Do you feel life as dream?

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Do you feel life as dream?

Postby Nosta » Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:08 pm

Do you feel life as a (bad) dream?

Since i started Pure Land Practices and, from times to times, Mindfulness Meditation (Vipassana) that i really see the world as a dream. Well, i am not with hallucinations of course :), i dont see it exactly as a dream. What happens is that i feel the world and this life as something weak as the light in a candle. I feel this kind of sadness mixed with compassion, because this is life is just a song that will finish. Let me try to explain in other way: this is a flickering world, and i knew it with my rational mind, but only now i am starting to really see it to the point that i see life as a dream where i need to "wake up" to the Nirvana. Its really hard to explain it better, because i am talking about something hard to explain even in my own mother tongue.

Do you have similar experiences?
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Re: Do you feel life as dream?

Postby Mr. G » Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:19 pm

    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: Do you feel life as dream?

Postby Jesse » Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:47 pm

Hi Nosta!

I definitely understand where you are coming from.

However, just look around you. Everything within your field of vision, imagine it's journey, it's past, everything it took for that object to appear before you. The natural phenomena it took to nurture every aspect of it's being, the human effort it took in researching, the building, transportation, and it goes on and on, and on.

Now imagine how vast the connections are, within the totality of your experiences so far in life. Everything you have seen, felt, heard, touched.. is it a dream? I don't know, but if it is.. it's a beautiful dream and in my opinion, one filled with much love.

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child -- our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh
"We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know." - Albert Einstein
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Re: Do you feel life as dream?

Postby Anders » Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:47 pm

three bows for your pureland practise. :bow: :bow: :bow:

It sounds like it is taking you profound places. :twothumbsup:

You might enjoy reading Nagarjuna's Ten Similes on the dreamlike nature of Samsara.

    "So I say to you -
    This is how to contemplate our conditioned existence in this fleeting world:"

      "Like a tiny drop of dew, or a bubble floating in a stream;
      Like a flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
      Or a flickering lamp, an illusion, a phantom, or a dream."
    "So is all conditioned existence to be seen."
-- The Diamond Sutra
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Do you feel life as dream?

Postby Mr. G » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:02 am

    Life is like a flash of lightning, or a dewdrop at daybreak, and the body like the plantain tree or a bubble - yet one seeks in a mere lifetime of religious practice to depart immediately from one's long abode in the five courses. How can one leisurely combine diverse practices? For securing spiritual bonds with the Buddhas and bodhisattvas, one must await the morn when one can make offerings to the Buddhas as one wishes; for the essential principles of the Mahayana and Hinayana scriptures, on must await the eve when all the teachings will be illuminated. Aside from aspiring for the one land and thinking on the one Buddha, there is no other necessity.

    - Seikaku

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Collection of Passages on the Land of Bliss states:

    The military officer Chang-lun declares:

    The Name of the Buddha is exceedingly easy to keep and say; the Pure Land is exceedingly easy to reach. Among the eighty-four thousand dharma-gates, none compares with this quick path to birth there. By just setting aside moments of the early morning for the nembutsu, one can ultimately make an aid for attaining the eternal and indestructible. That is, one's exertion of effort is exceedingly slight, and yet one's obtaining of virtue is inexhaustible. What pains do sentient beings suffer, that of themselves they abandon the nembutsu and do not take it up? Ah, all is dream and illusion, and void of reality! Life is short and hard to preserve! An instant between breaths is when the next life begins. Once we lose human existence, we will not repeat it for ten thousand kalpas. If at this time we do not realize enlightenment, what can even the Buddha do to save us sentient beings? May all people think deeply on impermanence and act so that they do not vainly harbor regrets! Thus I, Chang-lun, known as Layman Ching-yo, urge those with whom I have tie
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: Do you feel life as dream?

Postby plwk » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:49 am

Do you have similar experiences?

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Re: Do you feel life as dream?

Postby Sherab » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:06 am

I remember that when I was little, everything seemed unreal, like a dream. I remembered feeling very uncomfortable with it. One day, (I was still little then) I had enough and decided that I don't want to feel that way. From then on, everthing felt real and normal. Having learnt Buddhism, I am not sure if I made the right decision then.
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Re: Do you feel life as dream?

Postby Jikan » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:23 pm

Nosta wrote:Do you feel life as a (bad) dream?


Yes. Not a bad dream necessarily, not a good dream necessarily, but... hopeless in the way a dream is, shifting under your feet and contradicting itself.
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Re: Do you feel life as dream?

Postby Nosta » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:52 pm

Thank you for the answers so far, to all of you.

Sherab, that cannot make you go away from Buddhism. Buddhism and practice, as Buddha once said (i think), is like the string of a guitar. If want to play well, you cannot have the strings neither too loose neither very tight; they must be in a middle point. If for some reason you start to get sad, depressed, seeing the world as a dream in a way you dont like, etc etc, just get away from practice for a few days (or weeks). Sometimes i need to do something similar because i often see very well the First Noble Truth: there is suffering & everything (except Nibanna) is suffering.

Seeing the world as a dream may be bad sometimes (for the given reasons by Sherab; i understand him) but may be good too: one will see things in a more relaxed way and will understand better the need of a strong Nembutsu (or any other Dharma) practice.
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Re: Do you feel life as dream?

