If one person were to awake from a dream in which he had experienced a hundred years of happiness, and another were to awake from a dream in which he had experienced but a brief moment of happiness, once awake, the situation would be the same for both because neither could ever return to that happiness. In the same way, whether our life is long or short, at the time of death everything ends just the same.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life”
The dream world exists only for as long as the dream awareness to which it appears exists, and the waking world exists only for as long as the waking awareness to which it appears exists. Buddha said: ‘You should know that all phenomena are like dreams.’
We generally believe that the things we perceive in dreams are unreal while the things we perceive when we are awake are true. But in reality everything we perceive is like a dream in that it is mere appearance to mind. For those who can interpret them correctly, dreams have great significance. For example, if we dream that we visit a particular country that we have never been to in this life, our dream will indicate one of four things: that we have been to that country in a previous life, that we will visit it later in this life, that we will visit it in a future life, or that it has some personal significance for us - for example, if we had recently received a letter from that country or had seen a television program about it. Similarly, if we dream we are flying, it may mean that in a previous life we were a being who could fly, such as a bird or a meditator with miracle powers, or it may predict that we will become such a being in the future. A flying dream may also have a less literal meaning, symbolizing an improvement in our health or state of mind.