MIND THE (MONKEY) MIND
The mind can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Nowadays media age takes its toll when it comes down to the increased mental load we are dealing with day by day. We are completely submerged with information all the time. More than ever it is important to find tools that can tame the mind from its spiral of never ending thoughts and chatters.
What the shower is to the body, meditation is to the mind. If we don’t wash our bodies for too long, they start to stink. Something similar happens to the mind. One can easily spiral out and lose oneself in thoughts that do not serve one’s true self.
“To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.”
In yogic tradition the mind is seen as a bridge between the body and the spirit. By practicing Yoga we are aiming to observe and calm the mind in order to raise our awareness towards the true nature of our being: We are carried by the soul.
THE MONKEY MIND
When we talk about the mind, it is important to remember that we are NOT what we are THINKING. Since the mind is fast it supports your actions with many more thoughts than you could ever act on. The result of this is that it is not you who thinks. Your mind thinks. It floods you with thoughts, both wanted and unwanted. Even more it can jump around like a monkey, that is why the Yogis also call it the monkey mind.
“Yoga chitta vritti nirodah”
Translation: Yoga is the restraint of the fluctuation of the mind.
Patanjali, The Yoga Sutras
In Patanjalis Sutras Yoga is described as the cessation of the fluctuation of the mind. We want to control the mind, rather than being controlled by it. An important part to reach that stage, is to develop a neutral attitude towards our thoughts. If we manage to look at our thoughts like clouds passing, if we manage not to get involved by them, we are in a neutral state of mind. Once we start to be attached to something or someone, we identify with the chatters of our mind, we start to believe the stories it has created.
“The mind itself does not stop. (…) This is where special techniques l
ike meditation, mantra, and breath control are needed. Using the mind to try and convince
the mind to be still is like stopping a hurricane by blowing at it.”
By means of meditation we can tame the monkey mind. With time and practice we manage to be less pulled back to the mind’s dramas caused by the distraction of our overwhelming realities.
As we are conditioned to think, rather than to feel, we have to conquer the challenges that come along with this conditioning. I suggest that we more often question the media promoted narratives that praise the rational, intellectual, scientific way of looking at the world as it would be the only way of experiencing life.
Specially during the pandemic it has become obvious that everybody whose conception of life differed from the one mentioned above has been disqualified as a danger to society. This way of thinking promotes the idea in which the mind is the key reference for our actions. And because the minds overload in nowadays media age is so overwhelming it encourages the concept of a world in which AI is suggested to take over the functions that our minds have managed for thousands of years. Some articles already promote the narrative that the mind has to be replaced by the algorithm because it is supposed to be less flawed than the mind.
Me personally, I find this mindset disturbing because it presumes the mind to be the most important reference in life. This is where I fundamentally disagree. Too many times I have witnessed how the (monkey) mind can easily be corrupted and therefore is not the one to rely on. So I remind myself on a regular base that I am here on Earth because my soul chose to be. From my point of view the only reference which is not corruptible is the soul, because its infinite nature is more extensive than our limited perception allows us to comprehend.
So next time you’ll find yourself caught up in your mind’s drama, remember that you are consisting of much more than your thoughts might want to tell you. Each one of us is a masterpiece made out of ten bodies: Check out my post about the TEN BODIES.
If you feel inspired to work on your mind more comprehensively I would love to assist you, don’t be shy to contact me.