Day #22 :: Contemplation :: 31 Days of Devotion

Welcome to your practice for Day #22! Today kicks off our theme for Week 4 :: Contemplation.

Today's contemplation practice centers around one of my favorite tales in Buddhist mythology: The Buddha inviting Mara to tea. 

Mara is often talked about as the big "baddie" in Buddhist mythology. He has fearsome names like "The Demon of Ignorance" and "The Lord of Delusion" and has a tendency to drop in unannounced --sometimes with a whole posse of demons in tow-- on a mission to throw the Buddha off of his path.  

It's a wonderful analogy for dealing skillfully with our own "demons", whether they present themselves as doubt, fear, shame, jealousy, anger, self-loathing... you name it. 

Los Angeles based illustrator and writer Yumi Sakugawa tells this tale with a twist -- she gives us 'how-to' instructions, instead -- in her charming book, Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One With The Universe, which I read from to set up our practice. 

If you want to skip my introduction and get right to the action, you can forward the video to the 8 minute and 20 second mark. 

Just grab a comfortable seat, and perhaps a pen + paper to capture your own insights after meditation, and click the video above. 

I'll see you at the tea party.