Meditation and the Monkey Mind?
Some find the term, "monkey mind", upsetting, derogatory, and insulting. This is a shame, as the point is lost, the ego is involved, and a natural human defense goes up. After all, we are supposed to be the "king of the primates," aren't we?
The first time I heard the expression, "monkey mind," in regard to meditation, I thought of Swayambhunath Stupa, in Kathmandu, Nepal. Sometimes, this is named, the "monkey temple," and it made me laugh inside, as monkeys need supervision in human settings. The picture of unsupervised monkeys got into my head, and I was suppressing laughter during a serious conversation.
Monkeys can be nuisances, when allowed to roam without some guidance, and it is the same with the untrained mind that runs from topic to topic, without getting much accomplished. So please don't waste time being offended by the term, and try to look at the comical side.
When you allow yourself to enjoy life, and try not to take anything too seriously, you can see that monkeys don't have it so bad after all. Very often, the human mind spends too much time defending, worrying, posturing, influencing, fearing, and feeling embarrassed, to enjoy life to its fullest potential.
In fact, you are not your mind. You are responsible for your actions, but many things happen in the thought process before you do take action. For example: when you think, images and options are created. As a result of those images, you get a physical feeling somewhere around your heart.
Whether the feeling is, good or bad, you process it into action, or treat it as a fleeting thought that passes and may be forgotten. So if you have a fleeting evil thought and it passes - should you waste time feeling guilty about it? The natural safeguard for ethical behavior is your heart or "gut feeling." This is the best indicator of wrong or right.
Mankind has the ability to influence the universe, and create different realities, but separating what is sacred, from what is evil, has been a dilemma for thousands of years. The disconnection from your inner self, nature, and God, has led to excessive confusion.
Thank God for meditation; it allows you to harness the power of the mind, settle down, and focus, on one subject at a time. If you take the time for a daily meditation practice, your decision-making process will be much more controlled and clear. The end result will be to look at the monkey with much more respect, appreciation, and a bit of humor.
Paul Jerard is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center, in North Providence, RI. He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995. He is a master instructor of martial arts, with multiple Black Belts, four martial arts teaching credentials, and was recently inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame. He teaches Yoga, martial arts, and fitness to children, adults, and seniors in the greater Providence area. Recently he wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students, who may be considering a new career as a Yoga teacher. www.yoga-teacher-training.org/index.html">http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org/index.html