How do you control your monkey mind?
According to the Hindu philosophy, even after you have enjoyed all the pleasures of life, the mind will continue to pursue other forms of happiness. The desires are endless. If we have the key to control the mind, then we will have everything. Otherwise, the mind will make us a slave to our unlimited desires, and we keep coming, birth after birth, reincarnation after reincarnation, bound to the chain of limitless desires.
People have tried many spiritual practices to control the mind. Spiritual seekers try various means of meditation, control of diet, silence, or sitting in seclusion to gain control of the brain. But why do we need to control the mind? This is because our mind is supposed to be the cause of bondage or liberation from this world.
We can control the materialistic world in different ways, but we cannot control our minds. The mind travels faster than the speed of light. One minute it is on the top of the mountain, and within seconds it is in the deep stillness of the sea. When the mind begins to wander hither and thither, one must engage it. If the mind does not have anything to do, it will roam around the whole world. “By the time truth begins to wear sandals, untruth would go around the world and come.”
So, as we noted above, if no work is assigned to the mind, it would go round the world. So, before sitting for meditation, one must assign some work to the brain. But what type of work? It is a known fact that the mind is a mad monkey.
To keep a monkey busy while he performs other feats, the street performer would plant a stick in the ground, and ask the monkey to go repeatedly up and down the stick. Similarly, we must assign the job of a watchman to the mind. This assignment should be given to that part of the forehead near where the eyebrows join.
As one continually breathes “Soham,” the breath becomes controlled and makes the mind stay in one place. We should assign the job of chanting the name of God to our monkey mind. When it wanders away, gently bring it back again by chanting the name of God. Slowly, the mind will be tamed, and peace and happiness will prevail in us and our surroundings.
The mind can also be tamed by engaging in good deeds. An individual is obligated to society for the various benefits it has provided in the form of food, health, education, and living. It is our duty to give back to the community in some form, which can uplift the less fortunate ones. When we engage ourselves in ways that can help and support society, we will be able to change our outlook. Our minds will be engaged in the efforts related to that good work, and slowly, we will be able to control our minds.
These are two simple but effective ways to control the monkey mind. If we practice them sincerely, it will give you happiness, which will lead to the ultimate goal of inner satisfaction and peace of mind.