What We Resist Persists

 

white ceramic cup
Photo by Saif Selim on Pexels.com

 

I took the long, long way to recovery with my first heartbreak.  You can read from my first blog I started running trails.  I still run today, but not with any fierce anger, grief, or with a poor me, “I” mentality.  Now I run free!

Someone once said, what we resist persists.  I’ve had a lot of resistance in my life.  Coming to terms with child abuse, running a code on my Dad (he died looking into my eyes), many other deaths in my family, a witnessed death of a small child, a chronic hip injury, a phone call from my husband telling me he had a growth in his pancreatic duct………

I couldn’t run after my hip injury for many months.  So I started doing yoga.  Yoga, meditation, and the article below helped me through my RESISTANCE.  They got me through my grief, fear, and hours of waiting for tests, surgery, and diagnostics at The Huntsman Cancer Institute.

 

“This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

Some momentary awareness comes

As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!…..

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

Meet them at the door laughing

And invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.” Rumi

 

Exert from one of my favorite books, Radical Acceptance (2003) Tara Brach

Inviting Mara to Tea

“The night before his enlightenment, the Buddha fought a great battle….

One of my favorite stories of the Buddha shows the power of a wakeful and friendly heart.  The night before his enlightenment, the Buddha fought a great battle with the Demon God Mara, who attacked the then bodhisattva Siddhartha Guatama with everything he had: lust, greed, anger, doubt, etc. having failed, Mara left in disarray on the morning of the Buddha’s enlightenment.

Yet, it seems Mara was only temporarily discouraged. Even after the Buddha had become deeply revered throughout India, Mara continued to make unexpected appearances.  The Buddha’s loyal attendant, Ananda, always on the lookout for any harm that might come to his teacher, 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.”

He would then invite him for tea and serve him as an honored guest.  Offering Mara a cushion so that he could sit comfortably, the Buddha would fill two earthen cups with tea, place them on the low table between them, and only then take his own seat.  Mara would stay for a while and then go, but throughout the Buddha remained free and undisturbed.

When Mara visits us, in the form of troubling emotions or fearsome stories, we can say, “I see you, Mara,” and clearly recognize the reality of craving and fear that lives in each human heart.  By accepting these experiences with the warmth of compassion, we can offer Mara tea rather than fearfully driving him away.  Seeing what is true, we hold what is seen with kindness.  We express such wakefulness of heart each time we recognize and embrace our hurts and fears.

Our habit of being a fair weather friend to ourselves — pushing away or ignoring whatever darkness we can – is deeply entrenched.  But just as a relationship with a good friend is marked by understanding and compassion, we can learn to bring these same qualities to our own inner life.

Pema Chodron says that through spiritual practice “we are learning to make friends with ourselves, our life, and at the most profound level possible.”  We befriend ourselves when, rather than resisting our experience we open our hearts and willingly invite Mara to tea.”  Tara Brach Ph.D. Finding True Refuge

Printed is Psychology Today (psychologytoday.com)

My practice worked so well, I thought, I need to share this!  I became a yoga teacher in 2017.

Challenge:  start each day with a cup of tea in silence, simply being present with your Mara, your thoughts, and the tea, and see how this changes your day.   Then, if your Mara shows up in your thoughts during your day, acknowledge him, be kind to your feelings, and say I have radical acceptance.  After a week, or two, let me know how you feel.

 

 

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