Jonathan Foust

September 25, 2008

The Essence of the Practice

Filed under: Dharma, Meditation — jonathanfoust @ 6:27 pm

One day a woman yogini is meditating in her cave.  She’s visited by three demons.  They are swirling around the cave making an awful racket.  

She calmly gets up and quietly, in a self-possessed way, starts building a fire.  Her non-reactive nature really ticks off the demons and they crank it up a bit … horrible sounds, images and so forth.

After a while, the woman get up again and calmly puts a tea kettle on to boil.

Seeing her so serene totally sets off the demons and they let it rip.  Wretched images, sounds, smells … the most awful stuff they have.

The woman gently sets out three tea cups.

The demons stop.

“We are your three worst nightmares,” they say, “Your worst childhood wounds.  We’ve given it our all, but here you are quietly building a fire, putting on this kettle and setting the table.  

What’s going on?”

 

“You’ve been here before,” she responds, “and you’ll be here again.  So in the meantime, what kind of tea would you like?”

 

When we can pause and make tea for our demons we enter into a realm of new possibilities.  This is the promise of mindfulness practice.


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