Do Not Kill Your Rabbit

In this video, Alan Watts tells a story about a little girl who was given a rabbit. He says,

”…pleasure in its fullness cannot be experienced when one is grasping it.

“I knew a little girl to whom someone gave a bunny rabbit. She was so delighted with the bunny rabbit and so afraid of losing it, that taking it home in the car, she squeezed it to death with love. And lots of parents do that to their children. And lots of spouses do it to each other. They hold on too hard, and so take the life out of this transient, beautifully fragile thing that life is… To have it, to have life, and to have its pleasure, you must at the same time let go of it.”

~ Alan Watts

This is what happens when we grasp at pleasurable things, pleasurable events, and pleasurable sensations.. The more we grasp on to them, the more they get choked. Clinging, craving, grasping – these are the things that destroy our lives. No matter what it is that we crave, no matter how we grasp onto things and experiences, no matter how strongly we cling, the pleasure we get from it is impermanent. This is why we need to learn to let go.

On the other hand, when things happen that we don’t like or we don’t get what we want or we get what we don’t want we are caught on the other side of grasping. Now we are caught in aversion. We dislike unpleasant feelings, experiences, and sensations, and guess what? We try to avoid them at all costs.

So what is the answer? How do we deal with pleasant and unpleasant feelings and sensations?

The way to do this is to recognize that in both cases, the feelings and sensations are impermanent and live life just as it is. Grasping and aversion are forms of ignorance. Knowing this better way lets us remain equanimous, and equanimity gives rise to wisdom.

So do not kill your rabbit. Stop grasping, Stop clinging, Stop craving. Stop rejecting. Stop averting. Live in harmony with the true nature of life. Enjoy real peace from letting go.

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