Home Forums Lions Roar Dharma Center Forum Like a star, a mirage, a lamp…

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    • Conor
      Participant
      Post count: 8

      One of these things has always seemed not like the others.

      …bubbles, dreams, lightening and clouds: Look at all conditioned phenomena as such!

      Again, one of these things is not like the others. Or am I mistaken? Do dreams and mirages actually fit within this list? Is the context different enough?

      In light of the teaching last night, mirages and dreams we have to prajna as to the nature of the phenomena. Do our daily prayers comport with this or do they go a step further and say that we must develop prajna as to the nature of all phenomena?

       

      ~Conor

    • Dirk
      Participant
      Post count: 17

      <p style=”text-align: left;”>Was the list originally meant to imply membership in a single class for all of the items in the list? Might each item rather be a metaphor for a different characteristic of the reality of all phenomena? Do you mean that dreams don’t belong to the list because they are an “internal” phenomenon or for some other quality?</p>

    • Conor
      Participant
      Post count: 8

      I have no idea what the original list was intended for.  Actually, the final line, “look at all conditioned phenomena as such!” has become even more mysterious to me over the last day. Look at is like what? What are these phenomena exactly? What does it mean by “conditioned” phenomena? Is “conditioned phenomena” something special?

      Dirk, based on what Lama said Monday night, I think that mirages and dreams, at very least, are things that we have in our minds (which ‘mind’ I’m slightly unclear) been able to use our knowledge and determine them to be “unreal” within conventional reality. They don’t fit into the solidity we need to operate in the here and now. We have a certain knowledge of this, even though it may take us some time to be able to think through some sort of explanation as to why this may be.

      However, the rest of the list, a star, a lamp, bubbles, lightening, drops of dew, clouds…these are things which have a solidity which operate along with us in reality. As Lama said, different from a Western view of trying to get objective reality by taking out the “viewer,” within Buddhism, we must keep the ourselves within reality to have an objective view of it. What these things are in and of themselves cannot exist without us alongside of them. At least that’s what I heard Monday night. I’m not sure this is correct.

      However, the reality of a lamp is not the same as the reality of a mirage. And yet, it is the same mind (or minds..?) at work. Maybe? Why? Why does not my knowing a mirage isn’t real have any impact on the solidity of the reality of the phenomena that I perceive? Why is the mirage any different from the lamp?

      Maybe the impact of my question is better if I ask it this way: why is the road more real than the mirage? (I can reason the mirage’s existence just as well as I can reason the road’s existence.)

      conor

    • Dirk Johnson
      Keymaster
      Post count: 16

      The bases of the mirage (waves of heat, reflections, exhaustion, thirst…) are as real as the road is. Our interpretation of the bases of the mirage is what is mistaken. We see something, but what we see isn’t what we believe we see. When we say there is a separately existing thing called a “road” we are also mistaken about the various bases of our interpretation.

      • This reply was modified 11 months ago by Dirk Johnson. Reason: correct basis to bases
    • EllenWolfe
      Participant
      Post count: 10

      I bet it’s as Dirk said – various different qualities, including transient like drops of dew, lightning and clouds.  But that’s a very famous Kalachakra Sadhana line.  So I’ll look it up in my commentaries and report back.

    • EllenWolfe
      Participant
      Post count: 10

      Sorry. Not from Kalachakra. Heart or Diamond sutra rather.  Just a bit of searching the web confirms that it’s just pointing out that things are empty, not always as they appear.  It could mean impermanent, but impermanent is just a subset of the ways in which we mistakenly see things.   So, yes…a combination of illusions and temporary nature, etc. as Dirk suggests in his last post.

    • JamesMeyer
      Participant
      Post count: 21

      What a great conversation  thread. I missed Lama’s teaching and need to listen to fully participate.

      My understanding, from the madyamaka view, is that the essence of all phenomena are created in our mind. For instance, the smoothness of a table is in our mind not the table. The table does not contain smoothness.

      I can see how this applies to many phenomena that due to limitations of sense organs etc. one can perceive a quality another one can not. Also, I can see how my perception of phenomena such as: threat appraisal or ability to bring me joy has changed over time.

      Just as Dirk indicated if one is thirsty a mirage of water may be more likely to appear.

      • JamesMeyer
        Participant
        Post count: 21

        This also seems related to pith instruction #2

        2 • Regard all phenomena as dreams

        Unless we cultivate the really penetrating wisdom that comes from insight meditation, we will never manage to transcend our worldly preoccupations and realize the full potential of our being. The following five slogans are vipashyana meditations that will allow a glimpse of absolute bodhichitta as we contemplate them from the perspective of the natural state. These glimpses are what provide the integrity for the practices of relative bodhichitta that follow.

        2 • Regard all phenomena as dreams

        Source – the practice of Lojong by Traleg Kyabgon in temple dharma library.

      • EllenWolfe
        Participant
        Post count: 10

        Hi James,

        I like your post.  I’ll offer some friendly quibbling on language.  Is the <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>essence </span>created in our mind? Or is there no essence and instead our minds add the meaning of the perceived phenomena?

        Hmmm.  ; )

         

         

         

        • JamesMeyer
          Participant
          Post count: 21

          Insightful pondering 🤔

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