Again, another slightly different-sounding song than what you’ll find on the NoV debut album – just continuing to expand on that sound and direction. “All Phenomena Are Dreams” is again a little more uptempo, more ‘electronic’ sounding with the repeating synth line throughout the song, edging a little closer to ‘pop’ while sounding somewhat more ‘alien’, ethereal at the same time and punctuated by some guitar feedback. This is another song I began in Denver/Golden and finished recording and mixing in Dallas. It’s a finished demo for now with only preliminary mastering and may eventually become a ‘remix’ or an extended version.
ALL PHENOMENA ARE DREAMS
© 2011 Nights on Venus/Craig C. Thomas/Excellent Sky Records
And the title, where does that come from? Actually it comes from an old foundational text of Tibetan Buddhism, Atisha’s Seven Points of Mind Training (11th century A.D.). It is the second sutra of the text:
First, learn the preliminaries.
Think that all phenomena are dreams.
“Think that all phenomena are dreams.” Basically, I liked it as a title. Some commentary…
“Phenomena” means all that you see, all that you experience. All that can ever be experienced is all phenomena… Material phenomena, psychological phenomena, spiritual phenomena — they are all the same.
“The basic thing to remember is: that which can be seen is a dream.” – Osho, The Book of Wisdom
Some further commentary…
“Think that all the events, manifestations, and movements of mind are illusory as in the nature of a dream, unreal and false. For example, when we are sleeping, our dream seems real to us when it is absolutely unreal: if it were real, then the dream would really be happening. In the same way, our world and the beings in it in all their diversities are but the illusive manifestations of mind. While the illusion is taking place, it is “real”, but its essence is unreal like a dream.”
“Ask yourself, “is mind itself real, or not?” …Meditate on the mind and ask yourself: What color is it? What is its form? Where does it come from? What is its purpose? Is it inside or outside of the body? What happens when it experiences heat or the cold? …You may come to the conclusion that the mind defies any such determination and that is its essence.”
“When a thought arises, look at it directly and ask yourself, “What is its true nature?” Remain in the understanding that “it is nothing.”
– HH Shamar Rinpoche
Some dreams may be beautiful, some may turn into nightmares, but ultimately, it is nothing. I’ve found this technique to be useful many times, including this week. It may not eliminate the ‘problem’ but just realizing “it is nothing” or that “this too shall pass” helps calm the mind in the midst of a freakout. Just some things to explore. And should all else fail, invoke the “it’s only a movie” clause.
Perhaps Roy Orbison (and many others) said it best, or at least most succinctly, in “In Dreams” when he sang “everything is alright.”