Postby Anders » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:07 pm

Nosta wrote:Thank you for the answers so far, to all of you.

Sherab, that cannot make you go away from Buddhism. Buddhism and practice, as Buddha once said (i think), is like the string of a guitar. If want to play well, you cannot have the strings neither too loose neither very tight; they must be in a middle point. If for some reason you start to get sad, depressed, seeing the world as a dream in a way you dont like, etc etc, just get away from practice for a few days (or weeks). Sometimes i need to do something similar because i often see very well the First Noble Truth: there is suffering & everything (except Nibanna) is suffering.

Seeing the world as a dream may be bad sometimes (for the given reasons by Sherab; i understand him) but may be good too: one will see things in a more relaxed way and will understand better the need of a strong Nembutsu (or any other Dharma) practice.


I like how one modern teacher responded to how suffering was for him after many years of practise: "Suffering less, noticing it more."

There are adjustments periods in practise where it seems there our suffering becomes more acute, but it is often a good sign that we are becoming sensitive to things that we weren't perceptive of before.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Do you feel life as dream?

Postby Anders » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:08 pm

Sherab wrote:I remember that when I was little, everything seemed unreal, like a dream. I remembered feeling very uncomfortable with it. One day, (I was still little then) I had enough and decided that I don't want to feel that way. From then on, everthing felt real and normal. Having learnt Buddhism, I am not sure if I made the right decision then.


With no disrespect intended to you younger self: See signature.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Do you feel life as dream?

Postby Nosta » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:18 pm

Anders Honore wrote:
Nosta wrote:Thank you for the answers so far, to all of you.

Sherab, that cannot make you go away from Buddhism. Buddhism and practice, as Buddha once said (i think), is like the string of a guitar. If want to play well, you cannot have the strings neither too loose neither very tight; they must be in a middle point. If for some reason you start to get sad, depressed, seeing the world as a dream in a way you dont like, etc etc, just get away from practice for a few days (or weeks). Sometimes i need to do something similar because i often see very well the First Noble Truth: there is suffering & everything (except Nibanna) is suffering.

Seeing the world as a dream may be bad sometimes (for the given reasons by Sherab; i understand him) but may be good too: one will see things in a more relaxed way and will understand better the need of a strong Nembutsu (or any other Dharma) practice.


I like how one modern teacher responded to how suffering was for him after many years of practise: "Suffering less, noticing it more."

There are adjustments periods in practise where it seems there our suffering becomes more acute, but it is often a good sign that we are becoming sensitive to things that we weren't perceptive of before.



Who knows...possibly its whats happening with me :)
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Re: Do you feel life as dream?

Postby Quiet Heart » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:47 am

Nosta wrote:Do you feel life as a (bad) dream?

Since i started Pure Land Practices and, from times to times, Mindfulness Meditation (Vipassana) that i really see the world as a dream. Well, i am not with hallucinations of course :), i dont see it exactly as a dream. What happens is that i feel the world and this life as something weak as the light in a candle. I feel this kind of sadness mixed with compassion, because this is life is just a song that will finish. Let me try to explain in other way: this is a flickering world, and i knew it with my rational mind, but only now i am starting to really see it to the point that i see life as a dream where i need to "wake up" to the Nirvana. Its really hard to explain it better, because i am talking about something hard to explain even in my own mother tongue.

Do you have similar experiences?

---------------------------
Of course, it's a common phase...part of the journey on the path.

Perhaps you should ask yourself...."Who is it that is this "I" that feels itself apart from the "dream" it sees?
What is the nature of this "I"?
And if all things are interdependent...either dependent arising or subject to dependent origination...however you choose to describe it...then how can this "I" really exist apart from all that "other".

Or better yet, ask someone you trust...a teacher or some such person, that very question.
:smile:
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach
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Re: Do you feel life as dream?

Postby Sherab » Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:18 am

Anders Honore wrote:With no disrespect intended to you younger self: See signature.

None taken. Long journey ahead still.
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Re: Do you feel life as dream?

Postby IshNavaya » Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:42 am

The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocksThat flesh is heir to: 'tis a consummationDevoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there's the rub:For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,Must give us pause—there's the respectThat makes calamity of so long life."

For Hamlet, life was a very bad dream, and he suspected that "what dreams may come" would be nightmares. He said, "I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself the king of infinite space--were it not that I have bad dreams." His character epitomizes the cycle of samsara, where death is no release. Hamlet continually fights against reality, questions it, and worries about it. He struggles to understand. He is such a realistic character, that he could be real. Or maybe we're all just Hamlet's sadistic dream.

The point is that the tools we use to understand reality are capable of simultaneously piercing through the dream and observing it. Words are just that. Words. They are tools for communication and understanding. All experience is a tool. It is useful. Our experiences allow us to evolve.

I believe we can learn a lesson from this. I am continually amazed that I find the Dharma in almost everything I read. But, as I said, words are, or at least could be, completely arbitrary constructs with no inherent function unless assigned meaning by sentient beings.

I find this comical, and I also take great pleasure from the idea that all matter contains only energy and vast tracts of emptiness.
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