What kind of monkey are you? A squirrel monkey? Maybe a spider monkey? A Rhesus … a gorilla … a … a … a human monkey. We’re all just humans with big monkey minds.
You’ve seen the monkey mind at work. It’s when your head gets in the way of everything. You start thinking about all the bad things that could go wrong if you (fill in the blank). You start thinking about all the good things that you’ll get if you (fill in the blank). You start thinking about how this or that happened in the past so you should/shouldn’t (fill in the blank).
It’s our monkey mind that keeps us distracted from the present moment. Our monkey mind is not content existing in the present moment, but rather engages in the thoughts that pass through.
I’ve been struggling with this for a while now. How to exist in the present moment and not let my mind wander so far astray that I miss what’s going on right in front of me. Of course this is not new, Buddhists, Hindus and many of the worlds cultures have been trying to tame the monkey mind for millenniums. They use physical exercise to force the mind to be quiet. They use meditation, breathing, letting the monkey loose for a while until she tires out. It’s the monkey mind that is that part of us that keeps us distracted, keeps us worrying, keeps us in pain, just plain keeps us. So when am I going to …
That’s an important statement. A friend of mine caught me on this recently and it stopped me dead in my tracks. I thought I was good at taming my monkey mind, but she’s just found another way to express herself. A way I’m not as attuned to.
So, of course here is your question: “Can you stop thinking and start living … if only for a moment?” How do YOU quiet your monkey mind? How do YOU stop worrying, stop thinking, stop distracting yourself? If you don’t have a conscious way to quiet her/yourself, you’ll stay spinning in your head and miss what’s right in front of you.
So find something; meditation, breathing, working out … anything … just find something you can use to consciously quiet your head. And if you can just for a moment, maybe you’ll finally see the amazing things right in front of you, right here, right now.
See you on the wire
– Steven Cardinale