Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

The Imagination Is Mara’s Playground

KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonderThe Continent Veteran

I recently came across a quote, “the imagination is Mara’s playground”. I found it interesting, because so many things that place human beings in samsara are driven by the imagination. For example, my-making is a process where you first imagine something is yours before you convince yourself that it is so. Or anger arising from some imagined slight.

So it seems to me that one of the things that contributes towards peace and wellbeing is placing constraints on the imagination.

BunksJeffreylobsterShoshin1

Comments

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    I agree @Kerome

    But trying saying that to a non-Buddhist.

    One more reason why it's seen as a pessimistic practice.

    federica
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    I think you can get lost in imagination but you can also certainly use it. I use mine to be creative and also to use for interpersonal relationships I use imagination to try to understand what another person's actions and words say about what they might be needing.

    lobster
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    There's a saying my Catholic grandma used to say, "an idle mind is the devil's playground". The way it was used wasn't positive, it meant to tell idle, curious children to not ask questions and do what they're told.

    I'm pretty sure the Buddhist version is based off of that, though with a less judgmental, controlling intent.

    I still think its off in the same sort of way, the imagination can lead us down all sorts of negative roads, but the saying is too absolute. In TB the imagination is used in all sorts of ways as part of the practice, in imagining mandala offerings or yogic meditations.

    But I also think you are right in your conclusion, "So it seems to me that one of the things that contributes towards peace and wellbeing is placing constraints on the imagination."

    The challenge isn't in having mental constructs, its in how to direct them. Constrain them in some ways and build them up in others.

    lobsterfedericaDavidShoshin1
  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    I think that while most imagination does get highjacked in service of our "ego's " construction and maintenance, imagination in itself has a wider potential than what any mere identity can contain.

    The imagination that calls out Mara for play, calls her first through the habituated storyline of our karma's inertia. The imagination that offers no invitation to Mara, delves with thought processes forming unbound to attachments or the support of any self verses others mentalities.

    So while imagination is usually in the thrall of Mara's aims, what isn't?
    The fault lies not with imagination itself but with us being oblivious to the enslavement that our imagination is usually being submitted to.

    or so I imagine.

    personShoshin1lobsterRen_in_black
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    So it seems to me that one of the things that contributes towards peace and wellbeing is placing constraints on the imagination.

    Disciplined mind/body/emotions/being ...
    That be Buddhism.

    As beings caught by mara mire mud we are stuck or sticky (attached). Stream entrants allow the dharma to wash over them ...

    Here is what I imagine dharma to be:

    • study, practice, virtue addiction
    • cleansing
    • well being as a goal for self, others and dithers

    Sam Sara is Near Vana ... and where is Vana?

    コチシカ
  • Shoshin1Shoshin1 Veteran
    edited March 26

    The past (memories)...The future (expectations) ...All part and parcel of one's imagination...And if the mind is caught off guard, these are the areas where Mara likes to play the games of anxiety, depression, fear, worry...

    The Dharma has stretched my imagination on more than one occasion, ie, having to think about things I may never have thought of if not for the Dharma... seeing things in a different light so to speak...

    lobsterコチシカ
  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran

    @Shoshin1 said:
    The past (memories)...The future (expectations) ...All part and parcel of one's imagination...And if the mind is caught off guard, these are the areas where Mara likes to play the games of anxiety, depression, fear, worry...

    Yes... when entering each of those areas, anxiety, depression, fear, worry, in each case it begins with a “what if...”, a clear indication that the imagination is being used.

  • Ren_in_blackRen_in_black Georgia Explorer

    Mara gets a bad rap, but look how much she's taught us.

    Shoshin1
Sign In or Register to comment.