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Group and Global Meditations Group and Global Meditations

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The 100Monkey, a story about social change (by Ken Keys, Jr.)



T
“he Japanese Macaca Fuscata monkey had been observed in the wild for a period 

of over 30 years. In 1952 on the Island of Koshima, scientists were providing 
monkeys with sweet potatoes dropped in the sand. The monkeys liked the taste of the 

raw sweet potatoes but found the dirt unpleasant. An 18 month old female named Imo 
found that she could solve this problem by washing her potatoes in a nearby stream. 

She taught this trick to her mother. Then her monkey playmates learned this new way 

and taught their mothers too.

This cultural innovation was gradually picked up by various monkeys before the eyes 

of the scientists. Between 1952 and 1958 all the young monkeys learned to wash the 
sandy sweet potatoes to make them more palatable. Only the adults who imitated their 

children however learned this social improvement. Other adults kept eating the sandy 

sweet potatoes. Then something startling took place. In the autumn of 1958 a certain 
number of Koshima monkeys were washing their sweet potatoes – this exact number 

was not known. Let us suppose that when the sun rose one morning there were 99 

monkeys on Koshima Island who had learned to wash their dirty potatoes. Let‟s 
suppose that later that morning, the 100th monkey learned to wash potatoes. THEN IT 

HAPPENED!

By that evening almost every monkey in the tribe was washing potatoes before eating 

them. The added energy of this 100th monkey somehow created a critical mass that led 

to an ideological breakthrough. But notice: the most surprising thing observed by 
these scientists was that the habit of washing sweet potatoes had somehow crossed the 

sea. Colonies of monkeys on other islands and the mainland troop of monkeys at 
Takasakiyama all began washing their potatoes too. Thus when a certain critical 

number achieves a particular awareness, this new awareness may be communicated 
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directly from mind to mind. Although the exact number may vary, this 100monkey 
phenomenon suggests that when only a limited number of people know about or 

choose a new way, it may remain the conscious property of these people. However, 

there is a point at which if only one more person tunes-in to a new awareness, a field 
is strengthened so that this awareness is picked up by almost everyone.”


Global meditations practiced among new age participants, both in small groups and 
numbering in the thousands to the hundreds of thousands, have drawn on the 100th 

monkey theory to bring about world wide social and consciousness changes. It has 

become a firm belief within New Age spirituality that energy always follows thought 
and that a clearly and energetically focused intention will often result at some future 

time in its manifestation. We all create our own reality, both on a personal and 
community level. Persons who meditate regularly know this and frequently contribute 

their prayers and loving energies, at specifically chosen times, to ensure that 

beneficial effects will flow on to earth‟s peoples and to the planet.

The internet has become the most outstanding means by which to alert, mobilize and 

draw together groups performing this activity. Various websites announce these 
global meditation occasions that occur during full moons, solstices, equinoxes and





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