As provided this week by Lama Suryas Das:
All things in worldly existence
That are colored by attachment and aversion
Are in reality devoid of any real existence.
When this is seen, everything is seen as golden.
When we meditate upon the illusion-like nature
Of all the illusion-like phenomena
We attain illusion-like enlightenment.
~ Dakini Niguma
If this doesn’t make sense, consider:
In Buddhist tradition, the three poisons are attachment, aversion and indifference. Everything our minds come in contact with is judged on a sliding scale, so to speak, between loving and hating. When we love something we try to own it, maintain it, and continue to experience it, when we hate something, we try to disown it, eliminate it, and avoid experiencing it. Like wise when we are indifferent to an experience, we ignore it completely.
To the degree we chose to react to phenomena, based upon these judgments we all make, is the degree we suffer because of our judgments: We cannot keep an enjoyable experience going forever as all things are continually changing; we cannot ignore reality on the basis of indifference, or rid ourselves of unsavory moments simply because we want to. The attempts we make at shaping reality to fit our biases is in fact the mechanism that creates our unease, unhappiness, and neuroses.
The wise among us would counsel us to “Roll with the punches,” or to “Take it easy.” All experiences in life, good, bad or neither, are very brief occurrences; nothing lasts forever. To accept what is before you with equanimity, knowing that it cannot last, is the foundation of a healthy and wise outlook. All things are predicated upon our state of mind as all must be filtered through our consciousness, as such what we experience has no substance until our mind decodes it and gives it meaning. Until we do this, all is illusion, insubstantial and of no real existence.
As the old adage goes: “If a tree lands in a forest and no one hears, does it make sound?” I would rephrase this: “If there is no consciousness to perceive, does phenomena actually exist.” I am not learned enough in philosophy to tackle this one as an argument, so I rely on my heart-mind (as Tibetans might say) to answer. What does yours say?