There is a kind of monkey trap used in Asia. A coconut is hollowed out and attached by a rope to a tree or stake in the ground. At the bottom of the coconut a small slit is made and some sweet food is placed inside. The hole on the bottom of the coconut is just big enough for the monkey to slide in his open hand, but does not allow for a closed fist to pass out. The monkey smells the sweets, reaches in with his hand to grasp the food and is then unable to withdraw it.
The clenched fist won't pass, through the opening. When the hunters come, the monkey becomes frantic but cannot get away. There is no one keeping that monkey captive, except the force of its own attachment. All that it has to do is to open the hand. But so strong is the force of greed in the mind that it is a rare monkey which can let go.
It is the desires and clinging in our minds which keep us trapped. All we need to do is to open our hands, let go of our selves, our attachment and be free.
~ Joseph Goldstein, The Experience of Insight
Traveled south yesterday to the bottom end of Taiwan. Wow. Saw some breathtaking views of the island on our drive.
My three favorite things are Mountains, Waterfalls, and Oceans. But of those three, ocean surf may very well take a slight lead . Don't know what is exactly, but once I get a view of the ocean...I exhale...as if the ocean supports my very being. It energizes...but at the same time relaxes.
We finally made our way to a suitable beach. Some places we went to previously were still in cleaning and clearing mode after the typhoon. As we settled on a spot. Wouldn't you know it. I saw a few people surfing. No way...we actually stumbled on a spot where they surf?!
So...I bet you can guess what I did next. I rented a surf board...and one of the guys asked me if I had experience. Over confidently, I said YES...hahaha...a slight over exaggeration because I haven't really surfed all that much, and the last time I did was over a year and a half ago...its just a small obsession of a land-locked girl who lives in Ohio. Crazy.
Anyway, one of the instructors took me out for free. I think he was a bit curious about me. Like...what's this girl's deal? However, I was very thankful to him because he pointed out the proper waves for me to catch and also gave me a bit of a push when needed. Per usual, I got up my first time. Its that beginners mind...clean and clear...ready for the experience. Then once I started over thinking I had many tumbles and falls. It was all good. The ocean definitely gave me a beating too. :)
I want to be good at this!!! I want to be good at surfing!!!
Why...you ask? Dunno...just do.
This was a good place for me to have a hand at it. The waves weren't too small...but they weren't too big either...and there were good variances to the waves. I actually had the experience of dropping down into a wave...one of the bigger ones...and whoa...that felt like something else...a little scary...my heart pumped with exhilaration. I had a few more scary moments. The fear was creeping in more and more...but I still wanted to do it. Crazy.
I was the only girl out there...and after while I noticed that some of the guys were creeping over closer to where I was in an almost curious kind of way. Funny. Because I really wasn't all that good...I mean, I had a hang-five at best. But who cares...not half bad for a land locked girl from Ohio.
So...now I know of a spot to got to if I am able to sneak away. The surf instructor told me of a few other spots as well. I definitely need to get more practice in.
Afterwards, during our drive home I felt extraordinarily chill...a mellow feeling that wasn't dull, but fully present. See, that's what the ocean does. When you feel its rhythm it stays with you afterwards...such a peaceful sensation. Like I can breathe. Inhale. Exhale.