Meditation Story: The Monkey Mind. Pratilom Yoga

Meditation Stories: The Monkey Mind

A spiritual practitioner once on a casual visit was asked by his Guru how are his spiritual practices going on.

“Not very well sir! I’m unable to cope up with the routine work and practices both.” – He replied

So the guru offered him a spirit (a ghost), something like the Genie of Aladdin, the guru said:

“He’ll serve you any way you want but there is one condition, don’t allow him to be free even for a moment or else he will destroy you!”

” Okay! “ – the practitioner replied

The practitioner went home and ordered the spirit to do all of his work from cooking to laundry to cleaning and got engaged in his routine practice. In a few minutes, the spirit returned and said:

“I’m done! Now give me some more work or perish!!!”

The practitioner realized that he was in some serious trouble right now and had no option but to run to his guru’s place. The guru understood the problem and said:

“Can you see that ladder over there? Take it with you and order the spirit to climb up and down continuously till further instructions are given”

In this way, the guru saved his disciple. Our mind is pretty much the same (like that impatient spirit) it needs something to do. So some traditions refer to it as the monkey mind. It is always jumping around and making noises of various kinds; it can not sit quietly. So how to still this spirit called the mind, it is not that simple, you can’t hand it out some tasks to do and if you do it would not work for a longer duration as the mind will soon start distracting. So what to do? You will have to tell the monkey mind to focus on the breath. Just like the story instead of a ladder, we use breath

The Mind says:

“Okay, great idea! Let me try”

“Breaatthhee inn!”

“Breaatthhee ouut!”

“Breaatthhee inn!”

“Breaatthhee ouut!”

And so on …

Actually, the mind must be very obedient and trained for the above to happen but with a little struggle and guidance, it is possible to purify and train it. And the same thing is applicable to mantra repetition or praying beads or any other kind of meditation, contemplation or introspection without any exceptions. If you can’t meditate write a journal, this will slowly help you to interiorise the mind for meditation.

Our mind is a powerhouse of thoughts which is generally good. However, sometimes it keeps on generating, recycling and repeating the same thoughts again and again and again and we can not stop it because thinking is an important function and thinking is pretty helpful most of the time but at times our mind does some most annoying things like repeating a horrible song you absolutely hate or replay some intimidating experiences over and over and wouldn’t really stop, which induces stress and anxiety.

The good thing is unless we lose the focus from our breath or stop repeating our mantra (like the repetition of Aum… Aum… Aum… synchronized with breath) nothing could bother us. Give me your thoughts in the comments below and if you find the story helpful do share it with your loved ones’. Sharing is caring 😉

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