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Thus shall ye think of all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble in a  stream; A flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream. -- from the Diamond Sutra, trans. A. F. Price
The clouds that wander through the sky have no roots, no home; 
Nor do the distinctive thoughts floating through the mind. -- from the Song of Mahamudra by Tilopa 

 
 
 

 

All things conditioned are instable, impermanent, 
Fragile in essence, as an unbaked pot, like something borrowed, or a city founded on sand, 
They last a short while only.

They are inevitably destroyed, 
Like plaster washed off in the rains, 
Like the sandy bank of a river --

They are conditioned, 
and their true nature is frail.

They are like the flame of a lamp, which rises suddenly and as soon goes out.

They have no power of endurance, 
Like the wind.

Or like foam, unsubstantial, essentially feeble.

The sage knows the beginning and end of consciousness, its production and passing away --

The sage knows that it came from nowhere and returns to nowhere, 
And is empty of reality, 
Like a conjuring trick.

The sage knows what is true reality, 
And sees all conditioned things as
Empty and powerless.
(adapted from the Lalitavistara, Tran. by A. L. Basham)