I am a Vajrayana Buddhist. I follow the Buddha Dharma via the Vajra path. My journey to the Dharma was through lucid dreams. I have not once had a human teacher, in this lifetime, to teach or guide me to/on this path. My teachers have been the Dakinis, the Mothers, or a variety of emanations of the Divine Feminine embodying many forms of wisdom. They are the ones that have provided me with the practices to engage and the ways in which I need to BE, in order to DO, in this lifetime.
“How do you know these dreams are not from your mind?”
Do you know how many times I have heard this question, from sangha members of less melanin? Did you know that it has always been a Western Buddhist that has challenged my experiences, yet those that follow the Buddha Dharma in Asia would always inquire about them from a place of curiosity?
“But really, how do you know?” This is my default answer before referring to the 15 plus years of knowing the difference of the quality of dreams:
“I never heard of Padmakara before Vishnu revealed to me “…those who give praise to Padmakara will receive great blessings.””
Padmakara is another name for Padmasambhava, aka Guru Rinpoche, a very important figure in Tibetan Buddhism. While there are plenty of similar dreams I can provide as an example, this is not the main reason for writing this essay.
There was a dream I had on March 9, 2018, about an event that took place on March 8th, yet did not realize the connection between my dream and the event until April 17th. (Because my way of being is heavily influenced by my dreams, for me the time warps and leaps are normal).
I was in a large courtyard at a very large Buddhist temple. There were many, many monks. All of them wore traditional red and yellow robes. There was an enthronement ceremony in progress for several lamas/monks/men. The one in charge turned to me and said, “I seldom do this for so many”. I was also in line to be enthroned.
One of the men was given an odd shaped hat. Each of the men enthroned after him was crowned with a hat shaped like it. One was black and white, the other red and yellow. [end of dream]
This was experienced one day after a recognition ceremony. I had no prior knowledge of when it would happen.
At the time of this dream, my thoughts and meditations were all focused on discovering why I was guided to be in the Piedmont region of Italy. They were far from the contemplation of an enthronement ceremony.
On March 8, 2018, something phenomenal happened – an African-Caribbean Osun devotee and spiritual teacher, known as Yeye Omileye, was recognized as an emanation of the female water Buddha Mamaki by the medium for the Tibetan State Oracle, Nechung Kuten-La in Dharmasala, India. You can read more about it here.
Myself and several others think this to be a very auspicious event. Not only because there is an emanation in this day and age of a female water deity from within the Tibetan Buddha Dharma, but also because the woman being recognized is a woman that has a degree of melanin. A stark contrast to what you ‘normally’ see in Western and Tibetan Buddhism. I know of a black nun ordained in the Theravada and Chan traditions of Buddhism, Venerable Pannavati Bhikkhuni, and that African-American buddhist teachers do exist.
However, something as profound as this?
You might think there was a lot of conversation, praise, and celebration around this event. Well, there was a lot of conversation, some praise, and a bit of celebration. Last year, when I’d heard about the announcement of her recognition, I was in Nepal. After leaving Nepal, I’d completely forgotten about it until April 17, 2018, when I chose a seemingly ‘random’ day to check Facebook. The first bit of news on my timeline was from Omileye, and it spoke about the hurtful comments and emails she had received after news of her recognition ceremony was posted on the blog Vajrayana World. Said blog post has since been deleted.
Before writing this essay, I searched online for places that might be engaged in a conversation about this, found a forum dedicated to Dharma practitioners and did not expect to see what was posted – there were more dissenting voices than supportive ones surrounding this event.
Why is it difficult for this news to be taken seriously?
Why is it a shock to hear that someone like me can distinguish the quality of lucid dreams to know what is simply just a dream, and what is pure vision?
Why is it a shock to hear that I have ancestry from several countries across three different continents? That I acknowledge my mixed heritage and embody it with honor, while not being attached to it? None of this should be a surprise.
Perhaps, I need not ask why, and simply continue what I have been doing – educate through compassionate sharing.
What one perceives to be, and what is, are not the same.
I am not a friend or student of Yeye Omileye. We are connected via Facebook, with the somewhat occasional email exchange. Furthermore, I am vaguely familiar with her work. What I know is very little – she works with Osun as an oracle and does healing work for the waters of the planet. She also offers personal development programs.
While this dream could be interpreted in so many ways, I will only point out what was spoken by the officiating lama: “I seldom do this for so many”.
“…for so many”. Perhaps there will be more to come?
Was this dream a residual effect of the ceremony that happened the night prior?
In the end it is the dreamer that determines the meaning, however, this is not a sharing of my interpretation. It is shared for you to contemplate.
Recognitions in this tradition are not certificate mills. They do not come so easily. Yet when they come, they should be honored for what they are.
Alaya A. Dannu, MTP (aka Diya Prajnaparamita) is a woman of mixed heritage, born in Texas, raised in NYC. For the past two and a half years, she has been traveling the world living her dreams. She is a Vajrayana Buddhist, writer of poetic memoirs, and sacred dancer.
Combining her background in Transpersonal Psychology and 15 years of dream documentation her mission is to re-establish a woman’s ancestral visionary tradition as it has been revealed to her through her dreams and shamanic journeys.
She is passionate about assisting others with exploring their origins, identity, and purpose through the power and nature of dreams, and finding creative ways to express those themes.