Monkey mind is a Buddhist term that means ‘unsettled, restless and agitated’. If you have ever attended a meditation class, you have probably heard the term before. The aim of meditation is to tame the monkey so that the mind becomes quiet and peaceful. I have started my meditation practice again this month, as per my 2019 resolutions calendar. I have found once again that meditation is incredible, but can also be incredibly hard. Particularly on days when the monkey is very active, I like to calm it down a bit before attempting to meditate. These are some of the ways I suggest to quiet my monkey mind.
- Stargaze on a clear night and get a breath of fresh air while I’m at it.
- Listen to the album ‘Songs From a World Apart’ by Levon
- Dance in the rain and take a hot shower afterwards.
- Tidy the room and light a scented candle.
- Get a notebook out and write down all the to do’s in my head. Once they are on a piece of paper, I no longer have to worry about remembering them.
- Tackle some urgent tasks from the to-do list. Sometimes it is better to scratch the itch than to sit there and be annoyed about it.
- Turn off all electronics (except the fridge) and pretend it’s 1997 again.
- Make a cup of tea and proceed to do nothing but drinking the tea until the cup is empty.
- Spend a few minutes on a Gua Sha facial.
- Massage my own feet. Better yet, have someone else massage my feet.
- Pull out some old diaries. Reading about the things I worried about years ago that don’t matter anymore now, puts things into perspective beautifully.
- Pull out an old self-help book and open it on the page I earmarked. Earlier me had an inkling current me might need to reread the passage on that page one day.
- Fold all my clothes neatly. After all, Marie Kondo claims it is life-changing.
- Roll out my matt and drop into a yoga practice. When stuck, find comfort in the guidance of Adriene’s YouTube yoga classes.
- See how deep I can breathe into your belly.
- When energy is up, go for a run. When energy is down, go for a walk.
- On particularly frantic days, list 100 things I am grateful for. Don’t stop until I reach 100.
What are your favourite ways to quiet the mind?