Do you notice when your monkey mind is tormenting you? Do you sometimes just want relief from your racing thoughts that cause you stress? What I’m referring to in this post is calming your monkey mind – the incessant thoughts that torment you day to day. You know how it is. Common examples are: thinking about work after you leave the office, replaying an argument you had with your spouse, or worrying about an upcoming presentation you need to deliver. Experiencing moments of peace comes by calming your monkey mind.
Do you want to calm your mind? Do you wonder why people meditate? How does ‘being in the now’ help?
Let’s take a 30,000 foot look at the progression of meditation and mindfulness. Such practices bring me and my students so much joy and relief from the monkey mind, I’d like to break this down into 4 basic steps that may help you understand the progression of such work as I see it:
Step 1: Recognize your monkey mind is active. Incessant thoughts actually torment you. It’s mindless-ness at its best. Notice how low value these thoughts are. Become aware of when your mind is racing and jumping around like a monkey.
Step 2: Realize you want peace within. Are you ready to make the conscious choice to calm your monkey mind? If so, firmly make that choice and be willing to work on it. It takes intention.
Step 3: Cultivate your practice. Find what works for you to become aware and calm your mind. It may be meditation, mindfulness practices, tai chi, qi gong, yoga … there are many wonderful meditative techniques out there for you to explore. However, please know this is not the same as ‘relaxing’ – reading a book or watching a movie may be relaxing, but these do not raise your self-awareness or help you cultivate the calming of your mind. Meditation is a fascinating practice that cultivates present-awareness and learning about self. Learn to meditate.
Step 4: Notice the difference. As you cultivate your practice, notice the freedom from your monkey mind EVEN if it is just for a moment, a few seconds, or a few minutes. When you experience a calmness, relish it, savour it, and realize you have cultivated this moment of happiness. Over time, these moments of calm will get a little longer and more frequent. Start releasing yourself from the torment.
Isn’t this freedom worth the effort? Aren’t you worth it? Yes, you are.