Be like the Buddha. Touch down.


The moment before Buddha reached enlightenment, he was confronted with Mara (the goddess of destruction). Mara was making a last ditch effort to tempt the Buddha away from finding enlightenment. First, she presented some sexy ladies to tempt him with desire. Next, she brought in armies of warriors to scare him with physical harm...but Buddha stood his ground. When these tactics didn't work, she said "Fine, go ahead and find enlightenment, but if you do, no one will be here to witness it. You are alone." (Now, I'm not sure about you, but loneliness is one of my biggest fears.) Buddha however, knew just how to respond to Mara. He simply took one hand, reached down, and touched the earth. With this simple gesture he was saying "Hey, Mara, I am not alone. I am connected to all living beings. The earth is my witness." I obviously told this story in my own words, and I am sure the ancient scriptures put it more eloquently. But I have been thinking about this story when I am feeling lost and unsure of my next step. That simple reminder that we are all connected gives me inner strength AND fills me with compassion for others. Mara shows up in unexpected ways, but Buddha's simple gesture is a powerful one. We are each other’s witness. Our actions have an effect on those around us and vice versa. They ripple through the world whether we realize it or not. We may think we are alone in our own little bubble, but that's not the case. So, as we move forward through this uncertain time, can we remember that our collective actions can be a source of strength for one another. OR they can be destructive with far reaching effects. Let's be like the Buddha. Let’s touch down and find the inner strength to move forward together with the greater good in mind.


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