The Dream:

I was looking at a woman’s photograph of mountain ranges, many with beds of flowers with brilliant color on the ridge-tops. She was able to encourage flowers to bloom by using a rake and scratching the sides of the mountains first.

The Association:

The dreamer associated the dream imagery to Buddhist thought and in particular to the 10th ox-herding picture. From this picture and text, the dreamer recalled that a sage walked into the marketplace with bliss-bestowing hands, while unaware that flowers were blooming on the sides of the road as he passes.

The Interpretation:

The ten ox-herding pictures beautifully illustrate a cycle that is similar to the Jungian process of individuation. The above dream is an important dream for the dreamer.  It could be seen as teleological in nature; a future-oriented final step in the cycle of the individuation process where the dreamer is at one with the Self, or at one with the ox.

This cycle will repeat itself.  The attainment of bliss and attunement with the Self is reached with great effort, only to have the cycle repeated again and again through the course of the spiritual seeker’s life.


(See the well-done contemporary illustration and text of all ten ox-herding pictures by graphic designer, Hor Tuck Loon,  and the Buddha Dharma Education Association