3. Examine the nature of awareness.
In both the waking and the dreaming states, when you analyze the object of experience, that which is apprehended, you only find an internal mental representation, insubstantial and impermanent. Whatever it is that you perceive is empty of inherent existence. Furthermore, if you turn your attention to that which perceives, that which apprehends the experience, you realize that your notion of apprehender is also an internal mental representation.
Who or what is it that understands that everything is like a dream? Who or what is this that has discovered that everything is like a dream? Who is this “I”? Where did it come from? Who is the one who realizes anything? Who is it that is aware? Who is this ME? Is that “I” not also part of the dream?
When you look directly at the mind that apprehends any object, the mind that generates the internal representations, you realize that it also lacks substance and permanence. This mind has no color, no shape, and no form. It does not have an origin, it does not abide, it does not end. It is merely a series of extremely brief moments of awareness. If you look at these moments of awareness, you realize that they also lack substance and permanence.
The mind that you perceive, and that you habitually identify as your own self, is nothing but this series of insubstantial moments. This concept of mind is also an internal representation. This mind has no origin, it has never come into existence, it does not abide, and it does not cease. It is not located anywhere, inside or outside the body. It is not an object that you perceive directly.
And yet, there is perception, somehow these internal representations of objects of experience are generated. While a substantial and permanent mind does not exist, there is awareness. Because the mind is empty by nature, these internal images arise. Because the mind is luminous by nature, there is awareness of the images that arise.
By examining and investigating the mind, you can arrive at a precise and certain understanding of the nature of this awareness, which has no origin, location, or cessation. It is luminous clarity; it is both essentially empty and illuminating by nature.
Look at what it is that experiences the dream. Do not analyze or speculate about it. Just look, and rest in the looking.