Do you sometimes feel like an outsider? Do you feel like a guest imposing on someone else's turf? I know that I did for many years. It wasn't a conscious thought; it was something lingering in the background. I felt that I was different than most of the people around me so I felt out of place. It was almost like guilt. One day a realization came to me - this is my world, my earth, my home. I belong here.
There is a story in Buddhism about Siddhartha Guatama (who became the historical Buddha) that gives me strength when I feel this sense of not belonging. While Siddhartha was sitting under the bodhi tree, under an oath to remain until he attained enlightenment, he was approached by Mara ( a demon of worldly ways) and an army of monsters to frighten him away. Mara questioned Siddhartha and asked "What right do you have here? This place is mine." The army of monsters cried out "We are his witness." Mara asked Siddhartha - "Who will speak for you?"
As a response Siddartha reached out his right hand and touched the earth and the earth itself trembled and roared "I bear you witness."
The very fact that we are here gives us a right to be here. This is your earth, your home, and it is mine. Don't let the ways of the world cause you fear or shame. Proudly reach down and touch the earth. You are home.
Zen Presence - minimalism, simplicity, self improvement, simple living, Zen in modern life.