It’s an age-old riddle: if a tree falls in the forest (where no one is listening), does it make a noise?
The answer in terms of accepted science is clear: (from the human perspective) the falling tree creates vibrations in the air which become noise if — and only if – they relate to an ear drum and an auditory nervous system.
So, sound as we know it does not exist in the external world, but is the result of a relationship between vibrating air and certain types of biological organisms.
The sun is shining after the rain-cloud passes, and there is a rainbow.
But if there is no being present to see it, in what manner does that rainbow exist?
Must not all three conditions – sun, moisture and observer – be present to construct something we call rainbow?
The Buddhist teachings are clear: all existence is relationship, apprehended by the mind according to at-the-moment “mental formations” of that particular mind.
That’s right: all things of your external world – every person, each place; all textures, colors, sounds, sights and so on – ‘exist’ materially only when encountered by a perceiving mind.
And in your case, that perceiving mind is you.
What to do with this?
Consider experiencing the world around you in the most authentic and meaningful of ways.
Clear your mind’s “apertures” and the mental formations within to which they lead . . . doing so will imbue you with the best of what is possible for you to discern, to achieve . . . for you to be.
The most effective clarifying agents?
Learning. Contemplation. Understanding. Meditation. Engagement.
The Tibetan Buddhist insights and ways are open to all, and one need not be a Buddhist to share in them.