Mara brought me a visit today. Right during meditation.
He usually does that. I don’t know how he knows when I’m gonna sit -my schedule is rather erratic- but he knows. As if he is around the corner, waiting for me to ring the bell, then barge into my room, pull up a chair, and talk right in my face. Rather loudly too. I never understood how my husband sleeps through his barking, but he does.
Mara rants in a non-stop stream of words: “You should do butterflies to transform your pain, not this stupid chunking along with your plans. You’re too attached to your ego, you don’t live from your heart. You’re not funny enough, your website doesn’t have nearly as much humor as your sister’s. You’re not giving enough, you don’t really love from your heart, serving without attachment or expectation.”
A constant cascade of words that undermine my self-confidence, self-acceptance, and self-compassion.
This time it’s different. I remember how Mara threw arrows at Buddha, and how Buddha transformed each of them into flowers.
Mara is just doing what he is supposed to do: to create a world of illusion, of suffering, of despair. Nothing wrong with that. We each have a role to play, and Mara is playing his to the best of his abilities. There would not be any mindfulness, any compassion, if it were not for the suffering in the world.
All I need to do is to bring my awareness back to my breath, my thoughts, my feelings.
Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.
Breathing in, I know I have feelings of loneliness, sadness, shame in me.
Breathing out, I smile to the feelings of loneliness, sadness, shame in me.
Breathing in, I know I have seeds of solidity and peace in me.
Breathing out, I smile to the seeds of solidity and peace in me.
I look at Mara. He looks rather cute on the tiny, red seahorse chair. “Hey friend, thank you for visiting me. I would love to hear what you have to say. I’ll listen to you after my sit.”
Breathing in, I know I have unconditional love in me.
Breathing out, I smile to the unconditional love in me.
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