The Longing to Belong

by bryan maynard


Tara Brach is a teacher of Mindfulness at Insight Meditation Community in Washington. Her latest book is called Finding True Refuge. There’s a story in the book that deals with the longing to belong. I’ll let you hear it and process it in whatever way it impacts you. Peace to you, my friend! [Here is the summary as shared by my friend, Gordon Peerman]…

Fran was walking across the campus of Stanford University one day when she happened upon a group of people carrying video equipment. They were crowded around a male chimpanzee that was running loose and a female chimp that was on a long chain. The two chimps were apparently there for research purposes and the spectators, most of them scientists and men, were trying to get them to mate. The male didn’t need much encouragement. He was grunting and tugging at the smaller chimp’s chain, while she was whimpering and trying to avoid his advances. A feeling of empathy swept through Fran, and then something happened she would never forget. Suddenly, the female chimp yanked her chain out of the grasping hands of the male chimp. Fran’s reaction was, “To my amazement, she walked straight through the crowd to me and she took my hand. Then, she led me across the circle to the only other two women in the crowd, and she joined hands with one of them. The three of us stood together in a circle. I remember the feeling of that rough palm against mine. The little chimp had recognized us and reached out across all the years of evolution to form her own support group.”

As Gordon said following this story, “There is no need to comment on this story. It speaks for itself. I want to ask, ‘WHAT IS IT LIKE FOR YOU TO LISTEN TO THIS STORY?…WHAT IS TRUE FOR YOU THROUGH THE FILTER OF YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE?’ “

Sit a while with this, friend…and may you be peaceful and at ease.

If you’d like to listen to this talk, I’ve included the link below…