The Lankavatara Sutra says our existence is like a dream. It reprises the end of the Diamond Sutra, where our existence is likened to a dream, a bubble, a flash of lightning, a dawn star, a phantom.
Dream is the most pervasive trope in Buddhism, and for good reason.
It is hard to see the Buddha’s enlightenment story as anything other than a kind of awakening dream.
When we dream, awake or asleep, and when we then leave the dream, it is not that we are awakened to truth. But rather, that we are awakened to delusion.
And in the morning when we wake from a dream, there is a moment when perhaps we don’t know where we are, or who we are, or what we are. And then, almost instantaneously, we enter the dream of the self, the dream of the everyday world.
Between these dream bubbles, the ocean.