The Monkey Mind is a Buddhist term that refers to the mind most people possess. A constantly distracted, chattering, uncontrollable, and rambling mind full of ceaseless thoughts and images.
Most are slaves to this mind. But we can also break out of this Monkey Mind by cultivating mindfulness and awareness.
There is a greater mind out there that we all share in. It has been called the Infinite Buddha Mind. Some might call it God, but that term has certain connotations that may limit an understanding of it. It is a mind not outside ourselves, but it is the foundation of our very selves.
The Infinite Buddha Mind is the source and support of everything, including our own Monkey Minds.
All of our individual life experiences are a part of this vast mind. Like our own minds, we can't touch it or feel it but it is the source of our own individual consciousness. It is pure awareness and as empty as space. As empty space seems to be the support of matter, so the Empty Infinite Buddha Mind is the support of everything and the source of everything. Just as our very own consciousness determines our individual experiences (individual Karma), and our group consciousness creates our collective experiences (group Karma), all of consciousness and life is supported by our Infinite Buddha Mind. There is 'No Thing' or nothing outside of our Infinite Buddha Mind.
But how can we cultivate our Infinite Buddha Mind?
It is as easy or as difficult of quieting our Monkey Minds and opening to the bliss of the Infinite. Obviously, this takes a life long practice. It will likely will go on for many lives.
The Buddhists have the Bodhisattva concept. They are said to be beings in the process of coming to their Buddha realization or full enlightenment. The Boddhisattva is a '"Wisdom-Being." It is the name given to anyone who, motivated by great compassion, has generated bodhicitta, which is a spontaneous wish to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all living beings."( Wikipedia)
Lives come and go. An infinite variety of lives we have all lived. From simple to complex lives. All of our lives have been precious. But our human life is particularly precious, since it offers us the tremendous spiritual realization of our Infinite Buddha Mind.
Although a few of us may have advanced to the level of Bodhisattva. In truth, we are all Buddhas in training.
We can open to the infinite by a couple of simple steps that may take the work of life times to master.
- Meditation- practice quieting the mind and breathing in mindfully.
- Compassion-practice a consciousness of Love for all of Life.
- Mindfulness-practicing pure awareness and focus.
- Understanding-practice an open mind and an open heart, encouraging insight and reason.
- Thankfulness-practice an appreciation for all of Life.
- Letting Go-practice not grasping our flowing life events that are not substantial or ultimately real.
As we put into practice these simple, but life transforming, steps our lives will be dramatically changed by the raising of our consciousness. Also, there will gradually build in us the realization of the Infinite Buddha Mind, our true nature. This leads us to a type of paradox. We will come to a greater ease and trust in life, but we will also be powerfully motivated to help and to serve life.
We will follow the path of the Bodhisattva, whatever religion or lack of religion we profess.