ON CONDITIONING

1)

In India, when elephants are young they have a length of rope tied around one of their legs and attached to a wooden stake in the ground. This limits the distance they can go, and is apparently to keep them safe, secure and to stop them escaping.

The thing is, as these elephants get older, their minds become conditioned and a fully grown elephant will still go only as far a the length of the rope. All without realizing that now he could just walk away and has the strength to pull out the stake. (on attachment/clinging and letting go)

2)

Again in India, they have a fascinating way of catching monkeys. They hollow out a coconut, cut a small hole in the top and fasten it to the ground. With some of the monkeys, favorite sweets are placed under the hole (inside the coconut).

The monkey comes along, puts his hand inside and grabs the sweets. The thing is he can't get his hand out while he is clutching the sweets. He doesn't know how to just let go and walk away. This is how he gets trapped and maybe killed!! If he would just open his hand, let go, he'd be free. (on fear of death)

3)

A long time ago, in Tibet, an army was invading the country. People were leaving their villages long before the armies arrived because they had heard of their awful reputation for violence, killing etc. especially the General.

The army arrived in a small village and just like in all the other little villages, it was apparently deserted except… there was a little monk just sitting there meditating. When he was found, the General was alerted and was furious. He demanded to see the monk. He looked at the monk and said, "Do you not know who I am? I can cut off your head with this sword without batting an eye".

The monk replied smiling, "Do you not know who I am, sir," and paused," I am the one who can have his head cut off without batting an eye.

Apparently the General was so taken aback and humbled that he bowed and left the monk alone.

Written in 2004 by Simon Heighwaya