In India one day after I’d just bought a bag full of luscious mangoes and bananas, a huge monkey rushed me, ripped through the plastic bag with his big claws and stole my fruit. It happened so fast that I stood and stared. I wasn’t a match for the aggressive monkey. A few men ran after the monkey, but it sat a few feet away undaunted and ate the mangoes. I couldn’t help but laugh at the surprise attack. I picked up what was left and carried on. In Asia monkeys are a common sight. They waver and wander around and in the worst of cases they reek terrible damage. If windows are left open, they may climb in and destroy anything that amuses them. This is also the way of the wayward mind. When it’s untamed and untrained it goes about doing what it pleases. When we let it be in charge rather than taking charge of it, the consequences can be frightening. The Hindus and Buddhists refer to taming and training the mind. This is the aim of meditation practices. They help us to learn how to focus and concentrate. I like to begin with focusing on a candle flame or a flower or a beautiful object. During the day, make an effort to pay attention to the mind. When it wanders away like a monkey, bring it back gently to focus on the task at hand.
Bio: Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2011). She is devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. Debra leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the world and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. Find out more at: http://awakeintheworld.com and http://www.debramoffitt.com. Read more at Debra’s Beliefnet.com blog Awake in the World at: http://blog.beliefnet.com/awakeintheworld/