When the student is ready, the teacher will appear...and one of mine appeared recently. I had a dream one night where I was taking an exam, but I was so obsessed with sharpening my pencils, and making sure I had the right ones, I didn't even realize that time was going by and everyone else had finished and I had not even begun. I had only a few minutes left; but instead of getting on with the exam, I was panicking, crying, and beating up myself for having wasted time.
As I meditated the following morning, I remembered the dream and it felt significant enough for me to wonder what it meant. I turned to the chapter I needed in one of the books I was studying, and its title was "Give Up Your Personal History". The "pencil dream" was, I imagine, still on my mind, because suddenly the first line of a poem I was "forced" to read in high school came to mind, "The moving finger writes and having writ moves on." What? Where did this come from? I continued my reading and got to this subtitle, "Getting Out of the Wake" where the author (Wayne Dyer) used the example of a pencil to set up his ensuing points. Really Mr. Dyer? Now I was really intrigued and was downright floored when a few lines later he quoted the poem that I had thought of only a few minutes before. The main theme of this chapter was about leaving the past in the past, and living fully in the now. The poem was by Omar Khayyam, Dyer reminded me, and reads in part: "The Moving finger writes and having writ moves on. Nor all thy piety nor wit can lure it back to cancel half a line, Nor all thy tears wash out one word of it." No amount of tears was going to get me back the time I had wasted in that dream, but I could embrace the truth and the lessons of what had happened, make use of the time I had left, and do the best I could.
Those "pencils" in my dream represented my personal history. Whatever happened in the past, happened, so according to the author, I can assume they HAD to happen, and try as I might I can't "UNhappen" them; so I embrace them, and keep it moving. As he puts it, "As tough as it is to acknowledge, you had to go through what you went through in order to get to where you are today, and the evidence is that you did."
So, if like me you seem to have wasted time "sharpening and obsessing over pencils" rather than getting on with the exam, just know that it is what it is.Leave yesterday behind and embrace the allness of NOW. OK dream, I got that part of the lesson...!