Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Future Is An Open Plain

Janet sat in the lotus position at the base of the acacia tree.  Mara's army was relentless.  It raged, it cajoled.  Among the many lies it told her, a precious few truths sparkled like dewdrops in the dawn light.  The army assailed her night and day.  It teased at her desires, filling her at turns with yearning and revulsion.  For three days and three nights she endured voices that spoke over her and through her, voices that issued death threats and insults, or that tried to tempt her with promises of wealth beyond imagining.  Once, General Mara himself came before her arrayed in a cunning disguise -- that of true love.

He was seductive, but in the end he wafted away on the East wind.  Janet remained silent and unmoved.

Following the three days and three nights, Janet, still in the lotus position, spoke her first words in reply to the onslaught:  a few whispers of gratitude to the worlds of the living and the dead, and of compassion for all beings.  She then fell into a heavenly slumber, her dreams populated by singing birds and honest friends and flowers that swayed to sutras threaded in the breeze.  She felt as though she anchored the world and it pivoted around her.  She could see all the faces on Mount Sumeru; they looked content and serene, their inner fires harmonious with their Buddha smiles.

Janet has dreamed continuously ever since, and it is this dream in which we all live and die and are reborn, over and over again.  Namo amida butsu.