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.
Can you hear yourself?
Or are there too many people, ideas, opinions and agendas roaming around in your head. I bet some are pretty loud. Even the ones that are not loud can be so persistent that it hurts.
So turn them all off.
Yup, every one of them. Your family, your work associates, your boss, your partner, your parents and your kids. Don’t forget to turn off the TV, the computer, the radio, the iPod, iPad, iPhone and iDistractions.
Are you with me? I thought so!
OK, so how do you do it?
Here is how: Stop. Sit. Breathe.
Do not be fooled by the simplicity. And do not be worried if all the noises don’t turn off right away.
But if you keep doing this, a little bit every day, one day without any effort or pressure or difficulty, you will find a moment of stillness. No noise, no one else.
And in that moment you will be able to truly, deeply hear yourself.
Sometimes the best way to proceed is to stick to the basics. Nothin’ Fancy Here.
So in a clear effort to keep it simple, let me give you this for thought:
Meditate Every Day + Follow Your Intuition
The Meditate Every Day part of this equation can be as short and easy as a 5 Minute Meditation.
The Follow Your Intuition is as simple as a pause. When you hear that small voice, take a breath and pause for a moment. Listen to it, trust it and give yourself permission to follow it
That’s it. Enjoy!
Best to you,
It ain’t easy doin’ nothin’!
Finding time to stop and sit and “do nothing” can be daunting and at times frustrating, I know. So here are 3 quick and easy things you can do to find meditation time and stick with it.
1. When your meditation doesn’t happen in it’s scheduled time, put it on your “to do” list for the day – it can be quite satisfying to mark that one off afterwards.
2. Break up the time into smaller increments. If you do a 5 Minute Meditation, go ahead and stick with that. If your regular meditation is longer, try a couple of 5-10 minute meditations during different times of the day. Morning, lunch, night time…all good times to stop and take a breather.
3. Set a timer. Sometimes when I remember something I need to do later, I set an alarm on my cell phone so I am sure to do it when I hear the beeping. Right in the middle of things if you hear that alarm going off, it is a good way to take a 5 Minute Meditation break.
Busy? Tired? Harried? Here is a simple way to add a little bit of peace and calm into your life.
The 5 Minute Meditation. If you already meditate every day, it is a good mid-day refresher or a bookmark for those super hectic days. If you are new to meditation, this is a great way to start.Try it now and see how good it feels (and it is super easy!)