The corporate monkey

Some people practicing the ‘Focusing on breathing’ technique give up after a few days, not finding any significant benefit. Their approach may be self defeating, as illustrated by the story below.

Once upon a time, there was a monkey who was highly result oriented, like a supercharged corporate executive. Somebody gave him a bunch of peanut plants and asked him to plant and water them every day. The plants would in due course produce peanuts that he could enjoy. The monkey was excited. He planted them and watered them. He was sleepless that night, thinking about the peanuts he would get next day. Early morning, he rushed into the garden and pulled up the peanut plants one by one, to see how many peanuts each had. Finding none, he was disappointed. He planted and watered them again. On the second morning he again pulled them all up but did not find any peanuts. He continued this process every day. When will he get peanuts?

Moral of the story: Don’t abort the process if you want the result. A question immediately arises. If we don’t check early on, we may not find the expected result at the end and might have wasted precious time. We need to gain confidence that the process is working and will ultimately yield results. Yes, the healthy approach is to look for signs that the process is working, like healthy new leaves appearing on the plant, showing the plant is healthy and growing.

As long as you find a little comfort from the practice of ‘Focusing on breathing’, like getting a better quality of sleep than before, feel a little bit happy and confident. Continue the practice. Every bit of comfort is a precious gain, as we are not investing anything in this method – time, money, effort , not even belief! We are only utilizing the wandering time of the mind. The cumulative effect of the practice will show significant benefits for mind, body and relationships in a few weeks or months. You don’t have to wait for years.

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