The sutras tell us that Mara (Buddhism’s “devil”) is a tricky character and an expert archer. To avoid straying into the sights of one of his five arrows requires tremendous effort because each one is trained on our most vulnerable spots.
The first of Mara’s arrows is aimed at those who feel great pride in their accomplishments or in their material or spiritual wealth.
The second is aimed at those who are ignorant because they have no idea which activities and attitudes need to be abandoned and which adopted.
The third is directed at those with wrong views, such as not believing in cause, condition and effect.
The fourth is fixed on those whose forgetfulness continually distracts them from mindfulness.
The fifth strikes those distracted by the eight worldly dharmas.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book Not for Happiness: A Guide to the So-Called Preliminary Practices
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Further quotes from the book Not for Happiness:
- Nothing genuinely works in samsara
- Our most important companion
- Self Trapped
- Relative and absolute truth
- Being able to start practicing right away
- Obstacles Create Fertile Ground for Practice
- It cannot be fixed
- Just space
- Life is a stream of sensory illusions
- Rip that ego apart
- Sign of a mature practitioner
- Not designed to cheer you up
- Three higher trainings
- Dawn of wisdom
- Avoid being distracted
- Without the personal advice of Buddha
- Filtered perception
- Wishing happiness for those who have hurt you
- Very little time left for practice