Love, Dreams, and Buddhism

By Nina Watts

Sitting at my desk in my room, I looked out the window.

Outside my window
Countless snowflakes slowly fall
And vanish from my sight

The topic that most grabbed my attention this week was the relationship between evanescence, love, and dreams in Japanese culture. During the time of the Heian court, love was viewed as “nothing more than a dream” (Inouye 28). This concept played right into the question I had last week. We live in an evanescent world, and yet the “heart wants otherwise” (Inouye 28). I found the poetry comparing love to dreams quite beautiful and sad. Feelings of love can be fleeting and seem just as real as a dream does while we’re sleeping. My favorite expression of the idea is that “In the end, it becomes difficult to choose (or even distinguish) between a dreamlike reality and a dream” (Inouye 29). Unfortunately, this implies that there can’t be true, lasting love. I’m not sure if I agree with this. I agree with the statement: “By pursuing dreams, we create reality” (Inouye 30). I know this sounds cheesy, but without pursuing dreams or love, there wouldn’t be much going on in this world. This week we also discussed how Buddhism influenced Japanese culture and learned that “pondering anitya heals duhka” (Inouye 31). Duhka is suffering and anitya is “the idea that both the phenomenal world and our perceptions of it are constantly changing” (Inouye 31). I bring up this idea because while I still have many questions about feelings and reality, I still find comfort in the idea that acceptance of change relieves the frustration of our desire for control.

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