Sitting on my cushion. Just sitting there. Sitting here. There’s no difference. Just sitting.
Just sitting? Who am I kidding. I am having a marvelous talk with a good old friend from Buddhist tradition: Mara. Who invited her?
She impressed me again with the knowledge she has. Knowledge that is common and comes really close to wisdom. She keeps inviting me to a different kind of life. She is very persuasive and sometimes I do not know how to respond. Today I finally gathered myself and talked back.
Mara: “Oh sweety, are you okay? Maybe you need some advise again. You really need to go find a good job again and build yourself a house, you know! Here in this Western world one cannot live like a true hermit or an ascetic. One needs money, an income, a regular income.”
Mara: “You know you can pick up again where you left off. It’s not been all that long. Half a year or so? Go back into the office, generate regular income, start building up your pension again. What are you going to do once you’re old and retired? You’ll need the extra income. Economy cannot support all the pensioners once you’re that age. You’ll need to be able to provide for yourself.”
Mara: “Think Maslov. Think safety first. Food, drink, shelter, warmth. All needed for your health. It doesn’t stop there, does it? Maslov came up with a pyramid. You’re moving right to the top part, without any base on the four previous steps. How are you going to support your way of living then?”
Mara: “You got to get real. You do understand, don’t you? Deep down, I know you understand. Weren’t you feeling hungry today? What did you have to eat? Was it enough to support your body throughout the whole day? Aren’t you feeling your stomach right know? Come on, don’t lie to me. I know you like you’re me.”
Mara: “You know what, it would be a good thing if you’d go out and apply for that job that is open at the city hall. It’s a good position and you’re qualified for it. They’ll hire you if you go for it. Just get some good clothes, do your hair a bit more fancy and put yourself to it. I’ll support you all the way.”
Mara: “I know you don’t think in terms of money, but everybody else does. If you want to survive in this economic jungle, you’ve got to ‘howl with the wolves’.
I love you. I’ll help you. I know what you have to do and I’ll help you all the way. You’ll be grateful afterwards. Once you’re safe and secure again, sleeping in your own house, living the life that is common and understandable, you’ll be grateful.”
Me: “Mara, I love you too. You’ve been helpful during the very first half of my entire life. If it hadn’t been for you, I could not be where I am right now. You bring with you my entire upbringing, schooling, culture, even my gene pool. You’re the lessons learned from all my previous life’s. You compiled them into a marvelous knowledge base, reliable and always at hand. You hold me every step, and you catch me if I manage to fall anyway.””
Me: “But you have to let me go, dear. I grew up. I can stand, walk, sit, lie down and feel all that happens while I do that. I can cry feeling the joy of being grateful for another breath. Breathing quietly while falling apart into one.”
Me: “I know you feel afraid, Mara. Change is always a bit scary, isn’t it. You have no hold on me anymore and you can feel it. As I dissolve, you dissolve. Don’t be afraid, sweet Mara. Just join hand palms together and breathe. Let it breathe. Join me.”
She disappeared, but I’m not sure if we joined and dissolved into one, or if she withdrew. So maybe I’ll have another talk with my good old friend in the future.