Sunday 10am Community Practice & Discussion: “Having Tea with Mara” will be facilitated by Jean H.
In Buddhism, Mara is the name given to a being closest to what is thought of as the Devil in other traditions. In the sutras, he is often referred to as the tempter who did his best to divert the Buddha from the path. While not literally trying to slay the Buddha (there were others who did that), Mara tries at various points to either kill the Buddha's desire for freedom from suffering or his belief in his capacity to do so.
You can think of Mara as those inner patterns that keep us stuck in a fixed, limited sense of self, seeing everything from the perspective of I, me, or mine. The Buddha described these patterns as the armies under Mara's command.
Stephen Bachelor, in his wonderful book Living with the Devil, says:
Mara stands for those patterns of behavior that long for the security of clinging to something real and permanent rather than facing the question posed by being a transient and contingent creature.
Being visited by Mara is not a sign of weakness; it’s part of being human. The Buddha himself encountered Mara hundreds of times after his enlightenment. One time he even invited him to tea! As with everything, it is the quality of our relationship with Mara that makes the difference – will he trash the place or quietly sipping his tea?
Please join us this Sunday for tea with Mara. All are welcome. Registration and Zoom information available here.