You will be tested
It seems like every time I find some peace of mind, or think I'm in a good place, I'm tested, usually in my dreams, or nightmares as they have been lately. Every since the Alanis Morissette episode I've been feeling very good, happy, and content.
I go through my day and do my work, and at night I typically go to sleep with no expectations or desired. Dreams still come and go, and although I record them here, I try to have no attachment to them after they are done.
Carrying a girl across a river
It's like the story of two Zen students who are walking, when they come across a pretty girl who needs to cross a river, but doesn't want to get wet. One of the Zen students picks up the girl, carries her across the river, drops her off on the other side, and says, "See you later." (It was a small river, maybe a stream.) The two students go off in their direction, and the pretty girl goes off on her way.
A little while later the second Zen student, the one who didn't pick up the girl, says to the first one, "How could you carry that pretty girl across the river? We're not supposed to think about pretty girls and stuff like that." The first Zen student replies, "I have already put her down, it seems like you are still carrying her with you."
Temptation dreams and nightmares
That's how I've been trying to treat my dreams, and as I've mentioned here before, every time I get in a state like this I seem to be tested by my mind. Usually they're dreams of beautiful women and sex -- temptation dreams -- but on two of the last three nights they have been nightmares of people I love being hurt or killed. So I take these dreams as my attachment and peace of mind being tested.
There are Buddhist stories about Mara tempting the Buddha, and while I'm no Buddha or Zen Master, I do feel like I'm being tested, whether it's by Mara, my own mind, or something else. (In an interesting twist, tonight's nightmare sequence ended with a pretty girl I knew a long time ago, named Maura here in the physical world.)
I'll update this article in the future, but for now, I'm out of time.
Pride, by Syntax
Writing this article makes me think of the song Pride, by Syntax (though nothing to do with the image shown on this video):