Sunday, June 14, 2009

Support Group

Jack Kornfield led a daylong Insight Meditation retreat at Spirit Rock yesterday. In addition to the meditation instructions he offered, Jack shared several heartwarming stories.

This one was written by Fran Peavey. I hope you'll enjoy her story as much as I did:

"One day I was walking through the Stanford University campus with a friend when I saw a crowd of people with cameras and video equipment on a little hillside. They were clustered around a pair of chimpanzees–a male running loose and a female on a chain about twenty-five feet long. It turned out the male was from Marine World and the female was being studied for something or other at Stanford. The spectators were scientists and publicity people trying to get them to mate.

"The male was eager. He grunted and grabbed the female’s chain and tugged. She whimpered and backed away. He pulled again. She pulled back. Watching the chimps’ faces, I began to feel sympathy for the female.

"Suddenly the female chimp yanked her chain out of the male’s grasp. To my amazement, she walked through the crowd, straight over to me, and 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."

—Fran Peavey


Katherine said...


Sarah Lulu said...

Amazing story! So blessed for you meet Jack Kornfield!

Margaret Pangert said...

2,000,000 years to evolve, but some things are eternal. Amazing!
(the story bothers me in one way: chimps are wild animals wihch can be tamed somewhat but nevertheless are extremely dangerous. They should never be allowed to mingle with people like that. . . Well, maybe in this case.)

Jessica said...

I love this story. I just heard it while I was listening to one of Jack Kornfield's talks. I was interested in posting it on my blog, and when I googled it I found your site.

It's beautiful, I'll be back. :)

Dan Gurney said...

Hi Margaret— can't say whether it was a good idea for those Stanford folks to let a chimp run around with humans. But then I'm a Cal man myself, so I don't pretend to know much about Stanford! But yes, I love the wisdom of that female chimp. She knew.

Dan Gurney said...

Jessica, welcome to mindful heart. I love this story, too. I'm glad you stopped by. Did you see Jack in person, or hear the story on one of his CD's?