Life in Bondage by Michael Mamas | Friday, March 22, 2013 | Personal Growth, Spirituality | 16 comments It is a common legend. The monkey put his hand in the jar and grasped the content within. Unwilling to release his grip, he was unable to remove his fist from the jar. © Michael Mamas. All rights reserved. Share this blog...FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedinemail 16 Comments Bonnie on March 22, 2013 at 7:29 pm I so appreciate the last two blogs. So profound, to the point, and applicable. You always say just the things I need to hear. Now, if I can just let them permeate my being not just my brain so I can move forward. Thank you so much. Geoff on March 23, 2013 at 8:44 am Dearest Bramarshi, Namaste. I am in total agreement with Bonnie. To borrow a phrase you often use, everything you say is “pregnant with meaning”. One can ponder and reflect on your words forever. My first thought on “Life in Bondage” was to laugh and conclude that the monkey had actually obtained the prize within the jar by just breaking the darn thing. But then I envisioned the jar was made of the most beautiful jade, and represented the monkey’s physical body. I also imagined the content within the jar was the transcendent. In which case the poor monkey destroyed his body in his “white knuckle” attempt to grasp the ungraspable, and is left with his eternal soul waiting in line to be blessed with another jar. The poor guy sure looks forlorn. I’m still trying to figure out the lesson here, but the most obvious guess to me is for the monkey to relax. Take great care and nurture the jar, slowly integrating with it and merging with it. Understanding that it is a culturing process that takes a long time, like a pearl. Until he is finally one with the jar, the transcendent within, and everything in the universe. Boy that sounds nice =) Jai Guru Dev! Barbara on March 23, 2013 at 8:52 pm Brahmarshi talked about this in his lecture today. Most of us are unwilling to release our grip. It addresses our attachment to anything, including our samskaras, inner dust bunnies, identities, conditioning, the little world that has engulfed us, etc. Tracy on March 24, 2013 at 10:36 am In class I have asked Brahmarshi what I’m not seeing. Because his answer is usually benign I figure I’m not ready to hear it. Lately I have felt a great turmoil inside when I’m around people. I know instinctively that it has to be something deep inside of me I can’t see. I would like to tell myself I’m just too sensitive for the world. Then after I read this blog, I knew I had to somehow loosen my grip on my expectations of how I feel people should behave. I can see the freedom that I could have inside if I could feel past my own expectations of people and the world. Thank you Brahmarshi for your wisdom and understanding. brahmarshi on March 24, 2013 at 4:29 pm Well said Barbara. I use the term dust bunnies to refer to those entrancing samskaras… conditionings of the psyche. You might think of samskaras as a negative thing. Yet they can also be as charming and mesmerizing as dust bunnies that float in the early morning sunbeams that shine through the bedroom window and gently greet the new day. Idealized notions are still just notions… false impressions. You must awaken from the dream… release your grip upon what lies in the confining jar of illusion. Steven M. on March 25, 2013 at 3:03 am You can be free… right now… this very moment… All you need to do is let go of all your bananas… 🙂 Over and over and over again… The act of letting go can take you straight into the highest of heaven. 🙂 When we let go of all the meanings… what remains? brahmarshi on March 25, 2013 at 7:29 am Tracy, Let’s add ‘and Tracy’ to your sentence ending in ‘the freedom that I could have inside if I could feel past my own expectations of people and the world.’ brahmarshi on March 25, 2013 at 7:47 am Steven, As you know, choosing to ‘let go’ just amounts to holding on the the notion of letting go. Also, be careful of cross realm projection. ‘Let go of all the meanings’ does NOT mean holding on to the notion that life has no meaning. It means awakening to, within yourself, that level that transcends everything… including meaning. That level is integrated with the level where everything is full of meaning. One does not cancel the other. The paradox exists in harmony with the contradictions. Difference and Unity merge. All is God, but you still have to take out the trash. It is a beautiful state of being, but grasping it through the intellect alone is not possible… That too is like the monkey grasping at what lies within the jar. However, the attempt when done artfully becomes something quite different… it is called discernment… the path to enlightenment. You see, the path is subtle indeed. It too is riddled with what may be perceived as paradox. Everything, including the word ‘discernment’ has different meanings on different levels. It would probably confuse more than help if someone was to say that even proper meditation in one sense might be viewed as a form of discernment… so for now, lets not say that. Geoff on March 25, 2013 at 10:55 am I woke this morning ready to add to this discussion. After reading everyone’s comments, and Bramarshi’s Insights, I am left reeling. I must digest before I can even begin to… Oops! Too late! I mean, seriously…I haven’t even had my coffee yet!! My thoughts were once again bent last night on the notion of Understanding. Can we distinguish Understanding from Grasping? Can we Discern Samskaras, dust bunnies, conditioning from harsh reality? Perception vs Projection? It’s All a Projection!! When do these things Transform into simply being comfortable with our neuroses? I mean, I think we are all nice and uncomfortably cozy with our Misunderstanding…The light of Awareness is pure Awesomeness! I have a sense of why I can’t stand the world as I Project it. As with most, if not all of us, I can follow a path all the way back to the womb. Nature vs nurture? Aren’t they one and the same? We are all products of our Environment. We’re all looking at the same thing right?! I’m not the only one seeing this am I?! Heaven and Earth, must I remember?! To be or not to be…If there is a Hamlet syndrome, I most certainly have it… The Readiness is all! Jai Guru Dev! Tracy on March 25, 2013 at 11:59 am Wow, talk about denial. I read your reply to me 3 times, then asked Clif what you meant. Geoff on March 26, 2013 at 10:05 am I’m finding the Illusion of control hard to see, let alone let go of… brahmarshi on March 26, 2013 at 10:48 am Geoff, Just be with it easily. Be gentle with yourself. Lean in a direction but do not force or judge yourself. Main thing is to meditate regularly. Bonnie on March 26, 2013 at 3:52 pm I’ve had the feeling lately that nothing matters and at the same time everything matters more than ever. They both feel true even if paradoxical. I’ve felt a sense of panic lately, feeling lost, without a sense of being at home or safe anywhere. I assume it’s related to spirituality current, and it seems very related to all the changes I experienced last year. Many identities were pulled out from under me, the ones I’ve held most tightly to. It’s good and yet frightening. I’m focusing as best I can on nurturing and drawing strength from within and not just grasping for those identities I lost, or new ones to replace them. Trusting that everything I need is within is a challenge. brahmarshi on March 27, 2013 at 7:55 am “Trusting that everything [you] need is within” is only a challenge when you push it too hard. Upon enlightenment, trust is no longer needed… no longer an issue. Knowing replaces any trusting. It is not about trust. It is about realization. “The long and winding road that leads to” that realization has many stories and adventures along the way. Bonnie, you gave voice to it very nicely… a glimpse here and there along the way of the grandeur that lies beyond, a twist, a turn, a switch back, a leap forward. What is important is that you just keep going. Even positive change and even superficial change require some getting used to. What then can be said of the continually unfolding deep, unfathomable, subtle yet profound change along the Royal Road to Self realization? Bonnie on March 27, 2013 at 9:59 am Thank you, Brahmarshi. This is so helpful. The distinction between trusting and knowing makes so much sense to me. There are times I rest into that knowing and it feels so good. It’s when I push and strain that I get myself all distressed. What a wonderful and exciting journey, this exploration of the unfathomable essence of existence. Thank you for your guidance. Mark P. on March 27, 2013 at 3:50 pm Thanks Bonnie for sharing so clearly and honestly. The back and forth was a nice teaching.