Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Renunciation and Monkeys

Who doesn't love monkeys? Seriously?! 
Hello out there in blog world! The holidays have been increasingly difficult for me this year and it's for that reason that I have not posted in a while. However, I've been doing quite a bit if thinking...mostly about renunciation and monkeys honestly.

Whenever I'm experiencing a tough time emotionally I find that I revisit a story that Lama Chuck Stanford told at the Rime Buddhist Center in Kansas City a couple years ago.

The story goes like this:
Somewhere in India they were having issues with monkeys getting hurt or people injuring them or something like that. In an effort to relocate the monkeys and save them the locals placed mangos inside of coconuts and made a whole large enough in the coconuts for the monkeys to stick their hands through to grab them. The coconuts were placed on one side of a fence so that when the monkeys stuck their hands into the coconuts and grabbed the mangos inside they would get stuck. This would allow the locals to then take the monkeys to another safer location. Even though the monkeys could get their hands out of the coconuts very easily on their own, they never did because they refused to let go of the mangos in their hands. So, really all they had to do was let go of them and that would have freed them.

Lama Chuck used this example to describe how we as humans hold onto emotions and don't let go in some cases causing our own pain and suffering. When all we have to do is let go of the negative emotions and understand that we decide what we will let impact our lives (emotionally or otherwise).

I always think if this when I am having difficulty letting go of negative emotions. I remind myself that I decide what my attitude is in any given set of circumstances. I have the choice to grow from the experience or to remain "stuck" in my own negativity. I try to always grow but sometimes it's hard.

The negative emotions I have about my Mother's passing have been extremely hard to let go of but I keep repeating "renunciation and monkeys" in my head on those days that are particularly difficult.
Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn't but I figure either way at least I tried!

Anyways hope all is well and that this story also helps you during difficult times. Later alligators, oh and Happy Holidays!