Pacifying the Monkey Mind
When there is stillness, no mental vibration, no thought, we experience ourselves as the infinite ocean of pure consciousness. This is God within, our true Self. It is the nature of consciousness to manifest and from the still ocean of pure Being, a pulsation of creative intelligence arises. We experience this impulse, this vibration of intelligence, as an activity in consciousness, as a thought. When there are thoughts, those impulses of creative intelligence conceal pure consciousness. Thoughts hide the Source of thoughts just as waves hide the still ocean. When there are excessive or powerful thoughts arising, those thoughts dominate our experience and hide our true Self, universal consciousness.
In the natural state of oneness, we experience our Source as pure awareness and we witness our waking, dreaming and deep sleep states. We are fully one with divine creative intelligence. As universal intelligence manifests into letters, words and thoughts, we experience differences between object and subject. We see ‘other’, and in duality and separation, fear arises. Cut off from our true Self and experiencing differences, bondage comes into existence as we mistakenly believe we are our body and thoughts. Then we perform good and bad actions, no longer in service to God. We become attached to the fruits of action. We forget our true nature as divine consciousness.
When thoughts cover up their Source, we lose connection to the understanding, intelligence and power that is our true Self. When we are cut off from our true Self, the ego creates a small, ego dominated self. Under this condition, ego influences all of our thoughts with a tendency for self-grasping. Cut off from our Source of happiness, no longer aware of our true Self, seeing differences everywhere, the ego searches frantically for ways to create peace and happiness. The result of this is a mindset of fear, survival and selfishness. The created, egoic self seeks to control conditions, mitigate feelings of insufficiency, and find relief. In this state, the mind creates an unending stream of desires that are attached to outcomes. It mistakes pleasure for happiness, approval for love, inclusion for sufficiency and possession for fulfillment. It attempts to source outside of us all that is self-existent inside our true Self.
The pure ego is a psychic instrument designed to allow us to relate to the world. When we are disconnected from Source, the ego moves into protective and grasping modes to find satisfaction. Life’s ultimate motivation and purpose is to know the Self and experience its bliss. The mind, cut off from pure intelligence and its highest source of happiness, frantically searches for it. Unfortunately, under the influence of ego and the senses, it is an outwardly focused search. We believe that happiness, love and peace are sourced from outcomes, conditions, relationships and things. We believe something outside will make us happy inside. We attach our happiness to an outcome. These protective and grasping modes put the mind into overdrive and the mind searches frantically for joy and relief, generally without success. We create fantasies and stories that support the ego through judgment and justification formed around our attachments and aversions. The effect is a self-grasping monkey mind. What we are left with is disappointment and a monkey mind consumed by relentless, chaotic thoughts filled with resistance.
Our ability to manifest and understand becomes limited by our disconnection to the Source of intelligence and power. This limitation, along with a self-grasping, egoic mindset, conspire to create lack and limitation in our life. Instead of oneness, we see differences. Instead of knowing our unlimited power, we experience lack. Instead of knowing our pure creative intelligence, we experience self-grasping ignorance. Instead of the beneficial, we choose the pleasurable. This is not the natural state of life and this state further adds to our mind’s unrest. We are left grasping at outcomes and furiously trying to fix our conditions and circumstances.
We would expect that a thought arising from pure creative intelligence would create thoughts that are life supporting, loving and virtuous. After all, creative intelligence is divine. But the pulsation of pure consciousness is filtered through the countless vibrations that are impressed within our subtle nervous system. These are samskaras, the memories and energies of every thought, word and deed from countless lifetimes that have been stored within us. For most of us, that is a wide variety of vibrations. So, a thought that arises as a very pure vibration becomes influenced by the countless vibrations already inside us. Our thoughts will take on the texture and the feel of the general vibration of the mass of pre-existing impressions. Thoughts will also be influenced by specific vibrations of whatever impressions are currently being triggered or activated. In addition, thoughts are continually molded by our habitual mental outlook, which is often self-grasping.
Thoughts flow incessantly. They are a natural necessity for our lives to be lived. There are thoughts that lead us to more awareness, intelligence and power and there are thoughts that lead in the opposite direction. We can use thoughts to propagate countless more thoughts, stories and fantasies or we can use thoughts to attain the thought-free state. Left without some direction and control, the mind will ceaselessly create more grasping thoughts. Led in the right direction and under some degree of control, the mind can be brought into a state where it will create thoughts when needed and remain still and silent when thoughts are not needed.
Understanding why we have a monkey mind will give us direction along the path but, in itself, will not silence the monkey mind. The solution is to create a new experience. That experience is a new internal realization, atmosphere and condition that reveals the true Self and eases self-grasping. To pacify the money mind, we create a positive internal atmosphere by making our thoughts positive, selfless and non-resistant. We neutralize the existing, negative impressions within us. We reveal the state of pure awareness, our true Self. This is achieved by following a spiritual path, doing spiritual practices, keeping the company of those who live and discuss the highest, and directing our attention toward the highest.
When we have concealed our true Self and are in a state of self-grasping, we become resistant. Resistance manifests as attachment to outcomes and desires we want, and aversion to outcomes and desires we don’t want. Resistance to our egoic, created self generally manifests as unworthiness and insufficiency. Resistance to ‘what is’ manifests as dissatisfaction and anger. Mental resistance arises from a mind consumed with self-grasping ignorance. Self-grasping is selfishness. Ignorance is forgetting our Ture Self.
To ease self-grasping, we practice compassion, which is exchanging self with other. We practice kindness, which is a generous heart in service to others. As self-grasping eases, peace of mind expands. When our mindset switches from selfish to selfless, our own mental resistance and turmoil lessens. Compassion and kindness create a mental atmosphere of peace and acceptance. Acceptance eases resistance. Cherishing and serving others eases self-grasping. When thoughts are accepting, compassionate, selfless and kind, we quiet mental agitation and lessen the frequency of resistant thoughts. We create a positive, internal atmosphere by making our thoughts compassionate, selfless, kind and accepting.
One technique for pacifying the monkey mind and realizing our true Self is mantra repetition. If a monkey is restless, we give him a banana to make him sit still. If the mind is restless we give it the name of God to repeat and we replace the negative thoughts with then highest, most positive thought. Mantra is the sound form of our true Self. The vibration of the mantra fills the mind and replaces the habit of negative story telling with God. We silently repeat Om Namah Shivaya or another enlivened mantra whenever we aren’t required to focus on other things. It becomes our new habit that creates a positive mental atmosphere and reveals our true Self. Mantra repetition, chanting and meditation are the most powerful techniques to create a positive, peaceful mind and realize our true Self.
We are filled with negative impressions which are the memories and energies of painful and fearful past thoughts, words, actions and experiences. Left unresolved, we will continue to be overwhelmed by the feelings and thoughts they produce when they become activated and triggered. To achieve long term peace of mind, these impressions need to be neutralized. While investigating, analyzing and understanding fear and pain can give some clarity, they do not alter the energy around impressions. This is achieved by immersing the negative energy in the positive energy of pure awareness. This is accomplished by holding pain and fear in neutral, accepting, non-judgmental awareness and through meditation practices that expand awareness and lead to the transcendental experience of Source, pure consciousness. When we follow spiritual codes to do right action and avoid wrong behavior, we impress only positive vibrations within us. When we do spiritual practices, especially meditation, we neutralize the negative energy contained in the existing impressions held within us.
Through acceptance, compassion, loving kindness, mantra repetition and meditation we can relieve the resistant, self-grasping tendencies of the mind, restore realization of our true Self and calm the restless monkey mind.