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Lojong Slogans #2 - Regard all Dharma as Dreams

Updated: Nov 19, 2022

Lojong Slogan #2: Regard all Dharma as Dreams.

After training in the preliminaries, the next 10 slogans make up the 2nd point of Lojong and cover “The Main Practice,” training in Bodhichitta. The first group focuses on Ultimate Bodhichita, the second group on Relative.

While a primary principle of ultimate bodhichitta is developing generosity, these slogans are also “considerations.” They are considerations about our relationship to the world and if we can ponder them thoroughly and honestly it can help us easily connect with the desire for all beings to be free from suffering.

They also, can offer a view that allows us to be a bit gentler with ourselves, a bit more tender, kinder.

The first of these slogans is “Regard all Dharmas as Dreams.” Dharma, in a general sense, being everything and anything that arises. Pema Chodron shares that another way to translate this slogan is to “Regard all Experience as Passing Memory.”

“This slogan is an expression of compassion and openness. It means that whatever you experience in your life- pain, pleasure, happiness, sadness, grossness, refinement, sophistication, crudeness, heat, cold or whatever is purely memory.” Chogyam Trungpah

We take the world to be so solid. We feel we can hold on to every joyful moment and by letting it slip away we’ve failed in someway. But how real is this experience. What makes its so? By the time you're reading this, my sitting here writing will only be a faint memory. What is there to cling to? Consider the moment before you opened this email. It’s no longer here, it’s passed and only a memory. Consider past memories, some very vivid, some faint, yet all are dreamlike. What remains? Perhaps recall a time you were really caught or working with something difficult. In that moment it may have felt that the sky was falling. But you endured, you took action and the experience became only a faint memory. Maybe something you can now even laugh about. We cannot not hold onto any one thing, ever. Experience comes and passes, what remains is this moment, and now even that has passed as a new one emerges. Each experience is only a memory. Again, there is nothing to buy into here. I’m not suggesting that you give up on your dreams, goals and aspirations because nothing is real. But we can consider just how real some of our interpretations, are and use that to lighten our aversions and attachments.

“Actual phenomena, that is, the world and it’s inhabitants- are objects that we grasp with our senses. These appearances are simply our mind’s manifestations of confusion. In the end, they are not actually existent in any way whatsoever, but are like appearances in a dream.” -Jamgion Kongtrul.

When we dream, the experience can be so real, so vivid. We feel that we are right there, and emotions arise. Then we wake up and realize it was only a dream. But in that moment we are tested. It may be often difficult to distinguish what is dream and what is waking. Can we consider waking life in that same way? Can we allow experiences to have a dreamlike quality as they arise, so that we can lighten up just a bit. We can recognize that THIS is happening now, but through practice we can meet it from an awakened space that assures us it is perfect, and ok, just as it is.

Our reality is constructed by the mind, what we see is a direct reflection of our perception & conditioning. We’ve labeled everything and figured it all out so we sometimes cannot see the wonder and majesty in any of it. Especially the mundane.

Can we allow for a certain spaciousness? Ca we let go of that conditioning and allow experience to arise and pass without clinging so desperately. A new moment will arise, perhaps one that is difficult, perhaps not. Regardless it will pass and become only memory, only phantom.

How real are these memories?

“Our mental habit is to believe that whatever we perceive in the world is valid and true.”

-Khentrul Lodrö T’hayè

Can we meet experience from this place of openness? We must go beyond our conditioned perceptions and simply experience each moment as it is. The moment passes and a new one arises. While of course there is a very really element to navigating this modern world, this consideration can allow us to be a bit gentler with ourselves and be with experience from a very different place.

Shared by Keshava McLaughlin. Keshava is highly trained and certified in many healing practices that focus on meditation, sound and energy. Compassion, loving kindness, and gratitude are just a few foundations of his heart opening offerings that you can experience at The Space.

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