THE BUDDHA HAS SAID: "In the language of angels, of serpents, of fairies,
in the speech of the demons, the talk of the humans, in them all I've expounded
the Dharma's deep teachings, and in any tongue that a being may grasp them."
The things of this samsaric world are all illusion, like a dream. Wherever one looks, where is their substance?
Palaces built of earth, stone, and wood, wealthy men endowed with food, dress, and finery, legions of retainers who throng round the mighty - these are like castles in the air, like rainbows in the sky. And how deluded those who think of this as truth! When uncles, nephews, brothers, and sisters gather as kindred do, when couples and children gather as families do, when friends and neighbors gather in good fellowship - these are like meetings of dream friends, like travelers sharing food with strangers. And how deluded those who think of this as truth! This phantom body grown in uterine water from a union of seed and blood - our habitual passions springing from the bad deeds of our past, our thoughts provoked by divers apparitions - all are like flowers in autumn, clouds across the sky. How deluded, O assembled monks, if you have thought of them as permanent. The splendid plumage of the peacock with its many hues, our melodious words in which notes high and low are mingled, the link of causes and effects which now have brought us here together - they are like the sound of echoes, the sport of a game of illusion. Meditate on this illusion, do not seize on them as truth! Mists on the lakes, clouds across a southern sky,
spray blown by wind above the sea, lush fruits ripened by the summer sun - in permanence they cannot last; in a trice they separate and fall away. Meditate on their illusion, do not think of them as permanent!