Once there was a young shepherd girl watching her family’s sheep graze on a mountainside. The Himalayan sun high overhead was bright and warm, so she fell asleep and dreamed many dreams.
In one of them she overheard Buddha telling some saffron-clothed monks in distant India: “When I am gone, whenever you invoke me, I shall be there too, on the threshold of your devotion.”
The girl woke up and took the instructions to heart. Imagining Buddha, concentrating on his radiant face, she repeated his words, and there he was.
“Am I dreaming?” she wondered.
“Yes,” Buddha replied.
“How can I wake up?” the girl asked.
“Who is asleep?” Buddha demanded.
At once she understood that she had been dreaming, and called out. “I am awake now!”
People gradually noticed that she had changed. Whenever someone asked her how, she answered: “I had a dream that I was dreaming, but Buddha woke me up.”