Taming the Monkey Mind
A big part of spiritual growth is to finally get some distance from the hold that our monkey minds have on us. For all the wonderful techniques and tools that are advanced, this process still seems to me to be deeply personal, hard to teach, and almost alchemical in nature. One day you look around and say, “Ha! I see how I used to be totally caught up in that fear-based emotion. I could not see any daylight between my reactivity and who I thought I was. Now, although I still may have the tendency to react; I can observe it, forgive it, even be a little amused by it.
How does one cultivate this perspective? Meditation is indeed helpful to many because it allows people to experience the underlying energy which is not distorted by ego. But it seems to me that this energy needs to be expressed. Paint a painting, sing a song, plant a garden, hug somebody. It is in the act of putting this energy into the world that you get to experience your inner magnificence; the eternal, pure, joyous, flowing part of you that has always been.
Expressing this energy is a little bit like building a muscle. Most of us can’t just hope ourselves into good physical shape (unfortunately). It can be a challenge because fear loves a good rut. The rut provides fear with the “nutrients” it needs to live. But we are all on a course to let the sun shine in, one way or another, so we may as well cooperate with what it wants for us. After all, it is us.