Doi Suthep- Part V: Dreaming
Trip Start Dec 29, 2007
33Trip End Mar 10, 2008
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I remember this from years ago, when I used to spend weeks camping in the back country. When you divorce the mind from its regular sensory stimulation, like human interaction and television, it tends to create its own late-night drama. The circumstances are even more severe during meditative retreat, when you are completely isolated from the world and focusing solely on breath and body movement, which are wholly uninteresting activities to your brain.
Here on the mountaintop, we're encouraged to sleep no more than six hours each night, though I confess I typically get about seven hours rest on average
Gone are the nights where dreams are woven out of random patterns of events and people strung together from unconscious thoughts and memories. My dreams are more like feature-length movies now, with central characters, story lines, subplots and twists, and sharp dialogue. My dreams are in full Technicolor with Dolby surround sound, award-winning cinematography, and a dramatic musical score. My lead actors have romantic interests who show little interest in them at first but are eventually won over by their morality and heroism.
Sometimes, I play a supporting role in these mental movies, but mostly I'm in the audience while established stars - who waive their usual multi-million dollar paychecks for the privilege of attaching themselves to a Haddad Productions venture - handle the heavy lifting. One night, I dream up a full-length action-adventure movie starring Tom Cruise and introducing a new young starlet, whose name I don't remember, but who clearly has a big future in this business. The next night, it's a raucous buddy-comedy starring Chris Sera in a modern-day adaptation of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." Some of the dreams even have end credits that roll just before I wake up.
Other nights, I dream up television shows, both original programming and existing series. On back-to-back nights during my first week, I find myself asleep watching a "Law & Order" episode (the original, not a spin-off version, with Jerry Orbach and Benjamin Bratt) and then the entire second series of "Charmed" on TNT, before Shannon Doherty was replaced by Rose McGowan
I also discover that I am a brilliant screenwriter and director of soft-core pornography- though I always suspected I had talent in this arena. The superior plot lines and sophisticated dialogue are far better than you'll find on late-night Cinemax. I frequently play supporting roles, and I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank several of you out there in Blogland who made spirited cameo appearances in my ambitious little films. You know who you are. God bless.
I also have frequent nightmares, vivid and horrific ones. The kind that make you sit straight up in bed at 3:00 a.m., spending ten or fifteen minutes trying to wake up and figure out if what just happened is real or not. Like the other dreams, they are also expertly-crafted, although it's harder to appreciate them since I have difficulty getting back to bed afterwards.
During a reporting session, I mention my dreams to Teacher, leaving out most of the incriminating details. He nods sympathetically, saying, "When you bottle up a storm, it will eventually find a way to get out."
Overall, I consider it a compromise of sorts. My mind allows me to focus on meditation during the day in return for giving it free reign during the sunless hours. And considering there's a writers' strike still going on in Hollywood, perhaps I'll shop my scripts around when I get home.
Coming Soon: Part VI: Practicimitation