Tuesday, May 26 2020
THE MONKEY MIND - 9 JANUARY 2006
My humble pranams at the Divine Lotus Feet of Swami.
Sai Ram uncles, aunties, gurus, brothers and sisters. I am Bro Arjun from Group 4. My topic for today is ‘The Money Mind”.
In the Buddhist context, "monkey mind" refers to the mind of a person who is not in the present moment. The mind of such a person is said to be likened to a monkey that goes from tree to tree tasting a piece of fruit from each and then dropping it and moving on to the next tree. As with many of us, our thought process runs in much the same way. We jump from thought to thought and desire to desire without really ever being in the present and fully experiencing everything we are doing at a given time.
Life only begins when we control the mind. How do we control the mind? Basically, we can control the mind through Sadhana. Sadhana controls the mind by silencing it and forcing us to stay in the present. There are several types of Sadhana which we can make use of, such as, light meditation, singing bhajans or even chanting the Lord’s name repeatedly. These activities force us to focus and concentrate and the monkey mind is controlled.
The mind forces us to jump from thought to thought, thoughts of the past which we cannot change, and thoughts of the future, on what we desire to achieve. The mind actually forces temptations by making us think of our desires and this causes certain actions which we might regret. Therefore through Sadhana, we concentrate on the Lord and the mind is prevented from thinking about the past or the future. It is forced to concentrate on the present and we thoroughly experience the activity we are doing in the present. As Swami says, we must have CIA “Constant Integrated Awareness”.
Every thought we have is connected to us and is indirectly our desire. If we cannot control the mind, we think repeatedly about our desires and this creates a perfect breeding ground for anger, jealousy and envy. Swami has said that we have, “ Spun a web around our true essence”, by constantly only thinking about thoughts tied to our desires.
To control the mind, we have to control our desires, and this brings us to look at another method to tame our mind, Swami’s “Ceiling on Desires” which is the 9th Code of Conduct. To control our minds by trimming down our desires, Baba has suggested that we use a program called “ Ceiling on Desires”. Baba has constantly repeated, “Desires are like luggage, less luggage means more comfort on your journey”. The program will help us to differentiate our needs from our wants and it will help us understand that we must cut out our wants. The program will help every individual and his family to live happier, more fulfilling lives by detaching themselves from mind-inspired desires and it will help people appreciate what they have and the effort it took to get certain items.
Another method of taming the monkey mind is from selfless service, that is Seva. Seva should be done from the heart and not out of self-interest. Seva helps us to tame the monkey mind, in that, when we are busily engaged in serving others, we completely reverse the actions of the monkey mind. We start concentrating on the distress of others and how we can help them rather than continuously thinking of ourselves and our desires. We become the master of the mind in that we dictate what it thinks rather than it dictating us.
Baba has said, “Do not condemn the mind as a monkey. It is a fine instrument with which you can win either liberation or bondage”. Therefore, we should not condemn the mind but we should take control of it. Only by taming our mind will it become our servant, and we will attain inner peace.
Jai Sai Ram
SSEHV Group 4