Doubt arose on my last mindfulness retreat when conflict, drama, and trauma occurred.
Doubt surfaced on vacation while snorkeling, salt water stinging my nose and contact lens filled eyes as waves teased my life jacket.
Doubt appeared at work, home, and in the to do list when I was speeding to get things done and forgot mindful embodiment.
Doubt emerged when I was feeling inadequate in all my roles, when I projected these shortcomings onto my daughter and demanded more of her.
Doubt turned up with the holidays arriving as I was thinking of family, the distance between the way things should be and the way they really are.
Doubt can feel like a thick fog as the mind fires questions like shots in rapid succession, desperately searching for target answers. The mind hates uncertainty. It needs to know, now!
I sat with doubt in meditation, noticing thoughts, feeling the feelings, breathing, sensing the internal wind’s urgency to know. Feeling the zafu, yoga mat, and ground beneath me, the presence of enlightened ancestors surrounding me, this is what I heard:
I see you, Mara
and no longer have to believe
your thoughts that keep me
scared, small, stuck in a stone
prison where I cannot see
the Buddha touch the earth,
cannot hear him whisper
Why am I so homeless, searching
for sacred ancestry through thoughts?
I am Sakyamuni’s daughter,
I will sit, breathe, walk, write
to remember my purpose, this path--
Earth Goddess calling me to ground,
Doubt, I see you. I don’t have to answer all your questions. I can answer some questions when I feel embodied, able, ready. The other questions may not need answers, but loving awareness and wise acceptance.
Mara- The demon who tempted the Buddha prior to his enlightenment. Doubt was Mara's final attempt to discourage the Buddha from believing his True Nature.
Ehipassiko- Pali term for 'come and see for yourself'.
Sakyamuni- Another name for the Buddha, born in Sakya, from the Sakya tribe.
Prajnaparamita- The 'perfection of wisdom', the mother of all buddhas, the nature of reality.