The Buddha told us that what we experience is like dreaming at night. Everything we see in the dream appears very real and there seems to be no difference from what we experience in waking life. However, after waking up we realize that it was all false. But our real life is also a dream, and it is one from which we have not awoken even after multiple lifetimes, or even eons of lifetimes. When the day comes that we study the Buddhadharma and understand the truth of Dharma—like the Ch’an saying, “seeing one’s true nature with a clear mind”, a sudden awakening or instant revelation—only then will we wake up from the dream of the ordinary world. Not everybody has this opportunity, but for those who do understand these concepts, they should perceive all phenomena as being like bubbles or dreams, as expounded in the Diamond Sutra. In this way, we will not have exhausting lives.
~ Luminous Wisdom Book Series 8