–by Ani Tenzin Palmo (May 27, 2017)
Genuine love and kindness is desperately needed in this world. It comes from appreciating the object, and rejoicing in the object, wanting the object to be happy and well, but holding it lightly, not tightly. And this goes for possessions too. You are in an extremely materialistic society in which the possession of more and bigger and better is held up as the total criteria for being happy. […]
What we own is not the problem, it’s our attitude towards our possessions. If we have something and we enjoy it, that’s fine. If we lose it, then that’s OK. But if we lose it and we are very attached to it in our heart, then that’s not fine. It doesn’t matter what the object is, because it’s not the object which is the problem. The problem is our own inner grasping mind that keeps us bound to the wheel, and keeps us suffering. If our mind was open and could just let things flow naturally, there would be no pain. Do you understand? We need our everyday life to work on this, to really begin to see the greed of attachment in the mind and gradually begin to lessen and lessen it
There’s a famous story of a coconut, which is said to be used in India to catch monkeys. People take a coconut and make a little hole just big enough for a monkey to put its paw through. And inside the coconut, which is nailed to a tree, they have put something sweet. So the monkey comes along, sees the coconut, smells something nice inside, and he puts his hand in. He catches hold of the sweet inside, so now he has a fist. But the hole is too small for the fist to get out. When the hunters come back, the monkey’s caught. But of course, all the monkey has to do is let go. Nobody’s holding the monkey except the monkey’s grasping greedy mind. Nobody is holding us on the wheel, we are clinging to it ourselves. There are no chains on this wheel. We can jump off any time. But we cling. And clinging causes the pain.
–Ani Tenzin Palmo [passage picked from Awakin. The drawing is an anonymous gift :-)]