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Sheep in the Sky

Dreamed c. 1220/9/20 by Myoe Shonin

I had a dream about a large object which resembled a sheep in the sky. It went through unending transformations. Sometimes it was like a light, sometimes it resembled a human figure. When it was like an aristocrat wearing a cap, it suddenly changed into a commoner who descended to the ground.

The priest Girin was there. He looked at it, was disgusted, and detested it. It turned to me and seemed to want to say something. I thought to myself that this was a constellation that had transformed and manifested itself. I thought highly of it. I wanted to resolve my uncertainty [about what it was].

Then it turned to me and said, 'Many [priests] should not accept the faith and offerings of other people."

Then I understood it. I asked it, "Where will I be reborn next?"

It replied, 'In the Trayastrimsas Heaven.'

I asked, "When I am reborn there, will I already be unattached to the five desires and be practicing the Buddha's way?"

It replied, "Yes." The heavenly being said, "Shouldn't you keep from burning your head?"

I replied, "Yes." I thought, My next life will be good. Why do I try to anticipate it? I think it was telling me that I need only do what I must before people in this world.

Again I said, "Will you always protect me like this?"

It said, "Yes."

Then I awoke.


SOURCE AND TRANSLATION: George Tanabe, Myoe the Dreamkeeper

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