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Myōe – The Dream of Shanmiao



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Myōe – The Dream of Shanmiao

From Shingon Refractions – Professor Mark Unno

The earliest complete dating for the six scrolls of the Illustrated Origins of the Kegon [Patriarchs| is 1250, but work on the scrolls on Shanmiao may have begun as early as 1220. In that year Myoe had a dream of a young Chinese woman strikingly like Shanmiao, and he even identified her as such once he awoke from the dream. In this dream he finds a Chinese figurine in the form of a maiden, who is a upset at having come to Japan. Once he gives her his assurance that all will be well, she turns into an actual human being:

I took her in my palm, and she suddenly transformed into a live maiden. I thought, "I must go to another place tomorrow to perform a Buddhist ceremony. I want to go there to deepen karmic ties. 'We should go together." She was happy to accompany me.

I told her, "There is a lady there who has some connection with you." (I was thinking that the Nun Sakiyama would be there. We would go to hear her since she was Saburo's mother. I thought of this because Saburo had brought the figurine.) We arrived together.

Juzo was there and said, "This woman consorts with snakes."

When I heard this I knew she did not associate with snakes sexually, but that she hid the body of a snake. While these thoughts passed through my mind, Juzo continued, "This woman is also a snake." I then awoke.

Commentary: The woman is Shan-miao. She was a human dragon and had the body of a snake. The tea bowl [symbolizes] her stone body.

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Dreaming and lucid dreaming