The monkey mind is the name given to our mind not only when we overthink things, but the majority of our daily thoughts. The following are questions I’m frequently asked:
“How do I turn off my mind?”
“I wish my mind had an on off button!”
“My mind drives me mad, I wish I could stop it!”
These are feelings most of us will be able to relate to.
In order to better understand the mind, perhaps we can divide it into three categories:
1) Instinctual mind or simple consciousness
2) Thinking mind or self-consciousness
3) Intuitive mind or cosmic consciousness
The Instinctual Mind: The instinctual mind is best illustrated in tribal societies. In these groups, there is a great connection to the whole; these people work with the interests of the group, not their individual selves. People who have this type of mind operating don’t have monkey minds. Indigenous cultural groups, such as Asians, Native American Indians and Pacific Islanders can often be great examples of the instinctual mind in action.
The Thinking Mind: this is where most of Western people find themselves; these individuals have become aware of themselves, aware of the self. These societies are focused on developing the left hemisphere of the brain, which means that they become very good at logic and reason, but often at the expense of the right side of the brain, where vision and creativity reside.
Without the right hemisphere operating these individuals get trapped in the left side of the brain. This is the home of the monkey mind, which they cannot turn off; it won’t stop, it only knows how to keep going. This means people keep thinking and using logic and reason in order to stop feeling how they really are. They become over thinkers.
The Intuitive Mind: The intuitive mind begins to develop when the right hemisphere of the brain is activated. This mind is beyond the thinking mind and if expanded will lead to the opening of cosmic consciousness, which is an understanding of all things. This is the awakened and enlightened state we all seek and to which we will all one day evolve.
Can you see that in order to get free of the monkey-chatterbox mind, all we need to do is to develop the right hemisphere of our brains?
Here are some handy hints:
1. Be aware of where your mind fits into the above.
2. Understand how modern society encourages left-sided brain development at the expense of the right intuitive side.
3. Develop creativity and expand your right brain.
4. Meditate! This will open a door and allow your intuitive mind to begin to activate. The chatterbox monkey mind will then slow and you will begin to have balance in your life. The monkey mind will no longer control you.
The monkey mind, dominated by the left hemisphere, cannot be stopped - it can only be distracted or deadened with medication and or recreational drugs. But when the right hemisphere is awakened and a more expansive consciousness comes into the individual, then the left hemisphere takes it rightful place in a balance with the right side and the monkey mind is tamed.
You hold the key to it all. If you haven’t learnt the art of meditation, learn it and practice it. Develop your creative self. Become the master of your mind, so it will find its place within you and not as the master of you.