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Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Monkey & the Moon....2 Ways to Connect to the Truth

A monkey was happily and obliviously swinging branch to branch in the jungle, when he caught sight of something glimmering beneath him. It was the moon glistening on the surface of a pond that had formed under the trees. He held tightly onto the branch with one paw, and tried to reach what he perceived to be the moon. Holding on to the branch, he reached, and reached, and reached for his prize. But try as he may, he could not reach it because he would not let go. By fortune, or the Graces, the branch he was refusing to let go of let go of him, breaking and sending the monkey into the pond. He splashed wildly looking all over for the moon, but it was not where he perceived it to be. Looking up to see how to get back up into the tree, he saw what he was reaching for all along....the real moon.
The monkey represents our mind, jumping around from thought to thought (the branches) and his refusal to let go off the branch represents our attachment to false beliefs ( the reflection of the real moon above)  when the monkey lets go he finds realization of the truth....the Moon is in the sky. Our quest is reaching for what the moon represents-enlightment. Seems pretty simple, right? But holding on can be a comfort, our ego based mind holds on with a death grip because it likes to be in charge.
The 2 yogic principles that can help us in our day to day struggle for the truth are Viveka and Vairagya, or Discrimination and Detachment.  When we let go of false beliefs and step back about ourselves, situations, or others, we can see things for what they really are. Think about it. If 5 people stand back to back in a circle, and look outward, they all have a different viewpoint. However, if they detach from the outward view and turn to face inward they all see the same thing....each other.  Take a long held belief that you have holding onto for some time that perhaps you know no longer serves you but are attached to it because of fear of what will happen if........(fill in the blank, please!). Change it; by changing what you are thinking, trading negative words for positive outcomes. Clearing misconceptions makes a whole lot of room for the truth. Letting go of those tightly held viewpoints can bring us to a whole new level of perception  in our lives and relationships, and bring us closer to our truth . We see who we really are and stop chasing the moon!
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