Bear Gokan Bonebakker, Senior Monastic and Dharma Holder
Zen Mountain Monastery, New York, Wednesday 12/28/2022
From Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo Fascicle “Inmo” (Thusness)
From where do the mental states such as greed, anger and ignorance, fear, insecurity, doubt, etc, originate? Do they come to us or from within us? Gokan brings up the stories of Mara, the personification of these negative emotions, or you could say, a bearer of these, or simply, one aspect of yourself. Mara visited the Buddha before, and many times after, his enlightenment, and he/she visits monastics and lay practitioners in many stories in the early sutras. Who is Mara for us? How do we respond to Mara? Gokan reminds us of the profound example of Buddha remaining peaceful and calm while inviting Mara to tea.