Updated: Sep 5, 2018
In this modern age we find ourselves endlessly caught up and distracted from being present in the now. How do we be present in the now? Read on...
Ohhhh the chitter chatter of the monkey mind... Sound familiar?
I’d like to talk briefly today about the application of mediation in our busy, modern lives and the presence of ‘The Monkey Mind’, which could be translated as the modern thinkers version of The Psychical Man (as in The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali) or as The Egoic Self (as in The Power of Now - Ekhart Tolle). Whatever terminology is applied, these concepts are simply one and the same occurrence; a chattering, wild monkey living in our minds, chirping loudly and distracting us from being truly quiet and present in the now.
The Monkey Mind is an unnaturally occurring phenomenon within the human existence that has been organically developed as a defence against the intense stresses we face as a modern society. The human mind has been designed to problem solve and intuitively protect itself from harm, stress and failure. In doing so we achieve the state of living constantly in the future ideal; “If I get this promotion, I will be successful” “Once I pay off my mortgage I will be happy”. However living in the grips of the chattering monkey mind will actively disallow you from living fully in the present moment and therefore block any connection to the joy of the greater, creative consciousness and personal freedom.
In order to be fully present, we must remove our chains to the sabotage of the chattering mind. Acceptance and observation is the first step in doing this; accept that everything is okay RIGHT NOW at this very moment, and observe the constant chatter of the mind with a smile. Let it pass you by with the peace that nothing can ever be distressing within the current moment.
Meditation is the next step to take in moving away from the Monkey Mind. The mind is a phenomenal machine of huge capacity and can never be silenced, its job is to aid you in the fulfilment of tasks and protect you against danger or stress.
However we can facilitate the natural practice of meditation to quietly reflect on our thoughts and observe the mind’s streams flowing through us like water. You don’t need to set aside vast amounts of time per day to do this (unless you’d like to!) as mediation can be practiced at any point during our modern lives. Take a minute to observe your breath, feel the sun on your skin, notice the taste of the fresh air on your tongue, notice the changing hues of the sky and the definition of the leaves on the trees.
When practicing this there is no time or room for the monkey mind to chatter about daily stresses; “what I should be doing?” “what bills are there to pay?” and “who do I need to call later?” And we have the peace to fall into the fully, immersive joy of the present moment.
Sounds complicated? Look at it like this;
Our mind is a busy train station and our thoughts the trains.
We cannot stop the trains coming and going, nor should we try to.
We must simply observe the comings and going of the trains to the station, noticing with a gentle smile how the trains come and will always come.
In practicing this, we meditate, we are mindful and we are present.