We are duped by maya. The whole display of our senses has tricked us into
believing it and thus seduces us into the world of suffering. And the
illusionist is that old trickster, one's own mind. But when this illusory
nature is recognized to be just that, one is released from the bondage of the
magic show, at which time it becomes a wonderful spectacle, even a display of
the unimpeded creativity and freedom of mind. Then maya itself is both the
medium for this realization and the expression of it.
This conscious and intentional method of relating to all phenomena as
illusion is thus cast in a totally positive light on the spiritual path, a
complete turn-around from the original negative valuation of it as deceit.
Now illusion is seen as illumination and opportunity. The nature of our
relationship with it is the salient point, rather than its own nature, which
certainly does not exist anyway, in any way.
Since everything is an illusory display,
it is possible to attain enlightenment.
The transformation of the maya concept from something to escape to something
to engage may be loosely correlated with the shift of emphasis on
understanding emptiness that emerged in the mahayana teachings. A further
development may be seen in the vajrayana teachings with the esoteric
instruction known as Illusory Body (sgyu lus). This occurs as one of the Six
Dharmas of Niguma and in other configurations of completion stage practices in
many lineages. (p.40)
-- Sarah Harding, "Niguma, Lady of Illusion", a Tsadra Foundation Series
book, published by Snow Lion Publications