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Taming the Monkey Mind

April 19, 2012

When I first began to meditate, I thought, “how do I not think? . . . . How do I gradually diminish thoughts to. . . . zero . .?/?”

Well, I found that really hard, because I was always thinking of how to do it.

My monkey-mind was so easily distracted.  Yes, I could slow my breathing; yes, I could relax my body . . . but my mind was something else.  In the quiet, it searched for noise, something to observe: the rustle of the wind; distant voices were especially hard to ignore. Close my eyes and the other senses woke-up.  Fragrances,  sounds, even tastes, and so sensations became the subject of thought.

Aiyee! this was not easy . . To think of nothing was, to me, fairly impossible. I settled for quieting my mind and focusing on just a few things . . . then w/out realizing it drifted into problem solving.  I did this every morning for 20 or so minutes.  It felt good: to think calmly about how to handle this situation or that.  . . And I admit, wanting to get it over with so I could put my thoughts into action.

I did this for almost a year.  Then Sifu Cheung asked how meditation was going.  I answered, “not too well, but I said (a little louder) “I practice Shibashi twice every day.”   Then he said ‘the meditation is more important.’  . . .  . . “uh? . . . ohhhhh . . .”  Oops, time to change my ways.

Well, I found one can get beyond the quiet-thinking stage . . . it is possible not to think, to empty the mind.  BUT, (and this is very important )  – – ONE MUST PRACTICE CONSISTENTLY ! ! !

There are methods which strengthen the mind in meditation.  What you are doing is training the mind . –  If you don’t practice everyday, it is very easy to slip back into old habits; progress will be slow, maybe negligible, and then you may even give -up.

However –

Consistent practice tames the mind . . .

Be patient . . .

Eventually that wild monkey will be bringing you gifts.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Tiantian Huang permalink
    March 7, 2016 11:42 am

    Let’s tame the monkey mind in the year of monkey 2016! 🙂

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