A dream that I dreamed strangely today was that a friend working at a military related job sat beside me instead of the boy’s seats while we were in class. So I said that this was the girl’s seat and told him to sit in the boy’s seat. While I was telling him repeatedly because he wasn’t listening to me, I heard the voice of my neighboring sister going to market to sell, whether in my dream or in reality. While running, she shouted, “Soldiers were near U….’s shop, some were invading our village”.

I awoke after hearing that and planned to run. My family also awoke and our acquaintances called and told us with worries that the soldiers were coming to our place and told us to come to …. .

We were shocked after hearing that. There was no time to wash my face and we ran out of our house. I took out my motorcycle and at the entrance I saw the junta troops carrying their guns coming towards us. The way I was running was the same as they were coming and we were about to collide face to face.

Then I had to turn my cycle back and drove towards the monastery in the east. On arrival, the monk opened the door and let us and our motorcycles stay in the basement room. Fortunately, our house is between two monasteries and junta troops went to the monastery in the north. When I was just thinking that we were lucky, the novices ran towards the monk crying and said that the junta were coming in.

As we heard what the novices said, we rushed into the room, closed the doors and hid under the bed without looking which way they were coming in. I was trembling in fear with the thought that we would be over if they opened our door. I recited the scriptures and they were all wrong because of fear. I tried to recite the 11 Paritta Suttas and Patthana Pali that I learned by heart, but I didn’t know where to start.

I thought I forgot because they were too long. Instead, I recited Sambuddhe Gatha but it was also wrong as I was so anxious. I had to calm my mind first, so I closed my eyes to pay attention to Buddha. Meanwhile, I heard the voices of the soldiers passing and they were talking to each other. I was afraid they might open the door when they became silent. Then I heard the venerable monk saying repeatedly to the soldiers, “The people have done nothing, they are innocent villagers, they ran here because they were afraid and let them return home”. I prayed for the success of the monk’s words because of the effects of  paritta and patthana I had chanted daily. While I was frightened by the thought of being caught and we would be over, the monk’s voice faded gradually and I heard no more voices cause they were going away from us. Then I heard the monk knocking on the door and told us to go home . When we were rushing into the room, I didn’t notice that my younger brother wasn’t with us. When I asked people nearby, they said he ran toward the other side of the monastery together with other men. Where would he be? I was trembling with the thought of him being caught by the other junta soldiers. As almost all my family, including me, are CDMers, we couldn’t go out to find him and we had to go home when we had this chance. If we didn’t, I was worried they would change their minds and capture us. Finally, I thought I was the youngest among CDMers in my family, so they wouldn’t suspect me. So I told them to go home when they could and I would stay to find my brother and come back. I went to the monk and told him that my brother was missing and asked him to find him. When I couldn’t find my brother in the monastery, I chased people ahead of me and asked them whether they had seen my brother or not and then I arrived in front of my house. When my family knew that I couldn’t find him, they called his phone. Fortunately, his phone was not in silent mode and he told us that he was in the mango orchard. When we told him that the junta soldiers let us return home, he said he was afraid to come back. So I told him to stay there and I ran there to pick him up. My aunt also followed me running. Then I went back to the monk and told him where my brother was and I had to pick him up. I asked the monk to watch out for the junta soldiers when I went to my brother. I just remembered about the soldiers when the monk said, “Wait, it is dangerous in the mango orchard. We have to tell the soldiers before picking him up.” I couldn’t see and forget about the soldiers when I found out that my brother was missing even though I was afraid of them at first. My whole thought was to find my brother back and I remembered them only when the monk told me that. The monk told the soldiers, “She is my niece and she wants to pick her brother up in the mango orchard because he is afraid”. Then they let us go. When we arrived at the mango orchard, I shouted out loud to call my brother as I couldn’t see him but he didn’t come out. I was calling him in spite of the fear of soldiers behind me. Actually he went out of the back door and met with my other family members who also came to find him. They drove to the place that we planned to run to initially. I was left behind and fortunately, my aunt was with me. We also hid in the house without waiting for them and then they phoned us that they would come back to pick us up. So we waited for their return. And finally, we arrived at the place where we planned to run to. We were still worried though we were in the safe place. Because I remembered the junta soldiers speaking to the monk that the villagers had to run as they didn’t know whether they would set fire to the village or not. Because my house is between two monasteries where the junta soldiers camped, I was worried. When I was listening to the news about the village, I was called and asked, “Sayarma, Sayarma’s house was rummaged, wasn’t it?” I didn’t know how to answer as I hadn’t seen it. I was worried that they would take my belongings. Although there was nothing expensive, I didn’t want anything to be taken because I had no earnings like before and I was burning with that thought. I could no longer remember the Dhamma I used to remember not to cling to what came in and not to cling to what went out. “What had they taken? Had they found my certificates? Had they found my labour card and come to find me?”, I worried for such various reasons. Actually, all the certificates of our house were in a safe place except mine because I wanted to keep them myself (We value our education in my family because we have not been able to live as richly as others and strive to get an education in the face of adversity).

My family scored me with worries that I didn’t follow what they do. Although I couldn’t comfort myself with Dhamma, I comforted them that even the owner, me, didn’t care whether the papers were taken or destroyed. (Actually I was concerned, but I eased them to reduce their noises over this.) It was nothing compared to the worries about returning our home together. When we returned home after the junta soldiers had left, we found that our house was the first one to be rummaged by them. I thought it was lucky that there was no destruction by rummage.

To whom can I complain?

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