Last night I dreamt that I tore down my old house. At first I thought I did this to rebuild the structure in better condition. Then I realized I didn't have to follow the old design, but could build something entirely new. I was free to create a house that fit who I am becoming now. This dream expressed what I've seen over and over again. We talk glowingly of building dream houses, but mostly we cut and paste from old dreams. As a result, we inhabit old patterns of behavior and never discover the fresh possibilities life offers.
To dream a new dream takes courage. We have to risk looking beyond preconceived ideas and peer into the unknown. We have to look past the countless thoughts that fascinate our minds and gaze into the thoughtless spaciousness from which our thoughts arise. These spacious waters terrify the mind. It clings to the safety of what it knows, or thinks it can know. The mind thinks that curiosity alone can discover new visions. The curious mind, however, finds what it already knows. New dreams can only arise from the dreamer who is perceiving the changing visions of the dream. This perceiver is the silent awareness at the core of our experience.
The place of dreaming is the blank page, the empty canvas, the void in the cooking pot. These frames assist us in seeing what is emerging within the frame. Before starting a design, the real work of discerning the vision is done by sitting and gazing into empty page. It is resisting the mind's urge to display its cleverness and jump to a sparkling solution. The vision comes from patience and a willingness to see new forms. It comes from letting go of personal authorship and receiving what is being authored by life. A thousand voices may try to distract your attention. Yet, if you are steadfast in your stillness, you can see beyond the preconceived and conceive new forms and ways of living. As Virginia Wolfe wrote in Moments of Being, "Then one sees through the surface to the depths. In these moments I find one of my greatest satisfactions, not that I am thinking of the past, but that it is then that I am living most fully in the present."