Viewing our experience in this world as a dream, Siddhartha found that our habit of fixating on the mere appearance of our dreamlike relative world, thinking that it is truly existing, throws us into an endless cycle of pain and anxiety. We are in a deep sleep, hibernating like a silkworm in a cocoon. We have woven a reality based on our projections, imagination, hopes, fears, and delusions. Our cocoons have become very solid and sophisticated. Our imaginings are so real to us that we are trapped in the cocoon. But we can free ourselves simply by realizing that this is all our imagination.
– Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book “What Makes You Not a Buddhist”
Consider the fact that no matter how many planets and stars are reflected in a lake, these reflections are encompassed within the water itself; that no matter how many universes there are, they are encompassed within a single space; and that no matter how vast and how numerous the sensory appearances of samsara and nirvana may be, they are encompassed within the single nature of mind.
“During our dreams, we do not know we are dreaming. We may even dream of interpreting a dream. Only on waking do we know it was a dream. Only after the great awakening will we realize that this is the great dream.”
We should be quite gentle in judging ourselves and remember that the habits we are fighting against come from beginningless time and are very strong. So from time to time there will be some backsliding — though in the long run there is progress and improvement. Furthermore, remember that even having entered the gate of the Dharma, having the intention to reduce our disturbing emotions, or being concerned about disturbing emotions is amazing because most people involved in samsara never even think about this.
– Thrangu Rinpoche
from the book “Luminous Clarity: A Commentary on Karma Chagme’s Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen”
With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes
Our mind is the basis of everything, and from our mind everything arises, Samsara and nirvana, ordinary sentient beings and enlightened ones. Consider the way beings transmigrate in the impure vision of samsara: even though the essence of the mind, the true nature of our mind, is totally pure right from the beginning, nevertheless, because pure mind is temporarily obscured by the impurity of ignorance, there is no self-recognition of our own state. Through this lack of self-recognition arise illusory thoughts and actions created by the passions. Thus various negative karmic causes are accumulated and since their maturation as effects is inevitable, one suffers bitterly, transmigrating in the six states of existence. Thus, not recognizing one’s own state is the cause of transmigration, and through this cause one becomes the slave of illusions and distractions.
This endless film show is being played in our mind – moment to moment mind states – and that is projected out in front of us as our external reality. Now as long as we are fascinated by the movie in front of us, then we believe it and we become deeply involved in what appears to be happening. But if we look back and realize it’s just a mind-show that we are projecting, then even though we can still enjoy it, we are not going to be totally devastated if it’s a tragedy or completely engulfed if it’s a romance. We know it’s just a movie.
As long as we are in samsara, whatever our lifestyle in the world, it is only suffering. Before we enter that lifestyle, we see samsara as a beautiful park, a pleasant park, but once we are involved in that lifestyle, we experience so many problems.
– Lama Zopa Rinpoche