A friend dreamed she could not swim well in water, and had to return to the shore or face peril. It seems, the dream reflected her real life. (See “tobeme.”) She said she was not a very good swimmer, and she wondered why — even in one’s dream — we impose such limitations on ourselves?
I told her about a spiritual teacher who described this dilemma in a different way, using a piece of garlic as an example of a “delusion” that one can learn to remove from his or her eyes in order see a much brighter and clearer pathway in the world.
Losang Samten, a Buddhist monk, once spoke about “delusions” and “imprints,” and . . . [how one could go about] . . . ridding oneself of . . . limitations.
He compared one of them [a limitation or a “delusion“] as a piece of garlic that had been stored in a small jar for a long time. You could get rid of the garlic by digging it out along with any roots or extra growth that might have developed, and throw it away.
But you would still have what he called an “imprint.” The “smell” of the garlic would have left an imprint. And that would take longer to eradicate, to end.
Having wisdom to see this, helps one realize that long-standing habitual actions leave such an “imprint” on all of us. We need concentration and a joyful effort to remove the stink.