Monkey mind

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Monkey mind

Postby rachmiel » Thu Dec 26, 2013 4:22 pm

In the realm of emotions we often find elaborate psychological defenses (anxiety, rationalization, withdrawal, acting out) against feeling emotions (anger, sadness, remorse, disgust, even love, joy).

Does a similar thing happen in the realm of mindfulness? Is monkey mind a defense against being mindful, being with "what is?"
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Re: Monkey mind

Postby justsit » Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:05 pm

My understanding is that monkey mind is the default condition, due to basic ignorance of "what is."

The antidote is mindfulness, which increases with training. As monkey mind is tamed, "what is" becomes more and more clear.
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Re: Monkey mind

Postby rachmiel » Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:16 pm

justsit wrote:My understanding is that monkey mind is the default condition, due to basic ignorance of "what is."

The antidote is mindfulness, which increases with training. As monkey mind is tamed, "what is" becomes more and more clear.

I think this is part of the story. But I see another part of monkey mind, mine in any case, a psychological resistance to "what is." That's the one I'm getting at here. Why the resistance, what is it about simply being with "what is" that is threatening?

By being with "what is" I mean conscious seeing of and "participating in" the present moment.
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Re: Monkey mind

Postby justsit » Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:34 pm

The teachings I have heard identify habitual patterns over many lifetimes as the cause of the "monkey-ness" of mind.
IMO it's more like a toddler whose attention constantly moves from one toy to another. The motivation is not some kind of resistance, but rather the attraction of a bright color or something more "interesting." What is being avoided is lack of stimulation, which is again an habitual response.

What may feel threatening could be as simple as boredom, or as complex as fear of lack of inherent "self."
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Re: Monkey mind

Postby rachmiel » Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:02 pm

justsit wrote:What may feel threatening could be as simple as boredom, or as complex as fear of lack of inherent "self."

Yes. Both of these seem likely causes of the threatening feeling that arises from (the prospect of) simply being with "what is."

The unadorned present moment can easily feel boring for those of us who live from (melo)dramatic stimulus to stimulus. If you're a stimulus junkie, giving up that (melo)drama, even for a few minutes, can feel oppressively boring, like dead air.

Even deeper I think is the fear of lack of self. Self is not invited to the party of simply being with "what is." Or, to be more accurate, reified self driving the organism is not invited. Self, along with everything else, IS invited in the sense that when feelings of self arise, they are part of "what is."

Anything else besides boredom and fear of lack of self cause the feeling of being threatened by oneness with "what is?"
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Re: Monkey mind

Postby justsit » Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:08 pm

:shrug: That's the best I can come up with. I do not experience "what is" as threatening.
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Re: Monkey mind

Postby rachmiel » Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:28 pm

justsit wrote::shrug: That's the best I can come up with. I do not experience "what is" as threatening.

I do. Or at least I deduce that I feel threatened because I experience so much resistance to simply being with "what is."

Thanks, justsit. :-)

Anyone else lend their take to this dixcussion?
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Re: Monkey mind

Postby justsit » Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:39 pm

May I ask, how would you describe "what is?"
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Re: Monkey mind

Postby rachmiel » Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:48 pm

justsit wrote:May I ask, how would you describe "what is?"

The totality of what mindfulness -- or, in KrishnamurtiSpeak choiceless awareness -- sees.
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Re: Monkey mind

Postby justsit » Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:05 pm

I'm not familiar with Krishnamurti's writings. Does that definition include dependently arisen phenomena?
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Re: Monkey mind

Postby rachmiel » Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:10 pm

justsit wrote:I'm not familiar with Krishnamurti's writings. Does that definition include dependently arisen phenomena?

I think so. But just to be sure I know what you mean, please clarify, give an example, etc.
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Re: Monkey mind

Postby Lindama » Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:27 pm

Boredom and stimulus are another version of lack of self / false sense of self ... there are lots of ways to describe it.

How can one resist what is? "what is" is boredom, etc. Practice can see what is. We can call it resistance, that's what it looks like, but I wonder how much is simply a fixation of mind... sometimes called attachment. It's all a thought.

We are not in charge of fixed mind nor open, spacious mind although practice can shine some light of awareness.
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Re: Monkey mind

Postby justsit » Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:30 pm

Some examples are buildings, people, emotions - anything that does not have inherent existence.

I think this is as far as I can go with this discussion. My vocabulary for delving more deeply into this topic is sadly lacking.
Hopefully some of our more erudite members will help.

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Re: Monkey mind

Postby rachmiel » Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:39 pm

Lindama wrote:How can one resist what is?

Well in the sense of "what is" being everything that exists, one always IS (with) "what is."

But one can certainly resist conscious awareness of "what is."
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Re: Monkey mind

Postby rachmiel » Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:41 pm

justsit wrote:Some examples are buildings, people, emotions - anything that does not have inherent existence.

Yes, "what is" includes objects in the world of form.
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Re: Monkey mind

Postby Lindama » Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:50 pm

everything that exists is in one's mind... there is nothing outside of us.

I do appreciate that it's a good thing to expand our consiousness for the sake of freedom and awakening, but what is = what is... it knows "everything that exists" according to it's view .... that is a thought, a self-conscious thought.

the mind changes, the world changes? thus, no permanent existance.

huh, maybe monkey mind has a few things to teach too! ... like flexibility and swinging from tree to tree.
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Re: Monkey mind

Postby rachmiel » Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:56 pm

Lindama wrote:I do appreciate that it's a good thing to expand our consiousness for the sake of freedom and awakening,

Isn't that what mindfulness is: conscious awareness of what is (there, happening, arising, fading, etc.)?
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Re: Monkey mind

Postby Lindama » Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:07 pm

rachmiel wrote:
Lindama wrote:I do appreciate that it's a good thing to expand our consiousness for the sake of freedom and awakening,

Isn't that what mindfulness is: conscious awareness of what is (there, happening, arising, fading, etc.)?


don't know... I've always had a confusion about what mindfulness actually is. certainly heard the term many times... it seems a bit like trying to control the monkey... or chewing a raisin 100 times which has been recommended! good luck!
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Re: Monkey mind

Postby rachmiel » Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:27 pm

Taming the monkey ... but hopefully not spanking it. ;-)
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Re: Monkey mind

Postby dude » Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:47 pm

rachmiel wrote:
Lindama wrote:I do appreciate that it's a good thing to expand our consiousness for the sake of freedom and awakening,

Isn't that what mindfulness is: conscious awareness of what is (there, happening, arising, fading, etc.)?


Well yeah. That's all there is to it. Paying attention to what's happening right now.
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