Uppalavanna’s Courage· Beyond Fear of Differences, Mountains & RIvers: Zen Dharma and Practice journal, Sangha News, Teachings
This dharma discourse by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold is excerpted from Mountains & Rivers: Zen Dharma and Practice, 2020 available here.
The bhikkhuni Uppalavanna said to Mara the Evil One: Though a hundred thousand rogues just like you might come here, I stir not a hair, I feel no terror; Even alone, Mara, I don’t fear you. I can make myself disappear. Or I can enter inside your belly. I can stand between your eyebrows, yet you won’t catch a glimpse of me. I am the master of my own mind, the bases of power are well developed; I am freed from every kind of bondage, therefore, I don’t fear you, friend.
Then Mara the Evil One, realizing, “The bhikkhuni Uppalavanna knows me,” sad and disappointed, disappeared right there.
Of all the many things we might imagine, as we begin practicing the dharma, we might not think of courage as being something we will need to draw upon, and yet it’s there in the teachings, from the beginning.Read more