“A coiled rope’s speckled color and coiling are similar to those of a snake, and when the rope is perceived in a dim area, the thought arises, ‘This is a snake.’ As for the rope, at that time when it is seen to be a snake, the collection and parts of the rope are not even in the slightest way a snake. Therefore, that snake is merely set up by conceptuality.”
A guided vipassana meditation, watching the process of thinking rather than getting involved with the content of thoughts. Watch the thoughts pass by harmlessly instead of getting caught up in self-criticism, obsessive thinking, and doubt.
We don’t ever see what actually exists. We see what we expect to see because the mind is constructing its version of reality on a second-by-second basis. Pictures like this exploit some of the mind’s habitual tendencies to show us this fact. Western psychologists call this top-down processing, but they haven’t recognized the implications of it.
Through training the mind with meditation, we can come to recognize all experience as nothing more than mind representations of whatever actually exists. The more we do this, the more we cease to engage in manufacturing suffering and dwell in peace and joy.