Monkey-mind321So many of my clients come to me stuck with this conundrum: All the sages, gurus, and elders tell them they should meditate to clear and quiet their mind. This will allow them to center, receive wisdom, and come into harmony with themselves and the world around them. They can’t quiet their mind no matter what they do or how hard they try and in trying they not only give their mind free rein to work faster and harder, but they lose whatever piece of mind or harmony or anything else they had to begin with.  They tell that meditation doesn’t work for them, but they need something for this or that issue, this or that goal and they just can’t figure out what they are doing wrong or what is broken in them.

To this I tell them that nothing is wrong and nothing is broken.  They simply are trying to do something which takes devotees decades to learn how to do. It’s the hardest means by which to meditate and goes against the very nature of how we as humans…well…human. The Monkey mind is a problem solver that needs something to do. If it isn’t given something it will find something on its own like a worry it can blow up into a fear or a chance comment it can make into a relationship problem. So the key is not to try to stop it from being busy, it’s to give it busy work to do.

This is in part the basis of moving meditation.  Rather than sitting still which causes the mind to race free, moving the body causes the mind to focus on us not getting injured. It works to keep us balanced and up right, to keep us from bumping into things, to keep us from getting cut on sharp edges or run over by the occasional car or skateboarder. Long walks, hiking, yoga, bicycling, kayaking, Tai Chi, and so on all call on the mind to get busy, to keep us safe, to do what is necessary to get us from here to there. Once the monkey mind is engaged in these things it becomes quiet. The rest of the body/soul/emotions/right brain then have space to exist, to harmonize, to speak their wisdom, provide us inspiration, and bring us into wellness for the moment or the day.

So to find stillness, move. To quiet the mind, engage it. 🙂