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This year’s Brainwave series takes up the subject of attachment as an entry point into a range of psychological, philosophical, and metaphysical dimensions that make up our sense of happiness. In India and parts of Southeast Asia, monkeys are sometimes trapped by placing food in a vessel with a hole just big enough for the monkey to reach through with one hand. Sensing the food, a passing monkey will reach in and grab it, forming a fist.
The monkey soon discovers that it cannot pull its clenched fist out of the hole. The monkey will stay that way, with its hand clinging tightly to the food, until someone comes along and captures it. If the monkey would just let go, it could easily free itself. As Buddhist nun Jetsuma Tenzin Palmo says, “Isn’t that our situation?”
This trap is a metaphor for a core Buddhist principle: By holding tightly to external sources of happiness, we prevent ourselves from being truly free.
Length: 605 minutes
Copyright date: ©2015
Prices include public performance rights.
Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.
Only available in USA and Canada.
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