Thoughts from the Monkey Mind


I would love to give credit to whoever created this artwork but I’m unable to locate the artist. It’s perfect though in providing a graphic description of what goes on in most of our heads. Every day, we generate anywhere from 12,000 – 50,000 thoughts a day. That’s an incredible amount. Can you imagine if we acted on every single thought that chugged through? My mind is imploding just thinking of the chaos.

In the past, I have put myself through the emotional wringer…


“Oh hey, that looks like fun, never done that before, let’s give it a whirl!”

One thought led to another and the things I wanted were manifested. But, they weren’t well thought out thoughts; I absolutely did not weigh in with consequences and I ended up feeling like this:


This article was my a-ha moment for today. I say “for today” because I understand about choices and the like. It’s just that some days, spiritual oneness and peace seem further out of reach. It’s a lengthy read but I took this little nugget:

“We make a thousand choices a day, each one a bargain in which the brain weighs expected benefits against expected costs. Therefore, it’s important to make good bargains, good choices, in which the real benefits are greater than the real costs.”

…and snapped to attention immediately.

So, what I had thought would feel wonderful and good, i.e., what I pulled out from the bargain rack ended up costing me more than I thought and ultimately, I was left feeling awful after putting myself though the emotional wringer. Undoubtedly, it affected other people too.

I’ve felt a little wobbly thought-wise the last couple of days. I knew it vaguely as I went about my days: driving, eating dinner, interacting with my family, writing, whatever…I knew it. I tried to control my thoughts with affirmations and repeated phrases but they built like a crescendo. Not to the point where I grabbed something off the bargain rack in an unrestrained fit of desire, nor was I reduced to anything emotional.

But if they persisted, I could be tempted to veer off my soulful path.

That happens a lot. Let’s face it, I’ve only been meditating regularly for four months so I’m still seeking my truth. I have had to guide myself back from whatever thorny mess that I’ve wandered into a number of times.

Those thoughts were most apparent during meditation; the incessant chattering of those stupid monkeys! It was work, let me tell you, to ask to be brought back to my mantra time and again. Persistence paid off though and I am able to smile at the process. Today I felt that sought-after glimpse of clarity and deep, deep gratitude. That one brief, shiny moment was worth fending off some of that off-the-wall shit those monkeys threw.

I never used to be the kind of person to think things through and I’m still really not. I’m impetuous and I dash headlong into things. But when it comes to the important stuff that matters to me and to those closest to me, I truly do know that the more I learn, the more I read and the more I meditate, the better I feel about the thoughts that come and go.

And the better I will become at plucking and running with the ones that have wonderful outcomes.



3 thoughts on “Thoughts from the Monkey Mind

  1. Great post! I love that artwork too. Thank you for sharing. In meditation there are good days and bad days but I think that the ones we struggle through are the ones that we get the most out of it. Peace and blessings to you!

  2. I see this whole idea of “monkey mind” very differently. It’s worthwhile to be aware of what’s set up by a term like that which says our thinking is worthless. Thoughts come back when they’re pushed away because on some level they need attention. Sometimes it’s about the content, sometimes it’s just a feeling underneath, or the tone. This is a different way of taking care of yourself. You write well and clearly; you wouldn’t write if you didn’t think your thoughts were worth sharing.

    There are ways of getting quiet that don’t have to do with constantly shooing monkeys out of the house.

    • Thank you. You are right, of course, and I’m learning how to accept certain thoughts that I had tried to hide from previously. I was trying to tackle the subject of quieting the mind during meditation which I had trouble with last week.

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