December 23 : Things Exist on the Level of Appearance

Everything seems so solid and real to us most of the time. We feel we are solid and real, as well as all the people we deal with and the situations and environments we find ourselves in. Yesterday probably seemed solid and real when we were living it. But if you try to find where yesterday is today, you will realise that everything that seemed so real and solid then has changed or totally vanished. As we go through the day and interact with people, it is helpful to keep in mind that our feeling that there is a real “me” and a real “other” is false. “You” and “I” exist only on the level of appearance — as all the necessary parts, causes and conditions come together, our conceptual mind groups these things together and gives each a label. It is easy to forget that we are the ones who created the object we think is really “out there” or “in here”. Bearing this fact in mind and contemplating impermanence begins to soften the solid appearance of things, getting us one step closer to realising emptiness.

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