I’ve been reading lately some bits on ‘monkey mind’ and meditation. What prompted me to go on that path of thought was my therapist’s suggestion of calming the mind and learning to focus on one task at a time. I nearly panicked right then. Me? Focus on just one thing?
I’m a multi-tasker. Some people say I also talk fast. I also type fast, and read fast. I do things fast, and often more than one thing at a time. I guess in an odd way, I’m sort of addicting to overthinking. So when someone suggest I slow down or take things one at a time, it provokes an odd sense of fear in me. I’m not sure why. Perhaps busying myself helps fend off boredom, or even slowing down enough to grasp the real situation I find myself in. Who knows?
So I found a book I set aside called The Idiot’s Guide to Zen Living. It really simplifies concepts of Zen that are difficult for the Western mind to grasp. One metaphor often used to illustrate meditation is ‘monkey mind’. This is when your mind is racing, like a monkey jumping around a tree, chattering, and flailing about. Meditation helps calm the monkey mind to the stillness you might find on a pond’s surface, its ripples calmed.
This is tough to do if you’re someone who enjoys lots of thinking.
But my therapist is right; I need to find that stillness within me in order to focus on one thing at a time in order to accomplish things. Its like trying to catch petals on the wind, when if you wait for them to land, they’re easy to pick up.
Here is a video that best explains how to meditate; Check it out.
There are also many benefits for doing meditation, and not just to de-stress your life. It enhances the immune system, and increases Serotonin levels in the brain- you know the ‘happy’ chemical.