The Attachment Trap
In parts of India and Southeast Asia, monkeys are sometimes trapped by placing food in a vessel that has an opening just wide enough for the monkey to reach one hand through. Smelling the morsel inside, a passing monkey will reach in and grab hold of it, forming a fist—only to discover that it cannot pull its clenched fist back out through the hole. If the monkey remains clinging tightly to the food, it is caught. This attachment trap is often a springboard for discussions on a core philosophical principle: that by clinging to external sources of satisfaction, we lose our freedom. http://www.rubinmuseum.org/brainwave.
The Attachment Trap is also relevant to communication. When we cling to a particular attitude about a person (“I don’t get along with him; we will always argue.”) or a situation (“My co-workers don’t take my ideas seriously and never will”), we remain stuck in a paradigm that we are helping to create. When we relinquish biases that are based in the past or on incomplete information, we free ourselves to create new possibilities. Opening our fists equates to opening our minds.
We want to hear! What experiences have you had with un-attaching from an attitude or belief? Join the conversation and click "comments" on our Community of Practice Forum.
3/11/2015 06:09:47 am
I just had one of those moments!! I recently read a couple of amazing books about time, and valuing what is really important. I was ill yesterday and still feeling rather worn down today when I came to work. I got a lot more done than I thought I could manage in the morning, but about 2 pm I was pretty worn out. I knew the expectation was that I would sit at my desk and continue to be productive and get things done until 6 pm.. I chose, instead, to walk outdoors, enjoy the incredible and unseasonable 75 degree weather, on a still day in Kansas. I walked around the building, and sat at a picnic table on the patio. Had a lovely conversation with some ladies who were there too, enjoying a couple of bottles of wine and the day. (This is a winery.) I spent 30 minutes before I realized the time was gone, just relaxing, enjoying the sun, and absorbing the moments. I returned to my desk, and was much more able to do the tasks left at hand than I had been before I walked out into the sunshine.
3/11/2015 07:29:43 am
And not only did you have a relaxing, enjoyable, sun-drenched Kansas moment that no one noticed or objected to, you also returned with more energy than when you left. How many wins is that?!
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