Q090: Master Lu, what kind of test is considered to be the “Dream Test”?
- Dream Tests can be presented in all kinds of forms. Generally you will encounter a Dream Test when you have made a Great Vow about obeying certain precepts. During the course of your cultivation, Dream Tests are practice tests to prepare you in advance. They help you to confirm your level of cultivation and to adjust the direction of your cultivation to the right path.
- For example, you may have a Dream Test if you have made a Great Vow stating that you will be vegetarian on the 1st and 15th of the lunar month; or that you will be vegetarian for the rest of your life; or that you will not steal from now on; or that you will refrain from engaging in sexual misconduct and adultery from now on.
- In your dream, live seafood or your other favourite meat dishes would appear for you to consume, or money would appear on the floor to test whether you would pick it up.
- If you are able to pass your Dream Test, then your wisdom and spiritual power, level, and class would all be advanced to a higher state. A portion of your negative karmas would also be eliminated. Even after you have passed a Dream Test, it is very possible that more Dream Tests would be presented to you. It does not mean that once you have passed one, you will never be tested again.
- A Dharma follower made a vow stating that he will never fish again. However, later in his dream, he went fishing again, and even killed and ate the fish. This is a typical example of a failed test. During the day, this Dharma follower uses his consciousness to tell himself that he should not fish, but in his dream he could not conquer the temptation and failed the test by going fishing and performing killing. In fact, he has breached the law in the spiritual world, and in real life he will experience misfortune in the near future.
- If you fail your Dream Test, your level of cultivation would be degraded. At the same time, it is also considered that you have broken your precepts in the spiritual world. You should recite the Eighty-eight Buddhas Great Repentance (Li Fo Ta Chan Hui Wen) to repent, and generally 3 times would be sufficient. In addition, you should present yourself to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in front of the altar and make your vow again.
- In fact, you would experience many incidents similar to Dream Tests in your daily life, and therefore these tests are not only limited to your dreams. For example, you may have a family reunion and people invite you to eat live seafood, or you encounter something which causes you to lose your temper, etc. In real life, as each test is passed, a wise cultivator would state to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in front of the altar, “Great Merciful and Great Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva, in the past, when I, <your full name>, encounter <incident>, I would commit wrongdoings. Now that I am cultivating my mind and practising Buddhism, I have not committed the wrongdoings again.” Once you have stated the above, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas would protect and bless you, and you would experience good fortune in the near future.
- Guan Yin Bodhisattva has great mercy and great compassion, and will never judge or abandon us. Guan Yin Bodhisattva would never say whether we are right or wrong, but would be sympathetic to our suffering. We can tell Guan Yin Bodhisattva about anything, as Guan Yin Bodhisattva is our greatest mother.