I was a bit skeptical about past lives until I had this very, vivid dream--which also party triggered my investigation and interest in Buddhism. I found myself dressed in some kind of colorful, flowing robe. The colors being a purplish maroon and the other was a yellowish golden color. The robe seemed to be an eggplant color with the golden yellow as trim. I had no clue at that point in my life that those are the colors of Tibetan Buddhist monks; in fact I didn’t know much of anything about Buddhism in general!!
A man dressed in similar robes accompanied me but his robes were bluer with the golden yellow trim. He was my guide as we walked up this slope of a massive mountaintop. I could tell that we were very high up because the vegetation was mostly tundra with a few scraggly trees. The sky was a breathtaking shade of crystal blue with only a hint of wispy clouds. A slight breeze was playfully tossing the fabric of my billowy robes about. I felt so at peace with my guide and in my surroundings. I can’t remember his face but I had a deep feeling of connection with him. He felt like a long lost friend whom I had known for ages.
As we rounded the summit of this great peak I saw a large Buddha-like statue with a crisp, clear stream of water gushing out of the statue’s mouth. My guide told me to drink the water, so I cupped my hands and drank. And as I swallowed this cool, clean mountain water I realized that I was very thirsty and I remember it was so refreshing and delicious.
Thus, I drank more and more of this elixir. As I drank my guide informed me that the water I was drinking was no ordinary water. He said, “It is special water. Water that will bring you vitality and long-life” and with that he gave me a warm smile. Then, as I gazed transfixed into his peaceful face I was transported out of the dream with a blink just like someone changed the channel on the t.v.
As it turns out my research shows that blue and yellow are the two colors in the Karmapa Dream Flag. “The 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, well known for his visions and prophesies, designed this flag from a vision that came to him in a dream. He called it “Namkhyen Gyaldar (Victorious Flag of Buddha’s Wisdom).” He proclaimed, “Wherever this banner is flown the Dharma will flourish.”[i]
According to that same webpage cited above, the inner meaning of this flag is that the blue represents vision and spiritual insight, which is exactly what my dream was for me. In addition, the yellow represents our experiences in the everyday world and certainly my everyday experiences were weighing heavily upon me when I had this dream. So I see this dream as a wake up call that the spiritual insight of the dream represented by Buddhism would be the path that would help me find peace and reduce my great suffering (I was struggling greatly at the time in my life on what to do. I was lost in a nihilist fog at the time of this dream).
It seems that the Karmapa’s Dream Flag took the form of my guides robe colors and the pure, clean water was to quench my thirst for peace and stability through the Dharma. I personally feel that the dream overall it was a reminder of a past life that I must have lived as a novice Tibetan Buddhist monk.
I've had a second, as vivid dream about what I see as a past life in Tibet. I was on a journey all alone in a mountainous land. I was again wearing maroon robes and was on some quest of sorts to find a hermit monk off in the foothills near a grand, blue, wind-swept lake. Well, imagine my surprise and shock when I watched the movie Kundun and saw the exact same lake from my dream in the movie!! It was Lhamo I' Latso or the "Oracle Lake. It is a sacred (considered the most sacred actually), famous lake known for visions and thus no surprise I guess why I experienced that past memory in a dream.
I had the dream about the lake before I had seen the movie. I think these dreams are partly why I was initially attracted to Tibetan Buddhism when I began studying the Dharma in this life.
It is because of these two dreams, the reality of the life cycle of the four seasons and the physics law that nothing every disappears but simply changes form. For example, sunlight lives on in the form of electricity transformed through solar panels. It lives on in trees, which are later used to create paper to make books. Thus the sun lives on in trees, paper, books, ink, and on and on.
[i] Harderwijk, Rudy. “Tibetan Buddhist Symbols.” A View on Buddhism. Ed. Rudy Harderwijk. 10
October 2006. 8 July 2008. http://buddhism.kalachakranet.org/symbols_tibet_buddhism.htm#
~Peace to all beings~