Monkey Mind, Monkey Do

Picture:  Google Images

monkey mind
keeps me awake
mulling, thinking
worrying, wondering
 
tossing, turning
trying to get
comfortable..(as if
that would help)
 
peek out from under
sleep mask…is the
sun rising yet…
sigh..resigned…again
 
no use in trying
get up to read
the overhead fan
creaks then quiets
 
finished my book
wow, it was good
now what do I do
 
accept that this
happens when I’m
feeling unsettled
it too shall pass
 
deep breath in
slow breath out
interject mantras
to shush my mind
 
aw, so what
it’s just another
sleepless night

Claudia Schoenfeld invites us to try writing in “brush strokes” of Impressionism at dVerse Poets Meeting the Bar:  http://dversepoets.com/2012/08/09/meeting-the-bar-impressionistic-writing/

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58 Comments

  1. i feel you…this happens to me…i have never heard it callend monkey mind…i like that turn of phrase…i hate it too when it happens and i have nothing to read and just lay there looking at the ceiling or into the pitch…

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    • Monkey mind is a Buddhist term referring to the restless, chattering inside our heads that distracts us and stirs up our emotions. A very apt term! I have something on my mind and it’s “monkeying” around with me at night. Last night though, I actually got a good night’s sleep…I’m not sure how that happened! :)

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  2. Hate when that happens, I had one of these last night. Urghh Never hard that expression either.
    Nice write Gayle.

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    • I hate it too and it’s been going on for a while now. I’m sure when the issue is resolved (that’s keeping me stirred up) I’ll be able to sleep again. I explained “Monkey Mind” in my response to Brian.. Thanks, Bren.

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  3. I am all to familiar with the monkey mind! Love this!

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  4. peek out from under
    sleep mask…

    adorable :) my 10 year old daughter wears one of these. Hope you get some zzz’s soon!

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    • Finally did get some sleep last night. I chanted for a half hour before bedtime…I think it really helped. Thanks, Margaret.

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  5. rarely have trouble with this…sorry about the monkey mind of your life though.

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  6. definitely felt..victoria had a sleepless night as well and both of you started writing which i just find the perfect thing to do..

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    • Yes, Victoria and I both wrote about having insomnia.. Maybe the writing about it helped me sleep last night…that and the chanting I did before bedtime. Ah, that feels better.

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  7. I will try again as commenting from my phone.
    An exellent poem Gayle and I’ve had many such nights the Mind is often played Monkey Tricks in that sleepless zone. Where molehills become mountains. And Time is endless. Love to you Sue

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    • Hi, Sue…thank you very much. So true…the mind takes over and exaggerates every little thing! Having too much of this lately and the reason is obvious to me and hopefully it will be resolved soon. Did sleep much better last night and fell asleep faster too. I think it may have been the chanting that I did. I’m trying it again tonight! Love and hugs…

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  8. i’ve never heard it called the monkey mind, but this was a wonderfully vivid description of a sleepless night!

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    • A Buddhist term…and it fits perfectly! Every little problem seems to become magnified when trying to get to sleep and quiet down. Thank you, Dani!

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  9. Ah, restless insomnia…. yes, I know the one… :)

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  10. I can so relate to this. Restless mind. Constantly bothered, worried, wondering, insecure, telling the worst what-if stories. It’s a struggle sometimes. Great job painting the restless monkey. I like the pic you got accompanying this post too. :)

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    • It sounds like you can relate…sorry about that! :( I like that pic too…perfect for my topic. I appreciate your visit…thank you.

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  11. Apt name for one of those nights

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    • I did not come up with that name…it’s a Buddhist term for uncontrollable thoughts. But how appropriate for what has been happening to me at night lately. Thanks, John.

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  12. It’s daydreaming in reverse! I cannot imagine that it could happen to me at odd times. Those were the most unproductive moments! Sleepless nights. Nice write Bodhirose!

    Hank

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    • Yes..exactly! And add to the already restless “daydreaming”, the worry of being tired and sleepy the next day…not a good thing… Thank you, Hank…I appreciate the compliment.

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  13. hedgewitch

     /  August 10, 2012

    Acceptance makes adjustment, and I feel for the sleepless nights. A clear impression here of that ‘monkey mind’ that won’t stop jumping pointlessly around…(why I am hopeless at meditating!) Enjoyed it, Bodhirose.

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    • Yes, acceptance…thus my “so what” at the end! I feel for you…meditation is a challenge for me too but I did manage some focused chanting last night and I actually slept. I’ll be trying that again tonight… Thanks for your visit, Hedgewitch.

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  14. Captured it perfectly. I’ve been having those lately too. What a great way of expressing that inability to quiet the mind and float off.

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  15. You’ve captured the essence of the monkey mind. Now if only we could capture the monkey mind and calm that critter down… I smiled all the way through this one even though it’s not funny when you’re trying to relax and your mind has a zillion places to go. :)

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    • If only is right… No, it isn’t very funny when it’s 4:30AM and still no sleep! Yet another opportunity to practice letting go…of what I think should be happening. Thanks, Lorna. :)

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      • That is a constant challenge for me–letting go of what I think should be happening and letting things just be okay as they are. I’ll definitely be coming back after this life is finished. I have so much more to learn!

