‘Mercy, walking with your hands open.’

    March 7, 2017

    In a world that lives like a fist

    mercy is no more than walking 

    with your hands open.

    -Mark Nepo

    ‘So much more can happen with our hands open. In fact, closing and stubbornly maintaining our grip is often what keeps us stuck, though we want to blame everything and everyone else, especially what we’re holding on to.

    There is an ancient story from China that makes all this very clear. It stems from the  way traps were set for monkeys. A coconut was hallowed out through an opening that was cut to the size of a monkey’s open hand. Rice was then placed in the carved-out fruit which was left in the path of the monkeys. Sooner or later, a hungry monkey would smell the rice and reach its hand in. But once fisting the rice, its hand could no longer fit back out through the opening. The monkeys that were caught were those who would not let go of the rice.

    The trap worked because the monkey’s hunger was the master of its reach.

    The lesson for us is profound. We need to always ask ourselves, what is our rice and what is keeping us from opening our grip and letting go?

    The truth is that food is every where.’

    [The Book of Awakening. 2011.]

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