Last night, I had a vivid dream about my father, which I would like to share. In the dream, my father came to California and visited Manjushri Dharma Center. I opened the door for him and I was so happy to see him standing there. He looked just like how he used to, the same beard, the same clothes, the hair, and smiling face. He had such a beautiful smile. I knew that it was a dream while I was dreaming, and I also knew that he had passed away 24 years ago.
My father made prostrations to the center’s shrine, and then we ate food and drank tea together. He then told me that he wanted to have some nettle soup with me before he left. In my mind, I thought to myself, because of the pandemic, I couldn’t head out to pick nettle leaves. I didn’t have any nettle in my house, so what should I do? While I was wondering this, my Dad instantly knew what I was thinking and said to me “No problem, Son. We can head to Ama Yeshe’s house in Boston.” In the dream, I was astonished because my father had never met Ama Yeshe. I asked my dad, “How do you know her? You have never met her before!” He asked me if I visited them every year, and I said, “Yes!”
Ama Yeshe and P’ha La Konchok are like second family to me, like surrogate parents. They have treated me so well and have always been so kind to me. Whenever I’m in Boston, they prepare delicious food for me and always show me great hospitality. Anyway, my father said to me “Let’s go to Boston right now, and eat nettle soup at Ama Yeshe’s house!”
As soon as he said that, instantly, we found ourselves at Ama Yeshe’s house. She was so surprised to see me standing outside her window. She said “Oh, Khen Rinpoche, you here! We are so happy to see you! We have already made some nettle soup for you here! Perfect timing! Please do come in and eat with us.” Ama Yeshe knows how much I love nettle soup. I greeted her with, “Tashi Delek,” and introduced her to my father.
Inside Ama Yeshe’s house, I saw two beautiful women. They were wearing fine jewels and silk brocade chubas. They looked just like dakinis, or like the goddess of long life, Tseringma. Each of these dakinis had a very beautiful amber mala in her hands. They gave the malas to us: one to my father, and one to me. My father always loved malas, and had many precious malas in his collection, so I offered mine to him as well. He held both malas in his hands.
Suddenly, my father said that he did not want to eat nettle soup anymore as he had only really come here for these malas. He said he had to go, and then he smiled broadly, and began to rise up up into the sky. He flew farther and farther away, until he disappeared into the sky. I waited for a while, as I thought he might come back for the nettle soup, but he did not.
That was when I awoke from this strange dream. It was 5:00 AM. At first it felt as if I was still really at Ama Yeshe’s house in Boston. I had a bittersweet feeling about the dream. At one and the same time, I was both sad that I had not gotten the chance to eat nettle soup my my father, and happy that he had visited me.
Vivid dreams like these seem so real. I wondered to myself, Why did my father come into my dream now, of all possible times? I believe it was because I did the Chod practice on July 29th, the night of my dream. My father especially loved Chod pujas. He often used to listen to my chanting while I was doing my Chod practices. He didn’t use the bell and damaru, but he knew all the visualizations of offering the body (Lujin). He was familiar not only with the words of the Chod texts, but also their profound meaning. For him, Chod was a very special practice, and that could well be why he came into my dream last night.
Later on, I called Ama Yeshe and told her about my dream. She replied that she was very happy to hear about it. She added that she me had also seen some special auspicious signs in the sky that morning just before I called her. I just wanted to share this with all of you.
Written by Khenpo Karten Rinpoche, originally posted on his Blogspot.