Monkey Mind

I don’t know about you, but I have a very busy mind. “Monkey-mind” it is often called. Oh, it’s bad  — unsettled, restless, capricious, whimsical, fanciful, inconstant, confused, indecisive, uncontrollable — all that and more, just what the great gurus of the world absolutely dread.

My friend suggested to me, “Why don’t you meditate?”

“Sure, okay.” I reasoned. I’ll try anything once.

“Make up a mantra about the stillness of your mind,” my friend continued, after my interruption.

“I could do that,” I affirmed thoughtfully, mostly in an attempt to convince myself of the far-fetched possibility of taming the wild beast, all the while doubting what I heard come out of my own mouth. “I’ll do a walking meditation.”

Monkey mind Image from with my thanks. Seems just right for a monkey-mind like mine. Yes?

Walking Meditation Time

So, tonight is the night. I’m going to put my monkey-mind to the test. It’s a warm summer evening when I don’t even have to wear a jacket. This is my kind of weather. I step out into the darkness and look into the night sky. I could see Mars to the west. Apparently, there is some powerful alignment with Saturn going on right now, of which I need to be aware. Hey, I’m open.

Okay, what I need is a mantra.

“My mind is still
and I’m in my heart.
My mind is still
and I’m in my heart.”

I wonder which star is Saturn. Just like that — I catch my monkey-mind wandering. Sheesh! That was fast. I didn’t even get through the mantra three times!

Monkey-Mind in Action

Nevertheless, I repeat the mantra again, then I find myself pondering how the street lights interfere with how many stars are visible in the night sky, because of the artificial lights.

Hey, back to the mantra, girl!

I continue on in my quest for a peaceful mind. Now I’m a half a block from home and I start to feel vulnerable. It’s dark and car lights appear down the block. Okay, I can factor my safety into the mantra, no problem.

“My mind is still
and I’m in my heart
and I am safe.

I stumble through that one a few times, impressed with my adaptive ingenuity. Maybe there’s something to be said for a monkey-mind such as mine, after all.

“My mind is safe
and my heart is still.”

Hey, that’s not how it goes! Doggedly, I start over. As I approach the end of the block, I grapple again with the mantra, then conclude, “Hey, I never was any good at this memorizing stuff. So why think I could ‘get it’ now at this late date?” Nevertheless, I plow through it again — and again.

Finally, I mow through the mantra: three lines times three times. That’s nine lines. Some kind of record, for sure.

A car zooms by, then another one. I carry my smartphone with me. I’m one button away from help, if I need it. Next, I cross the street. I’ll walk a bit further. Getting my confidence now!

“My mind is still
and I’m in my heart
and I am safe.

Fear of the Dark? Or Meditating!

A few moments pass and it occurs to me that if I am feeling fearful, I can’t possibly be in my heart. Oh sheesh, I’m going home. This mantra stuff is for the birds and they’re all asleep by now!

But hey, I bet my friend will be proud how I attempted a walking meditation. I observed my mind as it wandered all over the place. My mind isn’t so much a monkey-mind as an acrobatic mind!

It’s a wonder I get any sleep with a monkey-mind such as mine! I suppose my busy brain collapses from sheer exhaustion at the end of a day.

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Monkey Mind — 2 Comments

  1. I love the honesty and the realness of your understanding of your “ monkey mind”!
    It’s all about being totally present in the here and now, of course this takes practice, like everything.

    I am proud of you for trying it out for yourself. I know first hand how our monkey mind can really keep us distracted. I am really happy you shared this with me. I always love reading your blogs!

    Much love

  2. Hi Tricia, I love how you could recognize that I was being present — you are right and I didn’t see that. I just felt like I was failing at the meditation exercise. I’m still working on the critical self-talk stuff. Thanks for your interest in my ramblings.

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