This is a subject that I believe gets overlooked by new practitioners (or not very focused upon by experienced magicians) and yet, is essential to understand for a healthy mind and practice in witchcraft. Often beginners will learn all sorts of tutorials for rituals and meditations but will continue to struggle without knowing exactly why. Most of the time it’s because their Monkey Mind is running the show without their awareness of it, not letting you put your full potential into your practice. So to first explain some ways on how to reign in the Monkey Mind we should first define and learn what it is.
The ‘Monkey Mind’ is a Buddhist term that refers to the part of your brain that is constantly generating thoughts and distractions. It is a mental program that is so easily fed in this day and age. It gravitates towards instant gratification and keeps you being mindless. The part of your mind that tells you to immediately check a text message you just received during meditation. It is the inner voice and narration of your life going on in your head at all times, the perfect tool for your ego. With all the ever changing thoughts and general restlessness it gives you, it can lead to anxiety, overthinking, depression, and stress. The key is to consciously take control, and here’s how.
1.) Meditation! - This is a given and it’s benefits should be understood by nearly everyone on the forum. It is the foundation for any and all magickal practice and essentially the ultimate technique for gaining control over the Monkey Mind. With conscious awareness of thoughts, it is the easiest way to truly understand the way the Monkey Mind works and how detrimental it can be. Starting with even 5 minutes of mindfulness meditation everyday can help you be aware of your train of thoughts in your daily matters. The more you do this the less amount of energy you can choose to not give it.
2.) Movement - This method is underrated and not utilized enough in my opinion. If you find yourself bouncing around in your head, or feeling like you can’t catch up with what’s going on because of distractions or whatever else, change your environment if possible. Go to a different room, take a short walk outside, have a few conscious breaths, and use your senses to try and experience the present moment only. Stretching is another asset in this category. By slowly stretching the muscles in your body (legs especially) before a meditation or in general, taking deep breaths while doing so, helps in relaxing the body, releasing tension, and makes it easier for your mind to rest.
3.) Music - From binaural beats/isometric tones to your favorite song, music can aid in changing your state of mind for the better. You can use it to instill a passion and excitement for life, or to relax and calm the mind to a restful state. It helps to really listen and tune in to the music rather than letting your Monkey Mind take over during. Mental discipline can be trained by focusing on feeling the music rather than just having it playing in the background.
4.) Acceptance - The simple act of analyzing your current situation, and accepting whatever comes your way from it can work wonders in decreasing the patterns of the Monkey Mind. The more you do this the better you are able to adapt to your environment and deal with things accordingly. Unwanted thoughts decrease and more control is to be had, flow with the stream of life and don’t resist. Practice feeling gratitude and abundance for even just being here on this Earth, to live this temporary physical life and stressful or anxious thoughts melt away. Breath, and try and learn what you can from any event in life.
The Monkey Mind has it’s place and uses, but when it becomes more common than not it can quickly lead to a negative headspace, and therefore a negative existence. Too much of anything can be bad for your health, and too much Monkey Mind is no different. I hope everyone that reads this can benefit from these tips in some way and that this helps steer your life in the direction you want it go! Thanks for reading.