Before I started meditating several years ago with CDs using audio technologies, I estimate I hadn't recalled much more than tiny snippets of a dream in, gosh, at least ten years and probably many more than that.
One of the things I liked immediately when I began using meditation CDs was that I started sleeping as soundly as a puddle of snoozing cat and dreaming vividly and often. For the first time in years I could clearly recall in the mornings my imaginings of the nights before.
Well, right after I started using meditation CDs, I dreamed that I was in the atrium of a large bank-like building, the front of which had huge plate glass windows. Granite columns rose from the polished floor to the top of the atrium, some four stories above my head.
I was walking through this atrium, minding my own business, when a man suddenly ran past, shouting, "The storm's coming, the storm's coming. It's headed right for us!"
He evaporated from my sight as only dream people can do.
I walked toward the plate glass windows, looked outside, and, sure enough, a terrible storm was headed right for the building, a perfect storm with tornadoes, hurricane force winds, lightning, and driving rain.
I started to run as fast as I could toward the interior of the building, but then a voice screamed, "We're all going to die!"
I looked back and, yes, the tornado's winds were driving uprooted trees and debris straight toward the plate glass windows.
I could feel myself panicking, sweating, shaking with fear, going zero at the bone.
I collapsed to the smooth, polished floor, worrying furiously about what I could do to protect myself. For lack of anything better, I crawled to one of the granite columns and then wrapped my arms around it even though I knew the force of the terrible winds would laugh at my feeble hold on safety and easily toss me about like an egg shell.
My eyes squeezed shut to avoid the glass fragments and flesh-piercing slivers that would be headed my way any second now.
I felt fear flooding through my veins.
My heart pounded as I clutched onto that column for dear life.
Suddenly, for no conscious reason in that dream, I calmly took a deep breath, opened my eyes, totally accepted the storm, and then watched in calm fascination as glass and trees and street signs and driving rain and other storm stuff flew past me, leaving me untouched, calm, relaxed, and utterly at peace.
Seconds later, I woke up, happy, smiling, almost in tears because of the wonderful experience of completely letting go.
For the first time since 1980, when something similar happened to me, I felt completely at one with everything in the world -- the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the violent and the peaceful.
It's been many years now since I had that dream experience, but I still reflect on it several times a week to remind myself of the way I'm prone to attach to things I really don't have to attach to and fear things I really don't have to fear.
As a result of what I experienced while clutching the granite column in my dream, I've become a better witness of what I say and do -- an observer who can now better embrace the still calm around which the storms of life swirl, bluster, and blow.
Chet Day embraces the still calm in rural North Carolina. You can experience this calm too by learning "A Classic Breath Counting Meditation." Visit http://meditation101.com to get a free copy.