Seeing the World as Illusory

Andrew maps out five practical ways to wake up from the world of appearances and perceive reality more directly.


The way things appear is not always an accurate reflection of the way things really are. We unwittingly project the qualities of stability and permanence onto a reality that is constantly in flux. This same misapprehension is one we make in non-lucid dreams.

When dream yoga and illusory form come to fruition, we perceive the world exactly as it is: flowing, open, and groundless. Similarly, in lucid dreams we recognize the dream for what it is: transient, free-flowing, and lacking inherent existence.

We lose sight of this truth when we mistake emptiness for form. By emptiness, we mean that objects and experiences lack the solid identity we often give them. Dream yoga helps us to relocate the empty, open essence of reality. Having done so, appearances will reflect the way things really are in five ways.

Five ways these practices align appearances with reality:

  1. The world becomes more open and spacious. There is more room in which to cultivate a detached perspective. 
  2. The world becomes lighter. Objects and situations lose their solidity. Practitioners may feel more childlike, free, and playful.
  3. There is a recognition of impermanence and appreciation of the ephemeral nature of all phenomena.
  4. Interconnection. Emptiness does not mean nothingness. It actually implies profound belonging and connection.
  5. Seeing the world as illusory means having the ability to see through facade, take perspective, and gain insight.

"Dream yoga reifies dreams as a way to de-reify waking reality until we come to see the equivalence—the one taste—of them both."

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