Friday, July 22, 2016

monkey me, monkey mind

I turned 60 this July, the year of the red fire monkey - my birth year, no pressure, right? 

"[W]e are all monkeys. Not only because that is what Darwin concluded a while back, but because in the Chinese zodiac, every twelve years we are under the influence of the primates. But every 60 years (5 cycles of 12) we are in the domain of the Red Fire Monkey, and as the name suggests, we can expect more action and adventures stories than romantic comedy tales." ~ Gahl Eden Sasson 

Art by Gorillaz: Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett

At this halfway point of my year, I am bound to assess what has transpired for me so far, and what to adjust in order to optimize my forward momentum and direction.

I believe I'm being given the opportunity to burn through a major samskara - my reactive nature.
To dispel any doubt, the past six months have been mirroring back to me the countless ways it is possible to do so.

From obvious family dynamics, to tedious day to day moments - mundane or momentous - these instances are too consistent, no chance of coincidence here.

Growth and expansion can be challenging and often when it looks most like things are falling apart, it is only later that we accept that indeed they were coming into play and falling in place.

I am encouraged further by more of Sasson's wisdom.

The title of the monkey book, “Journey to the West,” reinstates the important lesson of the monkey. West is associated with Western Civilization where the qualities of the renegade, Wild West cowboy, individualist, rebel without a cause, boldly going to where no one has gone before, are admired. Free-will and choice are the pillars of the West. 

By contrast, in China and the East, hierarchy, obedience, responsibility, fate, family, community and country are reinforced. This year is the year of self-development through free-will and individuality. It does not mean self-centeredness or selfishness, but rather emphasizing the original and unique. 

In this year, you might find yourself trapped stuck, a bit lost. But remember, the seal of your suffering is nothing more than the mantra of the Buddha of Compassion: Om Mani Padme Hum translated to “the Jewel is in the Lotus.” It means that your imperfections are what makes you perfect. That when you embrace your challenges instead of running away from them, they become your allies.

This year we need to tap into our magic and let go of conformity. 

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