Sunday, 16 September 2012

The Monkey Trap

I just got home from a short meditation retreat and wanted to share an anology that I came across ...

In India and Southeast Asia, a traditional way to capture monkeys is to put a tempting fruit in a jar with a narrow mouth and chain or stake the jar to the ground. When a monkey comes along smells the fruit and sticks his hand in the jar to grab the fruit. He can't get his hand out while he is holding the fruit, but he won't let go because he has the fruit he wants so much in his hand.

The monkey will struggle for hours to get his hand out, but he will never let go of the fruit. Even when the men return and throw a net over him, he will scream and struggle frantically but never let go of the fruit. Because he will not let go of the fruit, he loses his freedom.

We can laugh and say, "Stupid monkey! It's obvious! Just let go and you can be free!!" But what about us? Maybe we should spend some time figuring out the things we can't let go of and keep us trapped in our own suffering. Maybe we should learn to let go so we can be free.

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