Milarepa, murderer and black magician, fearing the tortures of hell, devoted himself to spiritual practices. He meditated in his cave until his skin turned the green of nettles, until word of his spiritual prowess reached the pointy hairy ears of the demons.
And one day the demons went to visit him.
He greeted them at the door, “Lust! Spite! Envy! Despair! How are you! Come in, come in.”
The demons, a little taken aback by this reception, took off their spike heels and sat on the floor. Milarepa served tea and they all sat around like society ladies until Demon Spite remembered that this was not why they had come. With a couple kicks and a snarl he rallied the other demons to action and they crashed around the cave hissing and flashing their teeth and filling the air with their hot stinky breath.
Milarepa continued to sit calmly, sipping his tea amid all the destruction and clatter, like a mother possessed of unshakeable calm at a birthday party for pre-school children.
Seeing that chaos was having little effect on their host, the demons started in with the threats, revealing to him scenes of unspeakable pain and, when that didn’t work, delirious pleasure. Like traveling merchants they showed him everything they had on offer—but Milarepa was unmoved. Finally, the most terrifying of the demons roared--showing its cavernous mouth, its teeth like black blades, and its breath was the smell of corpses in plague time--and Milarepa, hospitable as ever, placed his head into the demon’s mouth.
And the demons vanished.
Alone in his cave, Milarepa continued to sip his tea.