The way the storey starts, when Siddhartha sat under the Bodhi tree and mulled on the night he was to become the Buddha, the idol Mara slung arrows at him all night.
Mara is essentially the god of Shadow, and his arrows were manifestations of all the unawakened thoughts and feelings of Siddhartha’s human experience. These included( among others) indignation, lust, jealousy, pity, embarrassment, and self-doubt.
With each arrow that cut through the aura towards him, Siddhartha drew awareness and compassion to it. The arrows, when received via his merciful awareness, was transformed into grows and fell at his feet.
By the time morning arrived, there was a sea of heydays circumventing the now awakened Buddha.
Even after he became “enlightened, ” the Buddha discovered that Mara would show up from time to time when he was teaching. He would be teaching to a gather, and describe seeing Mara walk around in the back.
His reaction to Mara remained this warm, compassionate awareness. “Hello Mara, I see you there. Let’s have tea.”
In modern nomenclature we can consider Mara to be our Ego. It is the place of all our thoughts, upsets, anxieties, and demeanors which hinder us from being completely open, lighthearted, and compassionate every moment of every day.
Our Ego is both our protection from pain and source of our psychological and psychological questions. It operates both consciously and not.
Having an Ego is part of being human. We can not eliminate our Ego from our being any more than we can eliminate our DNA. It is bind to us. However, it is not true that all we are is Ego, and we can learn to free ourselves from our Ego’s sticky grasp and investigate life from a bigger perspective.
You Are Not Your Ego
With mindfulness practice, we learn to see our Ego as an object in our awareness , not who “weve been” are. We are able to see Mara and his arrows before they inflict their wounds.
The more rule we get at being still, the more easily we are able to witness the noise of our spirits and not identify with it.
When we are still in meditation, our thinkers will speak up and try to get our tending. But if our memories are trying to get our attending, then we can’t be our minds.
We must be something else. We are the ones listening our thoughts. If we are aware that Ego is present, we cannot be it.
You are the one who hears your Ego, who responds to your Ego. You are the awareness that resides beyond your Ego. For most of us, most of the time, we mark as the Ego.
Over time and with practice we learn to identify more with the background opening of awareness, the space behind the curtain of Ego. This is the journey of enlightenment.
Being Mindful With Ego
A couple times back, things were particularly stressful for me. I had a lot going on with job and family and my to-do list felt longer than usual, filled with items that tower large over my head.
I was sitting on my sofa feeling overwhelmed when my partner asked me if I would like her help to triage my listing of exercises. She offered to help me set up a schedule for the next few daytimes so I could reach what I had to do in a clearer, calmer, more grounded fashion.
When she said that, this white-hot burning sensation of anger and rancor came illusion up from my gut.
It wanted to shout at her, “Leave me alone! I’m fine! I don’t need you to tell me what to do! You’re not my mommy! ” That was my Ego, and I was acutely well understood its presence.
Given that awareness, I was empowered to respond, “Well, this white-hot burning sensation of anger and rancour came bubbling up when you asked that, so … yes, I think it’d be a great idea for you to help me.”
She did, and it was truly helpful as I broke up my long register into manageable bite-size pieces.
The Journey of Enlightenment
There is a notion about enlightenment that there is a complete dissolution of Ego revealing absolute bliss. I don’t think that’s only accurate.
Instead, consider the perspective that enlightenment is a process of learning not to resign switch of “peoples lives” to our Egos. We learn to stay above them. We have our Egos sit in the back seat of the car of “peoples lives”; we don’t give them the steering wheel when they were show up.
Our Egos are going to have a reaction to life- such as getting angry at my partner for her offer to help me triage my to-do list.
However, the more I recognise I am the awareness behind my Ego, the more I am able to see the responses of my Ego as not me, and is a well-known fact that I am free to choose another way.
The Buddha said, “I see you, Mara, let’s have tea, ” instead of “Here Mara, you make the microphone.” We don’t kill our demons, instead we learn to overcome them by recognizing we don’t have to fight them.
Another falsehood about enlightenment is the fact that it happens all at once. The thought that there’s a spontaneous parting of the vapours and everything is perfectly crystal clear is a nice one.
It does happen, but that is not the only way it happens. Enlightenment is not a specific experience to have, but rather, a process to undertake.
Everyone I know who has ever had a spontaneous waken has not permanently shed their Ego. It comes back. Having the spontaneous suffer is great story-telling, but there is more to the storey afterwards.
A zen legend extends: A student approached his surmount and expected, “How do I reach enlightenment? ” The master replied, “Chop wood, carry water.” “And what do I do after I attain enlightenment? ” “Chop wood, carry water.”
Enlightenment is not the end. It is another step on the pilgrimage. May your outing continue.
Read more: aboutmeditation.com