I have come with two friends to the Sacred Monkey forest in Ubud. The last time I was here 5 years ago the screeching and fighting of the long tailed macaques, of which something like 340 live there caused me not to even enter the gate.
On my first morning I had run by the forest very early and seen monkeys clambering everywhere on buildings in the nearby neighborhood.
We have come early and the monkeys do not seem overly aggressive. As I wander here and there I am tempted to start thinking of them as cute, if not uncooperative photo subjects. You have to be fast to catch a good monkey shot.
Monkey, my monkey,
Has won a transformation-face.
What a miracle!
Yesterday you belonged
To God's unconditional Grace.
Today you belong
To God's Aspiration-race.
There are many interesting sites in the forest besides monkeys. There are statues and temples that have been in use for a long time. The stone used is soft and volcanic. It ages quickly and the almost daily rain means moss grows everywhere.
The mind has
The heart has
The more time I spend in the forest the more I grow comfortable with the monkeys. I have no food for them so they are not much interested in me.
It didn't take too long before I became obsessed on pursuing the monkeys with my camera. If my friends had not pushed on out of the forest I might have been still there, up in the crook of a mossy tree.
Quite often climbs up and sits
On the indifference-tree
Excerpt from Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 88 by Sri Chinmoy.
Shall remain always afraid of
There are a lot of rules you should follow when you enter the Sacred Monkey forest. More importantly you should consider that you are outnumbered by the various monkey troops by something like several hundred to one. And if you ever get delusional enough to consider the possibility of actually petting a monkey and being its friend you are plain out of your mind. After this visit however I have decided that hate is too strong an experience to have with a creature that looks a lot like me. Albeit a hairier and cuter version of myself.
Everybody has to capture
His monkey-mind and vital-horse.