YouTube: Monkey Mind: Is There a Cure?
What is the monkey mind? It is believed that the term originated in Buddhism to describe the constant mental chatter that scrambles through our mind like a troupe of busy monkeys. The monkey mind generates a false perception of reality that often has us running in fear and anxiety away from possible danger we cannot control.
Our chattering little monkey may not always present as a sense of danger. It may simply rattle on as a preoccupation with perceived possibilities of the past or future, mental noise that has no bearing on anything in particular.
When it comes to achieving mental and emotional peace, we need to recognize the difference between life in the here and now and the constant scanning of future and past possibilities. I have said before that we only worry over things we can do nothing about. These things are mental and emotional projections that have us wrestling with questions of what if rather than dealing only in the moment with what is.
Jesus recognized the need to still the busy mind. At one point he said to his disciples, “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). Yet it isn’t enough to simply go to a lonely place. We tend to take our monkeys with us.
It is important to pay attention to how we are using our mind. Are we allowing ourselves to be present? Some balk at the idea of practicing the Presence in meditation. We may want to begin simply with the practice of being present. Mindfulness. We can achieve mindfulness by taking a few moments to focus on something as simple as our breath. We can feel and appreciate the warmth of the sun, or the loving response of a pet. The practice of being present is a necessary step to becoming aware of the Presence.
The monkey mind will probably always be with us. The more we recognize it for what it is, the better we become at letting go of its incessant chatter.