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Touching the Earth.

One day Siddhartha, the Buddha-to-be, felt that he was about to have a breakthrough. Meditating under a beautiful pippala tree, he had the sense that sometime that night he would realize full enlightenment and become a Buddha. Suddenly, Mara appeared. Mara sometimes appears as doubt, sometimes as anger, darkness, jealousy, craving, or despair. When we feel doubtful or skeptical, he is there. When we feel angry, irritated, or lacking in self-confidence, that is Mara. Siddhartha had been visited by Mara many times before, and he knew that the best way to treat him was to be very gentle. That day Mara came in the form of skepticism. He said, "Who do you think you are? Do you think you can attain great enlightenment? -- Don't you realize how much darkness, despair, and confusion there is in the world? How can you hope to dissipate all of it?" Siddhartha smiled, expressing great confidence. Mara continued, "I know you have practiced, but have you practiced enough? Who wil

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