I just finished the most monkeyest-mindiest meditation ever. “Monkey mind” is a term used to describe a restless mind that is jumping from one thought to another, just like a hyper-active monkey swinging from tree to tree.
Today 100 or more monkeys swung by and tried to hang out in my meditation. They were trying to help, telling me things like 1) what I need to do today, 2) what I need to do this month, 3) things that happened in the past, and even 4) the horrible, gruesome news story my co-worker told me today and that I wished she had not. All of this and more.
Sometimes meditations are like this. At other times, there are no monkeys and sitting for 30 minutes feels like 3.
Weirdly, after all of the monkeys, I felt calm afterwards and still have this good, tingly-brain feeling. I can’t get over the number though. I’ve never seen that many before – definitely a Monkey Extravaganza!
EXERCISE – COUNTING BREATH:
If you are doing a meditation and having a Monkey Extravaganza try adding a counting breath. There are lots of counting related meditations, but this one is easy, forgiving, and soothing.
Sit down in your desired meditation position. Close your eyes and start taking some deep breaths. Add a steady count with your inhale and exhale. In other words, as you breathe in count, “One, two, three, four…” Exhale and count, “One, two, three, four…” Try to keep the inhale and exhale even so they both last the same amount of time and extend with the count. You don’t have to count to 4. You can pick any number that works for you – 5, 8, any number you can match with your breath.
Keep the count going during your entire meditation. When you are finished, gently blink open your eyes and keep the relaxed feeling with you as you go about your day.