I don’t recall seeing him in the dream. At some point I realize that two, make silhouettes are beginning to materialize outside the lasts picture window that looks out onto a half completed deck and I realize that this is not right. I feel a sudden risk of fear and angry indignation and rush outside to literally pounce on the shades.

One there I jumped on them but come away only with their battered and mouth eaten jackets. I recall showing them to someone when I had come back in the house and pulling a piece of fabric or discarded paper from one of the pockets. At this point I turn my attention back to the window and everyday the two male shades have reappeared and that a third  silhouette, apparently female, is beginning to materialize. I feel the urge to challenge them all again but I realize in that moment that it would be futile to do so. A thought pops into my head that if I continue to rant with anger and fear more of these costs will appear to feed on the negative energy so I begin at one to radiate metta towards them.

Strangely, I begin to waken from the dream while still doing metta and can get feel the presence of the shades. I am inclined to think that they were just a product of the mind but I continue to radiate metta for some time until I felt their energy dissipate.

All in all I was glad for the experience because it is proof to me that, even in the depths of delusion, the  Dhamma had penetrated through to my habitual thinking. May we all continue to practice ardently and bring our minds and hearts in line with the Dhamma.


  1. This is certainly a good sign–that you remembered to radiate metta even in your dream! Well done. It’s an indicator that your training has reached inwards to a deep place so far beyond the lip service that many might pay to the Dhamma.

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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.