365 TAO – Deng Ming-Dao (June 1 – Sleep)

Sleep is like a swift train
Plunging into long black tunnels,
Slicing day with red and black light.
No worry about the skeleton engineer.
Head to pillow is like head to track,
Listening to the rumble of destiny,
Knowing that the opening will come.
In sleep, as in the tunnels,
The sound seems ever closer.

When you sleep, some insist that the world as you know it ceases to exist. The world exists because something inside of you asserts that it is so. When awake, are you then no longer dreaming? Or are you just dreaming another dream?

Going to sleep takes letting go. As any insomniac will tell you, it can’t be forced. But we so identify control with waking, is it possible that the uncontrolled aspect of sleep is an equal reality?

Sleep seems so real, and then we awake. Waking life seems so real, and yet we need to let go of it every day. This strange contrast is one that those who follow Tao contemplate continually. If life is mere shifting from one dream to another, they constantly ask : What is truly real?