See everything as a dream.
When we sit quietly and meditate by watching our thoughts, rather than concentrating on our breath, we see that everything appears very solid and substantive, real and permanent. But when we look closely, we notice that, as vivid as our mind seems to make things, it really is not so. Nothing is solid and happening, not in the way we perceive it. Everything is, in fact, more illusion than a reality.
Realizing this, we work to see everything as a dream.
Everything is always passing away. As soon as something appears, in that same moment, it disappears. Things certainly do appear to be here, but as we look more closely, it is less certain. The me that is here now may seem solid and substantive, but isn’t it really different from the me that was here ten years ago, or ten months ago, or ten weeks ago, or ten days ago, or ten hours ago, or ten minutes ago or ten second ago, or ten moment ago, or even the me of an instant ago? We think of ourselves as a permanent entity with changing characteristics–really; really.
The closer you look, the harder it seems to get to actually see what is happening.
When we think about it, the world and us in it really are more dreamlike than permanent. When we see things in this context, as an illusion, things become less concrete, we tend to attach less, and our suffering lightens. If we realize then that what we are seeing is more dream than reality, we experience and easing of our discomfort with things; we become less judgmental and we lighten up in the face of difficulties, not matter how big or tough they seem.
Practicing with slogan two: In addition to practicing with a slogan as explained in the previous blog, try this: As people, places, things, thoughts, emotions, experiences “arise” and “cease,” see if you can notice the point when you appropriate them, the point at which you identify with them making them and you solid and apparently permanent. Notice the “ceasing” part to, how you let go of something as solid, autonomous and there.