Let Go of the Rice

Let Go of the Rice

Thank you to our early bird-amazing teacher and human being- Lorraine for offering a piece of her Yoga with us today.  May it bring you some Mindfulness this Monday.

Most of you have heard the phrase “let it go.” Whether in a yoga class or just in conversation. Funny thing is when I was speaking with a friend the other day she responded to me with “Oh just let it go.” My facial expression and brain said, “Oh yeah right, easy for you to say.”

It got me thinking about what those three words really mean to me when I speak them. In a mindful effort, I did a bit of research and first came across the monkey’s fist parable. The basic story is about ancient tribes that caught monkeys by placing rice and delicacies into hollowed out coconuts. The opening of the coconut was just large enough for a monkey’s hand to fit inside. The catch was once the monkey’s hand was inside the monkey would grab the rice and the fist that wrapped around the rice was too big to come back out. Refusing to release the rice, the monkey would be stuck…what to do? If the monkey would just ‘let it go’ his hand would slip right back out and he would be free. Because of the attachment to food, the monkey had an inability to let the rice go.

What the heck does this have to do with us and mindfulness? Each of us has something that we grip, that we hold on to for dear life, that we keep inside only to fester. If we become mindful of what we are gripping or holding we can begin the first step of letting it go. After all, the process of letting go does not happen overnight, if it did we wouldn’t have hip openers in every yoga class (smile or giggle on that one). The moment we notice and acknowledge our fist around the rice is the moment we have learned something about ourselves. Our grip may begin to soften as we realize, maybe what we are gripping is something we can live without. Softening the grip may make us feel better, may decrease our suffering, may open our hearts for what really does matter.

No matter what you might be gripping, you are not alone. We are all gripping something and we can begin to release our grip and open our hearts….especially as we breathe together in our hip openers 🙂 ~Lorraine


Elizabeth Delaney