1.

Imagine you live in a perfect place:

A place where nothing grows old,
gets weary,
or dies;
a place forever-filled with ever-new,
never-ending,
perfect love,
perfect joy,
and perfect peace;
forever free of ALL suffering and sorrow.

And let us call this perfect place "Heaven."



2.

Now imagine,
while living in Heaven,
you fall asleep and begin to dream.
And you dream of a place completely unlike Heaven.

You dream of a place
where EVERYTHING grows old,
gets weary,
and dies.
A place where every joy,
has a sorrow,
and every sense of peace,
a sense of unrest.
A place where loved ones and loved things
are loved and lost.

A place where endless "treasures" are sought and found,
only to spoil, ruin, and waste away.

And let us call this place of suffering and sorrow
"the earth."



3.

Now let us imagine while you are dreaming,
you forget you are asleep in Heaven
and believe the earth is real.

And imagine,
while dreaming,
you believe there is no place called Heaven,
and think,
speak,
and act
as if the earth is the only place there is
because the earth is the only place you see.



4.

Now imagine living thousands and thousands,
millions of years in the earth:

Millions of years going places,
doing things,
meeting people,
seeing things
that grow old, get weary, and die;

millions of years seeking and finding treasures
that spoil, ruin, and waste away.



5.

And imagine,
after living thousands and thousands,
millions of years in the earth--
millions of years loving things and losing them--
you grow tired of suffering
and seek a way to end it.



6.

And imagine,
after having grown tired of suffering,
someone,
or some thing,
tells you of the place called Heaven,
saying,
"Heaven is where you really are
and you are only DREAMING
you are somewhere else!"

And imagine the someone or some thing
goes on to tell you,
"If you will but realize you are dreaming
and seek to awaken,
one day you will,
and Heaven will again be yours,
and suffering and sorrow will be no more."



7.

Now imagine spending years and years,
lifetimes,
seeking to wake up
in the midst of sleeping people
who think they are awake,
and who believe there is no place called Heaven.

And imagine,
after years and years,
lifetimes,
of seeking to wake up without success,
you begin to wonder if you ever will.

You begin to wonder if it's even worth it.



8.

And imagine,
as you wonder,
your eyes, ears, and heart
turn toward the people living in the dream,
and you see, hear, and feel
how little love,
how little joy,
how little peace,
how little hope they have;

how very much they need to know of
and believe in
a place called Heaven;

how very much they need to find it.



9.

And imagine
as love and compassion begin to fill your heart
and stir your soul,
the desire to find Heaven for yourself
begins to fall away,
and the desire to find Heaven for others
begins to uplift,
inspire,
and carry you on.



10.

And imagine,
after years and years,
lifetimes,
of loving and caring;
of seeking to find Heaven for the sake of others,
you finally do:

You finally realize and remember
you are in Heaven,
and the earth,
and all its suffering and sorrow,
is only a dream.






[Imagine][One][Two][Three][Epilogue]