Non-attachment and the Monkey-Mind

Monkey Trap

In a world where so much importance is given to “image”, posturing becomes the norm (yes, even among various subcultures. Sometimes even more so!). Bright-and-shiny (or dark-and-spooky) objects can be fun to look at and play with, but if there is no substance behind the image it quickly melts away, like a sugar skull discarded on the steaming asphalt of an open stretch of highway in the dirty dirty south in the sweltering summer heat.

I am not your products. I am not your anti-products. I am not your job. I am not your clothes. I am not your house. I am not your car. I am not your haircut. I am not your Facebook profile. I am not your manufactured desires, and neither are you.

But you knew that already.

Enjoy the images, yes, but do not mistake them for more than they are–phantasms, spectacles, mirages.

My monkey-mind sometimes wants to grab the treat and not let go, but if I try to hold on to it my hand will get caught in the jar, and the hunter is just around the bend. In those moments when I am able to cultivate mindfulness I tell myself “Silly monkey, just let go!” If I release my grasp, liberation is attained in that very instant.

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6 thoughts on “Non-attachment and the Monkey-Mind

  1. Pithy message William, thank you. All those shiny images telling us to buy more, try more, don’t let the monkey get bored. Of course he’s already chronically bored and spiritually empty; the image-maker’s dream target. I love the unerring rhythm of your writing “ear” (through all your posts), and how effectively you use it to connect with your readers. As for your “sugar skull” metaphor in this one – Faulkner, move over. 🙂

    • stevensondc, thank you so much for your kind words. “Faulkner, move over” I wish! lol. I love his writing style for sure. He is one of the masters of language in my ‘book’. 😉 I am no where near his level of voice as a writer, but I continue to try and find my way.

      Glad you like the message here, and I truly appreciate your comments. Stay well!

  2. Ah yes, the lure of shiny things. I find it easy to let go of things we ‘should have’ just because we are told so by advertising. That stuff doesn’t really matter. How many of us would save our TV if our house was burning? In the recent fires here, many did save their computer hard-drives. The shiny gadget itself was unimportant. The memories inside, photos, videos of family, writing, work, that was what mattered. It was sad to see the evacuated on TV but illuminating to see what they had stuffed into the car in those precious minutes they had before fleeing the firefront – people first, then pets (even birds in cages, guinea-pigs, frightened cats and dogs). Then photos, hard-drives, a few special things. The rest didn’t matter.

  3. Great picture! Did you make that monkey collage yourself?
    I am not so much into advertising world, somehow I manage to escape it. I have no TV, no newspapers, no city lights. Nothing, except nature. But since I am spending a lot of time behind my computer, I am getting addicted to social media shine…

    Sometimes it takes hours to go through my mails and answers, it takes hours to follow a thread in the facebook about a topic I have started, write some pieces for my numerous blogs etc. At the same time as I watch the birds leaving for winter, leaves falling off the trees, sun going down, going down, going down… and the darkness finds me sitting still, trying to make my way through the jungles of digital impressions forcing themselves on me… the line between important content and nothingness is so fine…

  4. Not bad. It was short and sweet. Can I make a small criticism? Your metaphor/analogy was a little too long. ” like a sugar skull discarded on the steaming asphalt of an open stretch of highway in the dirty dirty south in the sweltering summer heat.”
    I’m just telling you because it’s possible you will lose readers. What specific rhetoric skills are you employing? I think I noticed some but would like to hear from you what they are.

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