Well just last weekend my gorgeous man went off to Spain for his friend's stag do. As is of course tradition on such excursions the group sipped tea (yeah right) on the sea front, whilst many a 'Looky, looky' seller tried hard to grab their attention, tempting them with their exotic wares.
As you might imagine, a group of gents on a stag do; such as they were, had a greater interest in sipping their Earl Grey (yes, I know, pull the other one).
However, when a 'looky, looky' man presented ' Three wise monkey's, along with a 'Wise old owl' how could my gorgeous man resist? I mean who would turn down such a collection, whilst savouring their tea and enjoying the sunshine on the Spanish coast?
Funnily enough, despite my somewhat mocking tone ( I am only jesting) I was delighted to receive such gifts, upon his return.
You may recognise the 'Three wise monkeys' but do you know their history?
The three wise monkeys, sometimes called the three mystic apes, are a pictorial maxim. Together they embody the proverbial principle to 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil'. The three monkeys are Mizaru, covering his eyes, who sees no evil; Kikazaru, covering his ears, who hears no evil; and Iwazaru, covering his mouth, who speaks no evil. Sometimes there is a fourth monkey depicted with the three others; the last one, Shizaru, symbolizes the principle of 'do no evil'. He may be shown crossing his arms.
The source that popularised this pictorial maxim is a 17th century carving over a door of the famous Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikkō, Japan. The carvings at Toshogu Shrine were carved by Hidari Jingoro, and believed to have incorporated Confucius’s Code of Conduct, using the monkey as a way to depict man’s life cycle.
But what can we learn from these little monkey's today?
Let's take Mizaru - See no evil
How much TV do you watch each day?
How much time do you soak up the doom and gloom of the daily news?
I don't know about you, but I don't see a great deal of uplifting positive news being reported.
How does watching wall to wall doom and gloom effect us?
What do you think its doing for our mind, body and spirit?
Now I'm not saying that we should hide ourselves from the truth of the World, but what is to be gained by wall to wall dramas and soaps, depicting fictional pain and suffering of everyday folk? ( It might show that I'm not a fan of Deadenders, erm Eastenders - did I say that out loud? oops) You see our unconscious mind, cant tell the difference between fact and fiction.... so what you choose to feed it, really does make a difference to your mind, body and spirit. Your emotional response is the same if its real or fiction, your physiological response is just the same as if it were happening for real.
So, perhaps we can learn from Mizaru, to limit what we expose our eyes to. What we choose to allow into our living rooms. Now if you're a massive soap fan, hey, that's ok! It's entertainment afterall. But maybe Mizaru's message is to just gain some balance, feed your mind some beauty, kindeness, love and gratitude too. Let your eyes view the glorious landscape of life, let your eyes appreciate life's beauty and wonder on a daily basis.
How about Kikazaru ?
Now what can he teach us?
Sitting there with his ear muffs firmly in place! Well he reminds me of two things really.
Firstly, we can learn from him not to listen to that negative self- talk, you know that chatter that goes on in our head.That constant gremlin, that tells us, how we cant do things, we're not good enough,and that we're not worthy. Well for a start we can stop hearing that evil right away!
Secondly, he teaches us not to get drawn into other people's negative chatter, not to get drawn into the droll of the dream stealers, the gossips, the ney sayers and those that simply don't uplift our soul.
What about the thrid little chap then, Iwazaru ?
Well he's the one who reminds us to speak no evil, or as first of don Miguel Ruiz's 'The four agreements' would tell us:
Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.
Shizaru, who sadly wasn't present on a hot May day in Fuengirola ( perhaps he was on the beach catching some rays? * smiles at the picture in my head of little wooden monkey on the sand, inbetweers stylee) can also teach a great deal.with his arms firmly crossed he depicts 'Do no evil', not only is he choosing to protect his solar plexus chakra ( personal power centre) for me he shows us to harm none with our actions, to be considerate of others, to understand for every action there is a reaction - cause and effect. If we are thoughtful or mindful of our actions, and come from a place of positive and loving intent to ourselves and all others, then we will have put Shizaru's lesson to good use.
So what about the wise old owl?
The owl is sacred to the Greek goddess of learning, Athena and is even depicted on some Greco-Roman currency as a symbol of status, intelligence and of course, wealth.
In ancient Egyptian, Celtic, and Hindu cultures the symbolic meaning of owl revolved around guardianship of the underworlds, and a protection of the dead.
Being aware of the owl's symbolic meanings is a good way to connect with this fascinating creature, and also become more in-tune with the owl's wisdom.
My little gift from Spain reminds me of these magical mysteries everytime I climb the stairs to bed, urging me to seek wisdom in the moonlit hours and take note of the magic of my dreams.
So there you go! That's what happen's when three wise monkeys and a wise old owl show up in your life - nothing to do of course with one too many Earl grey tea's, a smattering of sunshine and a homesick gorgeous man being stopped in his tracks by a wheeler dealer 'Looky, Looky' man.... nothing at all!!!
Until next time,
make every moment count,
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“Only as high as I reach can I grow
Only as far as I seek can I go
Only as deep as I look can I see
Only as much as I dream can I be”
― Karen Ravn