I read it in an old manuscript, some Buddhist stuff, 20 years ago. I gave it a place in my spirit mind and polish it regularly. Let me tell it as I did in prison. Prisoners often said, ‘Give us Buddhism without the bullshit’
…………..One day Bill was wandering in the forest, it’s where he thought about life. He heard these voices and saw some blokes in a clearing all dressed in orange robes, sitting in a circle around this dude also in orange robes. They were yakking away with all this high falutin intellectual shit. Yet he was curious, the main guy seemed to have something going for him.
So Bill steps in and says ‘ guys I cant understand any of this crap, can you give it to me, simple like in one sentence?’ The main guy turns, smiles, says ‘What a great question, my answer is – If you can learn not to hold on to anything, then you will have learnt all I have to teach’
Bill – ‘Sounds profound, give us an example’
Hmm Ok, says the leader – The old hunters in the forest where I come from used to catch monkeys to eat. They would find a coconut, cut a hole in it, just large enough for a monkey to get a closed hand in. Then they would tie the nut to a small shrub and put a big piece of dried fruit into the coconut. The hunter would lie down nearby and wait. Soon a curious monkey would inspect the coconut put his hand in and grab the fruit and try to get it out but his hand was stuck. He would not let go and pulled and pulled, shaking the shrub and screeching. The hunter woke up, crept up behind the monkey and hit him over the head with a stick – took him home and ate him.
So we are like the monkey, when we suffer in any way we are usually not letting go of something. If we can understand what it is that we are holding and can let it go, we will lessen our suffering. It is a life times work, just letting go. As we let go, it is like passing through a new door to a new room and after a while we see more things to let go and pass through more doors or gates into new places. Just remember when you die you let go of everything whether you like it or not.
The catch is working out what to let go off at any time of struggle, because it is not always obvious. This is where learning to be still and becoming more aware comes in, looking for the causes or awaiting an insight to visit informing us of the cause and so maybe things to let go.
Many use meditation for this. Just sitting still, relaxing the body and watching the breath in the stomach or the nose rise and fall, come in go out. Letting the mind be fully aware of all the aspects and qualities of the breath. Being aware of the thoughts and feelings that distract us from the task and letting them go and moving back into the awareness of the breath.
Not only do we become more and more aware of all the thoughts and feelings that inhabit our body/mind but we learn to inhabit a bigger awareness space, like climbing a mountain, we see more.
Its simple process, become aware, let go where necessary – Not easy but an important item in your backpack.