cable car analogy for grasping & letting go (3:44)
What do folks mean when they talk about grasping, clinging, attachment, etc.? I think a San Francisco cable car provides a helpful analogy.
The cable car has no motor or electric conductor. It moves by grabbing onto a cable moving under the ground, and it stops by letting the cable go. The cables are like our thoughts and emotional stories - they're always humming along beneath the surface of our attention. We usually don't recognize how often the grasping hand of our minds and bodies clench onto the thoughts and stories, pulling us in this direction and that, compromising our equanimity & our attentiveness to the present moment. If we grab onto them consciously and conscientiously, that can be beneficial - it can help us accomplish our goals and remain in the flow of experience. But we can't do that until we've recognized our grasping compulsions and learned to soften them. Otherwise we're always at the mercy of our compulsions, and mercy is not their style.
In this video I lay out the analogy and then provide some guidance on how to apply the analogy in our day to day lives.