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Can You Tame Your Monkey Mind? Here’s A Simple Technique

meditation technique; Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche; ‘monkey-like mind’ (kapicitta); breathe in, breathe out
meditation technique; Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche; ‘monkey-like mind’ (kapicitta); breathe in, breathe out
Can You Tame Your Monkey Mind? Here’s A Simple Technique

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the one simple yet effective way to calm and tame your monkey mind.

First a quick update:

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Now, let’s talk about the one simple yet effective way to calm and tame your monkey mind.

Do your thoughts and inner voice drive you crazy?

Do you find yourself sometimes hopelessly responding to that voice, actually arguing or trying to overcome that voice with logic, retorts or plain will power?

We all have an inner voice and thoughts that shout out fear, guilt, blame, judgment, shame, sadness, doom, hope, cravings, and so forth.

“Just as a monkey swinging through the trees grabs one branch and lets it go only to seize another, so too, that which is called thought, mind or consciousness arises and disappears continually both day and night.” – Buddha

Your 65,000 daily thoughts, ramblings, rumination, restlessness, agitation, distraction, obsessiveness, prophecies of doom, and the incessant desire to keep moving are all the work of the monkey mind.

So, who is in charge? Is it you or your monkey mind? Here’s a technique to help you tame the monkey mind.

Many people believe that the way to tame or calm the monkey mind is to fight or resist it. Some people offer elaborate or complex suggestions to tame the monkey mind. However, you can’t block out thoughts or emotions. You can, though, calm those thoughts and emotions.

You don’t need 10 steps or 10 different techniques to desperately try and overcome the monkey mind. You just need one technique – the one suggested by Buddha, the person who coined the term ‘monkey mind’ or ‘monkey-like mind’ (kapicitta); that technique is simple meditation.

Before you respond with exasperation or resignation swayed by the thought that meditation is difficult, cumbersome and overwhelming, here is the technique, explained so simply by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, a Tibetan teacher who also oversees an international network of Buddhist meditation centers:

“We cannot block out thought and emotion. In fact, we need thought and emotion. Whether you listen or not to your monkey mind, that’s the issue. What I call ‘monkey mind’ is the mind that is chattering, pala, pala, yada, yada. So, the monkey mind is giving you an opinion. And whether you listen or not to the opinion is up to you, right?

Through meditation, what we do is, we have to make friends with the monkey mind. But how to make friends? Just giving a banana doesn’t work. So, the right method is that you need to give a job to the monkey mind. So how do you give a job to the monkey mind?

The simple meditation training is: Be aware of the breath. So, you ask the monkey mind, ‘Hello! Watch the breath.’ Monkey mind says, ‘Ah yeah. Good idea.’

And from there, be aware of the breath…breathing in, breathing out.

There’s a lot of thought that comes into the background, but don’t care [about it], no problem. As long as you don’t forget your breath, anything is okay. No need for too much concentration. Just simply be aware of your breath. Breathe in, breathe out. Even with just a couple of breaths. Therefore, we can meditate everywhere, anytime…the essence of meditation is awareness.”

Surrendering in meditation and focusing on your breath creates a relaxed brain state. Your brain waves slow down and you go into alpha brain waves beyond the analytical mind. By focusing gently on your breath and slowing down the breath, you train your mind to not respond to the crazy thoughts and voice.

From personal experience, I can attest to the fact that some days are easier than others to calm the monkey mind. However, if you do as Mingyur Rinpoche suggests, do not judge the background noise but rather, simply continue to gently focus on the breath, you will find it easier to enjoy the experience and feel relaxed, calm, peaceful and centered.

If you need extra help to release the deeper issues that fuel the obsessiveness and fear driven by the monkey mind, book a one-on-one session with me. 

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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