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Taming the Monkey Mind

Posted on November 12, 2014 at 10:05 PM


For many of us in this fast paced world we are plagued with an equally fast paced mind. Our thoughts can become a whirlwind as we try to juggle the many events in our schedule along with the ongoing dialogue we have with ourselves. For many of us we have been conditioned to use a judgmental style of introspection that can be very damaging.

When the mind is not critiquing our own actions and deeds it is busy evaluating the actions and conduct of other people or entities. Part of the problem is that as we grow into young adults much of our learning is based on contrasts and the identification of opposites to create definition in our minds. While this is necessary for understanding, there is a tendency to take this trend too far. Combine this with our inherited belief systems and the values we are conditioned to have; we become more of a judgmental rational being whose concept of the world becomes increasingly rigid and set in stone.

The belief systems we hold can manifest themselves into bars or walls that entrap rather than liberate. The yogis speak of finding higher truth, and it is believed that in order to do so, one must find silence within the mind and quiet the ego chatter. The temporal and ever changing nature of our physical existence is thought to be a delusion that hides the real transcendental universal truth of our wholeness and oneness with the universe. This may be a bit philosophical for the layman to digest, however simply put there is something more than the petty preoccupations we often fill our heads with.

For instance, when a tragedy strikes or a profoundly meaningful event like a birth or a death occurs we often reflect upon the wasted energy and time we have engaged in with insignificant events and thoughts. The rude comment someone made or a sideways glance from a coworker, are in the moment a great tragedy; one that often calls for great controversy and dismay, though in truth this is just the bruising of the ego and no tragedy at all. Or, perhaps a relationship ends and this consumes our every thought, so much so that our mind becomes a wasteland of negative vacillations and a myriad of pictures mingled with a playback of old critical assertions, when all the while time will pass and this perceived catastrophe will later be seen with greater reflection as a lesson.

The monkey mind, always looping and busily working towards chaos, with a diatribe of cyclical thoughts spinning like a hamster on a wheel, is just a result a panicked state. Indeed the nervous system will react to not only real physical threats to safety but also to troubling thoughts imagined or real of our safety being threatened. The body will react the same way, by engaging the sympathetic nervous system to react for self protection. The method by which we react or respond to this threat real or otherwise can be channeled in a number of different ways depending on our level of mastery. Many of us have come to recognize this already. And for most of you introspective soulful yogis this is nothing knew to realize as it may have been what prompted your quest for self realization. It is however a difficult thing to master, and many seasoned pilgrims on the path towards ego liberation and wholeness still find this at times to be a challenge.

 So for you my dear reader, of whom I am truly blessed by, I have compiled a few simple steps that come from a combination of Eastern Meditation Techniques to assist in the taming of the monkey mind.

Meditation for Taming the Monkey Mind

Step 1- Find a peaceful setting where you can find a comfortable seat and sit down

Step 2- Take a smooth and long inhale through the nose and even longer full exhale out through the nose. (This engages the parasympathetic nervous system and deters the fight or flight tendencies of the sympathetic nervous system)

Note- much of our rampant thoughts can be directly correlated to a jagged and fast paced nervous or anxious breath so give the slow breath a chance to slow the horses of your speeding mental chariot.

Step 3-Begin to relax the muscles of the body starting with the eyes, the face, the jaw and then down the shoulders. Cultivate a natural posture whereby you are using the technique of effortless effort, i.e. balance between will and surrender.

 Step 4- Use the breath as your mental soundtrack, letting all judgments and thoughts pass through the mind without any attachment to them. Try to use the breath as the only mental sound you hear.

 Step 5- Feel compassion in your heart for yourself, welcome in a lustrous pink light of love and compassion into your heart and imagine your heart blooming like a delicate pink rose.

 Step 6- After considerable time allow the breath to become natural and effortless and gently open the eyes and hold a soft gaze let this feeling of love join with all you see and feel yourself a part of all that surrounds you.

 Step 7- After the monkey mind has been tamed you can allow for a solitary message from your higher self to come in to your heart.

 

This is the end of the meditation and I recommend this to be done every day or as often as needed to help still the storm of mental vacillation 

Namaste

Categories: Yoga, Emotional Healing and Therapy

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