Tea with Mara

The night before Buddha’s enlightenment,

he battled with the Demon God Mara.

Mara attacked Buddha with everything he had.

He shot arrows of shame, fear, anxiety,

doubt, lust, greed and anger.

 

With each arrow that cut through the air,

Buddha brought awareness and compassion to it.

The arrows, when received by awareness, turned into

flowers and fell at his feet.

 

By the time morning arrived,

there was a sea of flowers surrounding

the now Awakened Buddha.

Having failed, Mara left in dismay.

 

Yet, Mara was only temporarily discouraged.

Even after the Buddha’s enlightenment, Mara continued

to make unexpected appearances.

The Buddha’s loyal attendant, Ananda,

would report with dismay that the “Evil One” had again returned.

 

Instead of ignoring Mara or driving him away,

the Buddha would calmly acknowledge his presence, saying,                       

 “I see you, Mara. Let’s have tea.”

 

He would invite him for tea and serve him as an honoured guest.

Offering Mara a cushion so that he could sit comfortably,

the Buddha would fill two cups with tea,          

 place them on the low table between them,                      

         and only then take his own seat.       

     

Mara would stay for a while but then would always  leave.

And throughout, the Buddha remained

free and undisturbed.

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

Wear this necklace as a reminder that we all face

Mara many times, in many different forms;

shame, fear, anxiety, doubt, lust, greed, anger

and all negative emotions.

 

When you are faced with negativity in your life, rather than resisting the experience, see and feel it with awareness and self-compassion.

 

Open your heart and willingly invite Mara to tea. Knowing he will

always show up, stay for awhile and then leave.

 

 This is the cycle of life.

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