Diary Entry 16/04/17: Monkey mind

One of the things that becomes apparent when you explore the nature of your mind is that it will witter on about f**k all. Our brains are incredibly wonderful tools with which to tackle life with but, ultimately, they are problem solvers and categorisation-obsessed-machines.

Personally, my mind is so sporadic that I can be having a fairly normal conversation with someone but be thinking about totally bizarre, unrelated things at the same time. It can be quite unsettling because you realise you’re not totally focused due to the very distracting things going on inside your head.

As I’ve said, your mind loves to solve problems. So much so, however, it also likes to create those problems just to solve them. It’s partly the same reason why we love Crosswords and Sudoku–we like getting stuck into solving challenges. This can be very frustrating though as you end up expending energy on pointless “problems” the mind has invented.

The important thing I’ve learned through all this though is not to try and force the mind to stop. This can be a natural thing to do when your brain just won’t shut up. But as Alan Watts says: “It’s like trying to smooth rough water with a flat iron.” In other words, you’re only going to disturb it more.

Listen to this Buddhist monk talk about how meditation can help us with this, or in his words “make friends with the monkey mind.”:

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