Hsin Shin Ming: “44. They are like unto dreams or flowers in the air, the foolish try to grasp them.”
Here ‘they’ means things, forms or dualities, and ‘like dreams or flowers in the air’ means not real but empty imaginary forms or illusions of our own making. ‘Try to grasp them’ is the description of how sentient beings live their lives.
We sentient beings spend our whole lives struggling to gain what we think will bring us happiness. What we strive to achieve, however, is not real but illusionary. In other words, we waste our lives pursuing happiness by chasing after illusions neglecting the essence of our being that is the source of true happiness. Ancient masters would compare our vain effort to trying to grasp the horns of a rabbit. The Diamond Sutra says, “If you see everything as a dream, as a phantom, and as a bubble, you will see the true-Self.” The true-Self also means the Pure Land, the essence of happiness. So, the best way to happiness is not to attain things but to realise the essence of our being by seeing ourselves as we are.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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