I have often read or seen the story of Buddha’s awakening and how he faced enormous forces of doubt as he meditated under the bodhi tree one night. The doubts, delusions, and attempts to persuade Siddhartha to turn against himself and give up the path were presented by Mara. As the night wore on, Mara issued an assortment of challenges in a variety of forms – from seductress to angry wrath – all with the goal to disrupt and obstruct Siddhartha from awakening. In other words, Mara hoped to scare Siddhartha away from seeing his divine presence, the light of all that is that resides in each and every one of us, by creating the illusion that he was stronger. When Mara recognized that he was not facing a man, but the power of creative awareness itself, he fearfully withdrew. Siddhartha became a Buddha.
My writing and sharing is an attempt to share my process of facing my personal versions of Mara. It’s a path that I began cultivating at a very young age and have centered the majority of my life choices around. As I move through middle age, I find myself fully committed to Buddhist practice and cultivating deeper meaning, purpose, and well-being than I have ever known before. To my surprise, I have also found joy and well-being tucked away in the recesses of my awareness that are yearning to be set free. And so it is, that I offer a glimpse into my process in hopes that some benefit may be found and in support of cultivating an awakened awareness and happy, happy life.
It is my hope that by sharing my path, I may make it a little easier for another as many others have benefited me by their expression. Through shared experiences, stories, and bearing witness to one another, we can strengthen and grow as individuals and as a community. As with anything I present, please use what you find beneficial or useful and discard the rest. It is up to us as individuals to choose what we learn from and utilize as resources. I offer this in hopes of easing suffering and to never cause harm.