I love story telling, especially when the story includes a monkey. Here's an old Hindu tale that I heard at the end of class the other day.
As the story goes...
The people of the village used to put out coconuts to catch their food. In order to entice their dinner, they would cut holes in the coconuts and fill them with sweets and leave them out around the village.
When no one was around and the village was quiet, monkeys would sneak over, and seeing and smelling the sweets would draw nearer to the coconuts. Making sure the coast was clear, they would reach in and take a hold of the sweet. With the sweet in hand, they would then try to pull their hand out of the coconut to enjoy their prize. But they would be stuck. For the hole was only big enough for the monkeys to reach in, but small enough to trap a closed fist.
Determined to hold on to the sweet, the monkeys would remain trapped, and as a result would later become dinner themselves. But had the monkey simply opened their hand and let go of the sweet, they would have been free to see another day.
This is us. We are the monkeys. And the coconut our minds and the sweets are our thoughts.
The moral of the story is to let go.
There are times when we hold on so tightly, we are so connected and attached to certain thoughts and ideals that we become trapped. Determined, we hold on with such force, with these tightly closed fists that these attitudes take over and start to become who we are. At times it seems almost impossible to detach from these thoughts and ideals. We want to be free, but it seems like a lot of work.
But if this tale of the monkeys is true, (and I'm sure that it is) than really, all we need to do is let go. All we need to do is open our hand and let go of the sweets. Letting go really can be that simple.
What sweets are you holding on to that are keeping you trapped?
Take a deep breath and let go.