Mind is Nothing But Dreams and Dreams — Dreams of the Past, Dreams of the Future.

Truth is not something to be created, truth is not something that is far away. Truth is herenow, truth surrounds you like the ocean surrounds the fish. The fish may not be aware — once the fish becomes aware of the ocean, the fish is enlightened. The fish is not aware, cannot be aware, because the fish is born in the ocean, has always lived in the ocean, is part of the ocean as any wave is part of the ocean. The fish is also a wave — a little more solid, but born out of the ocean, lives in the ocean and one day disappears in the ocean. The fish may never come to know about the ocean. To know something, a little distance is needed. To know something, perspective is needed. And the ocean is so close, that’s why the fish may not be aware of it. And so is the case with truth, or if you like you can use the word god. So is the case with god. It is not that he is far away, and that’s why we don’t know about him; it is because he is not far away but very close by. Even to say that it is close by is not right, because you are it. He is within you and without: he is all and all.

This is the first thing that has to be allowed to sink deep in your heart: truth already is, we are in it. This is the most fundamental thing to begin with. You are not to discover it; it is not covered. All that is needed is a new kind of awareness which is missing in you. Truth is there, but you are not aware, you are not mindful, you are not alert. You don’t know how to watch, you don’t know how to observe, you don’t know how to look and see. You have eyes but still you are blind, you have ears but you are deaf. The first preliminary is: truth is. The second preliminary is: mind is the barrier. Nothing else is hindering you from truth, just your own mind. Mind surrounds you like a film, like a movie that goes on and on, and you remain engrossed in it, fascinated by it. It is a fantasy that surrounds you, a continuous story that goes on and on. And because you are so fascinated by it, you go on missing that which is. And mind is not; it is only a fantasy, it is only a faculty for dreaming. Mind is nothing but dreams and dreams — dreams of the past, dreams of the future, dreams of how things should be, dreams of great ambitions, achievements. Dreams and desires, that is the stuff mind is made of. But it surrounds you like a China Wall. And because of it the fish remains unaware of the ocean. So the second preliminary is: mind is the only barrier.

And the third: no-mind is the door. Atisha calls no-mind BODHICHITTA: that is his word for no-mind. It can be translated as buddha-mind, buddha-consciousness, too. Or if you like you can call it christ-consciousness, krishna-consciousness. It doesn’t make any difference what name is used, but the basic quality of bodhichitta is that it is no-mind. It looks paradoxical: the mind in the state of no-mind. But the meaning is very clear: mind without content, mind without thoughts, is what is meant, is what is indicated. Remember the word bodhichitta, because Atisha says the whole effort of religion, the whole science of religion, is nothing but an endeavor to create bodhichitta, buddha-consciousness: a mind which functions as a no-mind, a mind which dreams no more, thinks no more, a mind which is just awareness, pure awareness. These are the preliminaries.

The second sutra:


Now the work starts. Atisha is very condensed, seedlike. That is the meaning of a sutra: it is just a thread, just a hint, and then you have to decode it. THINK THAT ALL PHENOMENA ARE LIKE DREAMS.

“Phenomena” means all that you see, all that you experience. All that can ever be experienced is all phenomena. Remember, not only are the objects of the world phenomena and dreams, but also objects of consciousness. They may be objects of the world, they may be just objects of the mind. They may be great spiritual experiences. You may see kundalini rising in you: that too is a phenomenon — a beautiful dream, a very sweet dream, but it is a dream all the same. You may see great light flooding your being, but that light is also a phenomenon. You may see lotuses blooming inside you and a great fragrance arising within your being: those too are phenomena, because you are always the seer and never the seen, always the experiencer and never the experienced, always the witness and never the witnessed. All that can be witnessed, seen, observed, is phenomena. Material phenomena, psychological phenomena, spiritual phenomena — they are all the same. There is no need to make any distinction. The basic thing to remember is: that which can be seen is a dream.


This is a tremendously powerful technique. Start contemplating in this way: if you are walking on the street, contemplate that people passing by are all dreams. The shops and the shopkeepers and the customers and the people coming and going, all are dreams. The houses, the buses, the train, the airplane, all are dreams. You will be immediately surprised by something of tremendous import happening within you. The moment you think “All are dreams” suddenly, like a flash, one thing comes into your vision: “I am a dream too.” Because if the seen is a dream, then who is this ‘I’? If the object is a dream, then the subject is also a dream. If the object is false, how can the subject be the truth? Impossible. If you watch everything as a dream, suddenly you will find something slipping out of your being: the idea of the ego. This is the only way to drop the ego, and the simplest. Just try it — meditate this way. Meditating this way again and again, one day the miracle happens: you look in, and the ego is not found there.

The ego is a by-product, a by-product of the illusion that whatsoever you are seeing is true. If you think that objects are true, then the ego can exist; it is a by-product. If you think that objects are dreams, the ego disappears. And if you think continuously that all is a dream, then one day, in a dream in the night, you will be surprised: suddenly in the dream you will remember that this is a dream too! And immediately, as the remembrance happens, the dream will disappear. And for the first time you will experience yourself deep asleep, yet awake — a very paradoxical experience, but of great benefit.

Once you have seen your dream disappearing because you have become aware of the dream, your quality of consciousness will have a new flavor to it. The next morning you will wake up with a totally different quality you had never known before. You will wake up for the first time. Now you will know that all those other mornings were false; you were not really awake. The dreams continued — the only difference was that in the night you were dreaming with eyes closed, in the day you were dreaming with eyes open. But if the dream has disappeared because awareness happened, suddenly you became aware in the dream…. And remember, awareness and dreaming cannot exist together.

Here, awareness arises, and there, the dream disappears. When you become awake in your sleep, the next morning is going to be something so important that it is incomparable. Nothing like it has ever happened. Your eyes will be so clear, so transparent, and everything will look so psychedelic, so colorful, so alive. Even rocks will be felt to be breathing, pulsating; even rocks will have a heartbeat. When you are awake, the whole existence changes its quality.

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