Thou Art Returning


I had a dream one night when I had lost hope about a situation in my life. This was a few years ago during a time of loss. It was a little dream, but it had great meaning.Here is the dream:

I was given a bottle of cologne. Written in calligraphy on the bottle is the name of the cologne – A Quiet Faith. It is in an elegant style that reminds me of devotional Arabic prayers.

One cannot be the same after such a dream. An energy comes from within and rises up to reveal something so beyond anything that the mind could create.

Unlike perfume which lasts all day, cologne has a lighter scent, fresh like jasmine or rose. One can touch the wrist, the throat, often with cologne. This, to me, is a very feminine way of living devotion. Throughout the day, in whatever I am doing, to hold this intimacy.

I am touched by how women are willing to share this innermost struggle of wanting to live their devotion in the midst of difficulties.

One friend told me that she felt she was not progressing on her spiritual path.  For the last year she had been caring for her husband during his illness. For nearly a year she had no dreams. But after a long-awaited trip was cancelled, she had to stay at home for a month to rest, and then had this dream:

I come into a class where rows of chairs are set up facing one another, so that half of the people would have their backs to the podium, the place where the Teacher will stand and speak to us students.  I set about turning chairs around to face the front of the room…

Then the Teacher – a woman – enters from the left and tells us to put the chairs back as they were.  I am not sure if She speaks in a voice audible to our ears, but we all get Her message, loud and clear.  She is in shadow, in darkness…so that I cannot see Her face, nor do I know Her name. 

She said that we are not to have our attention focused on the Teacher in a hierarchical manner, from a lower position to the higher, that old familiar masculine set up that I had been getting caught up in, once again, in my thinking.  It is necessary now to let go of my ideas of “progress” and hierarchy, of  wisdom and instruction coming from one, elevated person or direction, or location, from one Source… to us pupils.  

Rather, we are to encounter one another, person to person, in connection, in an I – Thou relationship, recognizing the One Friend in the person right in front of us. 

My friend continued, reflecting on the dream. “And this is my Path, the way I move through life, but I keep forgetting to value and trust this Feminine way.

There is no place where we should be going, nothing else we should be doing, and I am so very grateful to be here in this beautiful place on the planet. I was effectively blocked from flying off to somewhere else, and the enforced time at home opened up the space to go inside, to be still, to not be able to be busily rushing about “accomplishing” the things on my to do list. Most of all, it is to recognize that I cannot make what I personally desire happen, nor create what my loved ones are wishing to have.”

When I hear such dreams and insights, it gives me hope. Even today, at the women’s shelter, there was such stillness when we met. Underneath anxieties and worries, was this deeper ground out of which faith is born.

Thou Art Returning
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11 years ago

Oh, yes! This is SO wonderful to read….thank you!

Anne Hillman
11 years ago

Dear Anne, Not only is your dream (and your analogy of cologne) exquisite, but I’m astonished at your friend’s dream! !’ve just returned from giving a speech and offering 4 retreats in Chicago and in Wisconsin, and the way I arranged the chairs at the beginning and end of the retreats were in a double circle with the two rows facing each other. The participants in each group commented on the intimacy it created among them as well as an intimacy with The One. How in awe I am of the Dreamer who dreams us!

Shanti Lynda
11 years ago

I am so moved by this beautiful dream and your reflections about it. Thank you; it is precisely what I needed to take into my heart today.