What to do when Monkey Mind and distractions arise during meditation.
Monkey Mind is that endless chatter that sends you round and round with thoughts that go nowhere.You know what I am talking about:
~I have seriously got to make that dentist appointment…
~Remember to pick up apples, milk and yogurt at Trader Joe’s on the way home…
~Hmmm, maybe if I moved the couch to the other side of the room and put the two chairs…
It can go on and on and on. There is no use trying to stop Monkey Mind, it will only escalate.
Instead see if one of these ideas helps you.
3 Tips You Can Try With Monkey Mind
1. Focus on your breath. When you feel the distractions interrupting your quietness, gently return your awareness back to your breath. No need to change how you are breathing, just take a moment to notice it.
Breathe in…breathe out. Repeat.
2. Imagine your mind to be like a river and each thought that comes up can become a fallen leaf that flows down the river. When a new distracting thought comes into your mind, allow it to become another leaf gently moving down the river, away from your place of stillness. As you practice this, don’t try to force the thoughts to leave, just guide them towards the ever flowing river.
3. Do nothing. Yup, that’s right. Do nothing. Eventually, the thoughts may just spin out and quiet down. Allowing them ramble on a while is a great way to practice letting go of having control of everything that comes up in life. Just sit there and do nothing.
Don’t fight it.
The key thing is to not try to fight it. Distractions are part of life and Monkey Mind is part of any meditation practice. Remember to be compassionate with yourself and your practice.
Daily meditation means that sometimes stillness comes to you right away and other times not at all. Just be present for it and keep at it.