Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Monkey Mind

Sometimes we get stuck in seeing things exactly as they appear that it's hard to imagine how life could be different. Somewhere in my life travels I learned the concept of "monkey mind" (from Allan Ginsberg, maybe?). Anyway, all due credit aside, the concept of monkey mind entails letting go of our practical, rational thoughts, and just allowing the mind to go wherever goes. When your mind is freed of seeing things how they are, or how they "should" be, where does it go?

I like using the monkey mind whenever I can't see the answer to a problem, but I just know my current "solutions" aren't working for me. I ask myself, if this problem weren't a problem anymore, what would I see myself doing? Who else would be involved? What would I be thinking or feeling? What kind of values would I be living out? How would those values be reflected in my actions? in the people around me?

In practicing monkey mind, one's practical, rational mind may try to quash your monkey mind. Practicality has its place, but when practicing monkey mind, it's best to put it aside for later. Make "defer judgment" your mantra when your "rational" mind tries to shout over your "monkey".

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