Taming the Monkey Mind: Experimenting on the Monkey

Mr. Sandmonkey (78/365)

What?  You didn’t think that my ruminations on my monkey mind were going away just because I completed the 28 day challenge, did you?  Of course not; this monkey demands attention and gets ornery if he’s ignored for too long.

First, a disclaimer:  No monkeys were harmed or experimented on in the making of this post.  You can go ahead and back off now, PETA.

When I undertook this meditation challenge, I was most concerned about staying with daily practice.  In the past, I had slid out of the habit faster than my work clothes at the end of a hard day.  But, that hasn’t been the case on the go-round.  I dutifully meditate every day for at least a few focused minutes.  I do it without thinking.  It has become habit.

Get it?

For some reason, this bothers me a bit.  Maybe I’m overthinking this (totally possible given my analytical nature), but it seems like I should be mindful about mindfulness.  Intentional.  For a time, I was experimenting with different guided meditations, various chants, and assorted music.  I did walking meditations and silent meditations.  I feel like I’ve turned it over to autopilot recently.  I tend to go for the same chant generated by the same app, plug in the same headphones, lie on the same spot, and just go.

Is this good?  I am practicing, after all.  I can’t help but feel like I’m slighting my monkey; however.  If I don’t actively pursue different options and continue to read about meditation, am I stunting my monkey’s growth?  Or, by reading and studying, am I distracting myself from what is really important; focusing too much on the “doing” rather than “being”?  Maybe my discomfort with the status quo is arising from the fact that I am still learning to BE.

I think I’ll go meditate.


Thank you for sharing!

8 thoughts on “Taming the Monkey Mind: Experimenting on the Monkey

  1. Yours is a familiar reality to me. But how do I mentally shake you into seeing it? Yes, a linear brain and abstract mind are much like oil and water. Inseparable in the vessel of life yet never to mix with the other.
    Oil must seek the surface of water. Whereas water calmly rests beneath. Meditation is not contemplation nor does it require duty. It just is. Just BE

  2. I think you’re right that it’s best to approach meditation in a way that’s intentional and not just autopilot. But cut yourself some slack: it’s great if you’re practicing whether that practice is the best it could be, or somewhat sub-optimal. Relax and be with it as it is. If you want to get off autopilot try sitting with no music. The monkey mind is sure to give you some attitude if you do that.

    As for studying versus meditating, the traditional line is that both are important — sometimes they’re said to be two wings of the same bird. Studying can help you find out when you’re on autopilot and how to address that. And then of course, you have to practice.

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