In a world that lives like a fist, so much more can happen when our hands are open. Holding onto with our grip as if for dear life, sets us up to remain closed off to the world and all of the beautiful experiences that await us. It’s also how we control our world, forever attempting to keep ourselves safe from harm. But it’s time to let go of control.
There’s an old parable about a monkey. The hunters attempt to trap monkeys and have devised an ingenious way to do so. They hollow out a coconut, put rice inside of it and hang it from a tree. Since the monkey loves to eat rice, he attempts to put his hand inside the hole of the coconut.
The monkey's hand fits through the hole and grabs a handful of rice but as he attempts to pull his hand back out of the hold in the coconut, his clenched fist can't fit back out. The monkey is suddenly trapped. But he’s not trapped by anything physical. He's trapped by an idea, unable to see that if he simply unclenched his fist, he would be able to pull his hand back out of the coconut and be free.
With his fist full of rice, his own hunger becomes the master of his grip. He can’t let go of its grip on the rice.
What is your rice, what is keeping you from opening your hand and letting go?
Where have you been a caught monkey unwilling to let go? It’s time to let go of control.
The challenge of surrender is to let go of something we yearn for. For the monkey, even though food is everywhere, he is stubborn and believes in that moment that there is no other food. But he has only to let go for its life to unfold.
Our journey to love is no different. Although we stubbornly cling believing in our ideas that there’s no other love, we have to let go of what we want so badly and our life will unfold for the love that is everywhere. Let go of control.
When you settle in for meditation, ask yourself “what is the rice in my fist”. Breathe deeply and see if you can identify what is keeping you from letting it go.
Practice opening the fist of your heart by actually making a fist while inhaling and opening your fist again while you exhale. Repeat this several times, gripping your fist tightly and releasing it.
Where in your life are you holding on for dear life thinking that if you let go, somehow things will either fall apart or that you will never obtain whatever it is you are searching for?
Does holding on make you feel as though you somehow have control over the situation?
Is holding on coming from a place of fear?
From a feeling of lack?
See if you can explore what it is that you are holding on to and ask yourself what would happen if you actually let go instead.