Friday, December 3, 2010

The Baboon Sangha

In stillness consciousness awakens to itself. In this place we meet, we know our intimate connection with all life.  Our heart opens in embrace and knows no distinctions.  ~ Norman

Animal Meditation
From a talk by Thich Nhat Hanh

Primatologist Barbara Smuts has spent 25 years in the jungles of Kenya and Tanzania, observing baboon behavior. She has watched the animals fight, hunt, flirt, and mate, and gradually, they have come to accept her as one of their own. One day several years ago, however, Smuts saw a kind of behavior she’d never seen before. A troop of Gombe baboons were en route to the trees where they sleep when they passed a small stream. In a paper for the Journal of Consciousness Studies, Smuts described what happened next:

“Without any signal perceptible to me, each baboon sat at the edge of a pool on one of the many smooth rocks that lined the edges of the stream. They sat alone or in small clusters, completely quiet, gazing at the water. Even the perpetually noisy juveniles fell into silent contemplation. I joined them. Half an hour later, again with no perceptible signal, they resumed their journey in what felt like an almost sacramental procession. I was stunned by this mysterious expression of what I have come to think of as baboon sangha.”


  1. love this. woke up this morning missing you and Cynthia. sending love from Henniker.

  2. p.s. LOVE your profile picture.