90. Paramita of Wisdom I — The Eight Similes of Illusory Appearances
Longchen Nyingtik Meditation 90
Take refuge and arouse bodhicitta.
The Main Part
Dreams: All objects perceived by the five senses—forms, sound, smell, taste, and touch—lack true existence, but appear to be real owing to delusion; thus they are like dream images.
Illusions: When causes and conditions come together with their interrelationships, things are made to appear right away; thus they are like magic illusions.
Movies and TV shows are all illusions. Today many people in cities follow them incessantly, losing their lives in vain. Aren’t they pitiable! You who are in the monastic order, especially younger ones, never succumb to this deluded lifestyle! However, at the Academy it’s hard to enforce this rule, given that smartphones and Internet are accessible here. You must therefore exert self-discipline scrupulously; otherwise, once you become hooked, say to a TV miniseries, you’ll ruin your spiritual future and squander away your human life. By all means, avoid this kind of temptation!
Hallucinations: Things appear to be there, yet there is nothing in reality; thus they are like visual aberrations.
Mirages: Things appear, but they are not real; thus they are like mirages.
Echoes: Things can be perceived, but do not truly exist either outwardly or inwardly; thus they are like the sound of an echo.
City of Gandharvas: Like a castle in the clouds (the city of gandhavas), there is neither a place to dwell nor does anyone dwell in it; thus things are illusory.
Reflections: Things appear in all their variety but have no reality of their own; thus they are like reflections in a mirror.
Magical Cities: All appearances lack true existence, yet they arise unceasingly; thus they are like a city created through a magician’s trickery.
In short, exactly when appearances manifest themselves, they are merely empty forms and have no intrinsic existence.
Dedicate the merit of your practice to all sentient beings.