When the energy of self-formation moves through desire to clinging, there is a dramatic change in intensity. The grasping feels like a compelling need of the organism. We may feel that we must have this experience in order for life to be worthwhile, and we are usually willing to do whatever is needed to obtain it. The energy is very tightly bound to the sense of survival. The Buddha grouped the areas of clinging in four broad categories: (1) pleasurable experiences, (2) views and opinions, (3) rites and rituals, and (4) belief in self. When we see the ferocity of our need to procure and defend our right for pleasure, our personal and political opinions, the indoctrinated beliefs in our religious views and practices, and the obstinate way we defend our self-image, we begin to understand the entrenched positions our egoic state stands upon.
Whenever Mara--the shadow side--appeared during the Buddha's life, his response was simple and liberating: "I see you Mara," and,"Please, come…let's have tea." In that spirit, this talk explores three approaches to relating to fear with a mindful and compassionate presence.
The flute meditation at the end of the talk is given by Akal Dev.
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