A Monkey Trap


Life is full of suffering.  Most of them come from our own desire. We all want to get rid of this suffering and gain peace and happiness in our lives.  Venerable Wuttipong used the analogy between monkey trap and mind trap to help you find the solution.  He talked about the monkey trapping technique that Thai gardeners use to catch monkeys destroying their crops. The monkey is an animal that is usually very active. They run away and climb up trees very quickly. The gardener used coconut shell to trap them. They made a small hole, and put grated coconut or their favorite nut inside. The monkey ran up to the scent that they love, reached inside the coconut shell and grabbed their favorite tightly such that they could not pull their hand full of nuts out.  With their hand stuck inside a heavy coconut, they can’t run away fast.  This made it easy for gardener to catch them.  Many people laughed at the silly monkey. If they want to get their hand off the coconut shell, they just  release the nuts that they clutch tightly.

Today, we don’t let go all the suffering that we are have. We are like monkeys clutching our belonging, our desire, our hatred, our anger, and our opinion so firmly. We hold on to what we want despite of our loss even more.  We are immersed in the grief that we used to be rich, have relationship, or be powerful such that we miss the chance to start a new life that could be better than the past.

If the monkey trained itself to observe its mind, it would have seen that its hand was stuck inside the coconut shell since it grabbed something firmly.  Just release its favorite nut, it would have many choices to choose from. There are other fruits around it.  Or find a rock to smash a coconut. It was better than locking itself  in trouble or in coconut without any solution.

No one gives us a problem except ourselves.  Everything is just the events that can happen to anyone at any time. When it happened to us, we suffered because we wanted it to be the same as we wanted. When we are not aware of our trap, we hold on to our desire so firmly. We forgot that it is our craving that makes us suffering. We create conditions that trap ourselves and don’t see a way out .

What we can do in this situation is to be aware of our desire, acknowledge it, stop it, and let it go. Practice these process daily. When we relax our mind, we will see what is going on. We will have an insight to see the cause of the suffering. Some problem we can fix by ourselves, some problem takes time to fix, and some problem cannot be resolved. Just let go the desire, and use insight to see it through.

Venerable Wuttipong

June 13, 2015

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