The appearances of this life—all the various appearances of forms, sounds, smells, tastes, and bodily sensations we perceive—seem to truly exist. But life’s appearances do not say to us, “I am real.” They only seem to be real from our confused thoughts’ perspective when we think, “Those things really exist out there.” That is like what we do in a dream when we do not know we are dreaming.
Similarly, we mistakenly believe that aging, sickness, and death are truly existent…but this is just confused consciousness at work. The buddhas’ perfect wisdom does not view this life, or the aging, sickness, and death that occur within it, as truly existent. The noble buddhas and bodhisattvas with wisdom that sees genuine reality do not see these events as real. Training in the view of the Mind-Only school that all phenomena are mind, and in the Middle Way view that all phenomena are emptiness, helps us transform our confused consciousness into perfect wisdom.
From Stars of Wisdom by Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso, pages 65–66