Advertisement

Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

Metaphor Monday: Catch and Release: A Variation on a Classic Metaphor

The Buddha urged us not to get hooked by greed, desire, aversion, and so forth. Don’t be taken in and away by the temptations of transient things (or confusing them to be anything but transient). The fisher’s hook provides an apt metaphor. The fish gets tricked into thinking the lure is something that it is not. Our fundamental misapprehension of the nature of reality makes us just like the fish — biting into something that is not what it appears to be.

Mindfulness practice offers a variation on this classic metaphor. When we practice, we will get hooked, no doubt. If you’ve attempted praciting this will come as no surprise. If you haven’t tried it yet, don’t expect to stay off that hook for long. Fantasies about the future, whether pleasant or unpleasant, commentary about what’s happening now — the littany of “I like” and “I don’t like”–, and review of the past will all be frequent visitors to practice. Follow any of these and you’re on the hook.

Advertisement

Mindfulness practice is the practice of catch and release. When you find yourself on the hook, gently remove the hook from your mouth and throw yourself back into the waters of now. These waters may be calm or turbulent. And it doesn’t matter. Each time you find yourself on the hook, remove it and go back into the water. Don’t be surprised if you have to spend some time flopping on the deck of the boat. As long as you get back in the water that’s what is important.

As you practice you can anticipate the hooks — see that they are lures that take you to places you don’t want to go. Perhaps you can avoid them once in a while. The more you practice, too, the easier it will be to extricate yourself from the hooks. “Oh, I’m on that hook again; no big deal, I’ll just take it out of my mouth; the water of now is waiting for me without judgment (perhaps I can aver self-judgment for being on this silly hook again.”

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Janine

    Sou ds like you have been reading Pema Dr. kozak. I agree, I often share with my high school studentsnthe analogy of taking a bite and getting hooked. I state to them, do not go to far under water so that you won’t be tempted to bite the hook. Thanks

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment MediumHorse

    Thanks for the post, very pertinent to what I’m going through right now.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Craig

    Excellent metaphor. I’m going to visualise this the next time I “take the bait”

Previous Posts

How to Create Solitude in the Context of Relationship
Solitude is necessary for my existence just as water is. Without it, I wither and become listless in my desiccated state. I am not, however, a ...

posted 5:50:36pm Apr. 17, 2015 | read full post »

Three Reasons Why I Wrote the Awakened Introvert
I am excited to announce that my next book, The Awakened Introvert: Practical Mindfulness Skills for Maximizing Your Strengths and Thriving in a Loud and Crazy World, is just about to be released! I am happy that this workbook will soon be ...

posted 4:56:47pm Apr. 15, 2015 | read full post »

The Interovert Revolution (no this is not a typo)
I recently misspelled introvert in a draft of an article I was writing. While I was correcting, I read what I had written: "interovert." It was an easy enough fix, just remove the "e." However, interovert has meaning on its own. Mindfulness ...

posted 3:30:51pm Apr. 11, 2015 | read full post »

The Value of Unplugging
As you know from my last post, I was on vacation and while I was dealing with technology, I was also mostly unplugged, at least in a relative sense. I contemplated the meaning of vacation and reflected on its purpose and why it can be so ...

posted 11:32:26am Apr. 05, 2015 | read full post »

I Want my WiFi Now!
A recent adventure I had illustrates the limitations of the technology in certain places and how easily our expectations can give rise to a world of frustration. On Thursday March 12, I listened with great interest to Fresh Air that featured ...

posted 9:10:31am Mar. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.