Overcoming the Monkey Mind

When you sit down to meditate, do you notice your mind rushing to thoughts of criticism? judgments? future worries? complaints? and the more you try to stop these thoughts the louder they become? We call this state - the monkey mind.

Every thought a branch, and your mind the monkey. Swinging from thought to thought.

Convincing you that you can't do anything right and insisting that it's heard. The monkey mind creates endless obstacles and fears. Preventing you from taking action and thinking clearly. It's no wonder that it leads to mental and physical fatigue.

The monkey is built into your consciousness, the essence of the mind. Like the elements, the monkey has always been there and always will. Fortunately we can keep the monkey at bay through acknowledging its presence then working to bring our attention back to our breath.

How do we train to keep the monkey at bay?

1. Sit quietly and focus on your breath

2. As thoughts arise, simply notice and bring your attention back to your breath

3. The monkey mind will naturally subside even if just for a second to bring you a sense of calmness and stillness

Practice this exercise for 5 minutes everyday and notice how your mind strengthens against the monkey mind.

“Be the silent watcher of your thoughts and behaviour. You are beneath the thinker. You are the stillness beneath the mental noise. You are the love and joy beneath the pain.”

Eckhart Tolle

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