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  16. Ha! I think insomnia is a symptom of creative minds, don’t you? At least that’s my excuse. David tells me not to think. Fat chance. Also, I think it’s a girl thing.

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    • I think it must be, Victoria…I like that excuse. Yeah, fat chance…although I did seem to channel some of that out-of-control thinking when I decided to chant for a while. I slept last night. I hope it wasn’t a fluke…I’m trying it again tonight!

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  17. I am very familiar with my monkey mind.
    It always tries to prevent my meditation.
    Ego given to us for a reason ?
    To keep us from connecting to universal mind ?
    Sleeplessness is our higher self trying to communicate this.

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    • People may not have heard the term “monkey mind” but I think most people can recognize it in themselves. That monkey mind makes me think that my meditation efforts have failed because of my many distractions by it…but just sitting for meditation is a success (at least this is what I tell myself). You raise some interesting questions that I hadn’t thought of before….now I want a conversation with you… Very intriguing. Thanks!

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      • A help to meditation is to have a subject to meditate on… I know it sounds daft but I used to sit for ages hoping stuff would come to me. Sometimes it did, but when I concentrate on a subject I sometimes think I’m not getting any where yet the realisations come afterwards by synchronicity.

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        • I’ve had the same experience…where seemingly nothing has happened that I can perceive during meditation but awareness-es will unfold later. Also, I use chanting as a meditation which helps to focus my mind…it really raises my vibration almost immediately. Thanks for sharing with me…I really appreciate that.

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  18. I take it that Monkey-mind is that anxiety in your life. I know those sleepless nights too, thinking way too much, like swinging on monkey bars.

    foam

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    • Yes, it’s exactly what you describe…too much thinking..the thoughts jumping and swinging…when you’d rather be sleeping!

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  19. “monkey mind”–terrific phrase. I relate best to your fifth stanza. Finished my book…now what do I do? Tortursome monkey; wonderful poem. Thank you.

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    • Yeah, when reading doesn’t even allow you to sleep…then what? I’m glad you enjoyed it…thanks so much…and, you’re welcome.

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  20. Monkey mind is a good term for it. Definitely have experienced this.

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  21. Our minds can be our best friend and worse enemy … especially when we are trying to get to sleep! I love the way you used the monkey-mind concept here, Gayle!

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    • So very true…our minds can work with us or against us. What we don’t always realize is that WE are in charge…we can train our minds to always “be on our side.” Thanks so much, Diane!

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  22. Mahan lakshmi

     /  August 18, 2012

    Hi mawmaw…relax…you are loved

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    • Mahan…what a nice surprise. I’m much more relaxed now…and it feels so nice to be loved…much gratitude..and love you too.

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  23. I connect with you on this one, Gayle. We finally had a respite on Friday night from the heat and when all is said and done I had not slept in so many nights sleep was not forthcoming as I thought it would be. “Another sleepless night” indeed. Well written.

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    • And you still couldn’t sleep…oh, I know you must have felt even more frustrated, Renee. And that feeling never helps sleeping either. So very sorry to hear you’re having this problem. Thank you.

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  24. Heh, wouldn’t it be great if we could consistently find the “off switch”? I know some people can. I suppose they have found the path to enlightenment. For some reason, a lot of times when I try to meditate, that “monkey mind” gets louder. It’s like ignoring it (or trying to ignore it) wakes it up, or something. I think Victoria was right about the “creative mind” and I also think Tigerbrite was on to something re: Ego. I hope you’ve managed to tame your “monkey mind” more often than not! :)

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    • Yes, that elusive “off” button…where is that thing?! I used to stress more about that monkey mind during meditation but realize (for me) that it’s the practice of just noticing it and bringing my attention back to the breath that’s the important thing. But I really had something weighing on my mind that was really messing with me (ego definitely took over)…and it was keeping me awake…there has now been resolution and my sleeping is much better now. Yes, Tigerbrite and Victoria both were on to something. Love your comments, Corina…thanks so much. Hugs…

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  25. We have a blackout blind yet still insomnia calls ~ wonderful phrase ‘monkey mind’, new to me ~ love the rhythm and the resigned tone in your poem

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    • Since I wear one of those masks to sleep, it has helped me sleep better…I do like it dark…light will wake me up… But it’s hard to ‘wrangle’ an overactive mind that keeps you awake chattering! I’m glad you liked this, Polly…my adventure with insomnia. :)

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      • I love that you’re having an adventure with insomnia! My ‘adventure’ has lasted 12 years! In the end it becomes a way of life ~ with the accompanying black circles under the eyes ~ heh-heh :D

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        • Twelve years…I can’t imagine…not a fun adventure that’s for sure. I’ve not had really long term sleeplessness…usually only if something is wearing on my mind…I’m sorry, Polly.

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  26. Monkey-mind…sounds cute, but insomnia sure isn’t! I know the worrying, wondering bit all too well. Good write, I enjoyed this.

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  1. The Monkey is Reaching ~ Hakuin « Love is the Bottom-Line

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