What keeps us busier than our work, is our thoughts. The thoughts that keep running in our minds, exhaust us far more than the physical work that we do in a day. Jumping from one thought to another, like a monkey jumps from one branch to another, our mind becomes a playground for all sorts of random thoughts. And we become mere spectators to what’s going on in our minds, having no control over it.
So how do we control the menace of this monkey mind? The random thoughts that keep invading our peace of mind create havoc with our mental health and need to be reigned in. The mind is our space and it should be our choice, who and what to let in. Just like we don’t allow anyone unknown into our house, there is a need to filter the thoughts that we let our mind spend itself on.
I know it’s as easy for me to say it, as difficult it is to practice. Inspite of being aware of the need to control our thoughts, how many of us are able to do it in real? If my mind is going through some random thoughts, am I able to distract my mind to happier and healthier thoughts? However difficult it may seem, it is worth all the efforts. A constant check on our mind, just as we check small children when they misbehave, is required and with time, our mind gets trained to filter out the thoughts itself.
Our mind is a powerful and yet the most esoteric space that nature has bestowed us with. It’s as easy as it seems difficult to manipulate it, as per our convenience. Most of us negate it and surrender to the monkey mind. But if trained well, our mind can work wonders for us. As they say, it’s all in your mind. Anyone who has read ‘the secret’ will agree with me. Our mind is the ultimate game-changer. It can make us or break us. The mantra is to manoeuvre and steer our mind towards happier and more peaceful thoughts, rather than allowing it to take control of our flow of thoughts.
Every time the mind wants to jump branches, the onus lies with us to bring it back to our desired thoughts, just like we mould our children to learn the values that we want them to learn. Of course it isn’t an easy goal to achieve. This will definitely not happen within days or weeks. It’s an uphill task and all our patience will be put to test.
The foremost thing that we need to learn to do is to de-clutter our minds of all the negativity of the past and the anxiety and fear of the future. What we look back at, was the present once and our future is nothing more than a reward of our actions and deeds in the present. The masterwork here is the present. Live your present moments mindfully and wisely and you would never have to worry about either your past of your future.
If one is able to successfully achieve this de-cluttering of the mind, it’ll be much easier to reign in our monkey mind thereafter. Meditation, in any form, or yoga are very helpful tools to control the monkey mind. Since these practices focus on breathing, they help a great deal in bringing our wandering mind back to the moment. You could find your own activity of meditation. It could be a hobby that works as a meditation to you, like singing or gardening.
The aim is to plant happy seeds in our minds and nurture them into healthy thoughts. And with time you will see how these healthy thoughts fight with anything toxic that enters your mind. Once you are able to achieve this state, no other goal would seem far or difficult. You will be the master of your mind and destiny. Peace and happiness would be a bonus that you will receive in this whole process.
So let’s begin today. Let this moment be the first step in your journey from being a monkey mind to a monk mind. Peace and love to everyone!