The Monkey Brain. Why You Can’t Truly “Clear,” Your Mind And What To Do Instead.
Meditation is hard, no?
Okay, maybe the process is easy.
It’s not physically hard to sit in a room and close your eyes for thirty minutes. But do you get profound healing from it?
I never used to. I remember hearing about the healing properties of meditation as a young naïve teenager. Many health experts I listened to talked about the benefits of meditation.
All I got from practicing daily meditation was A LOT of stress. I started to think,
“Okay, I feel mildly better after meditating.” I’m not quite as stressed, and I have a little more energy.” “But I don’t feel any different in my day to day life.”
I’m sure many of you have felt the same. You’ve given a lot of time and effort to meditation, but you’ve never gotten much out of it.
The question then becomes, “can meditation change your life?” Or, is it like one of MANY woo-woo new age practices that are a waste of time and money?
I know I gravitated to the latter up until very recently.
For good reason, it wasn’t very effective at all.
Of course it wasn’t effective, I wasn’t doing it right!
Not to be rude, but you’ve probably been doing it improperly as well.
I make such a bold statement because of what I’ve discovered very recently.
And man, was it truly an eye-opening epiphany.
I realized that there was one problem I had. It’s the same problem you and many others have when you meditate.
You try too hard!
Yes, that’s right, you actually put too much effort into “doing it right.”
The short answer is that you have to quit going into meditation in order to perfectly “clear the mind,” and achieve a zen state.
The reality is that no such perfect state exists. You absolutely don’t get there by shouting at your brain like an overzealous parent.
No, even zen masters don’t have brains that will quiet themselves on demand like that. Instead, they observe their brain and it’s conscious thoughts.
That’s what you do. You merely observe your thought patterns. You take notes on how they appear, change and disappear.
Sounds easier huh? It helps take some pressure off to know, that you don’t have to be a Buddhist monk to meditate well.
You already have the ability within you. It doesn’t take a “perfect,” mind to do it.
In fact, the more humility you have, the better.
You have to realize your conscious brain is like a monkey. It wildly darts from one random thought, desire, concern, realization, memory or curiosity all day long. It does that every single day.
So good luck simply telling it to stop doing that. The harder you try and stop it from that, the more out of control it’ll seem.
Trust me, I’ve been there.
You have to appreciate your monkey brain. It’s only trying to process everything you have experienced, are experiencing, and may experience in the future.
That’s a lot to process. Of course, it feels overwhelming sometimes.
That’s okay! Your monkey brain is not your enemy.
It’s just there to interpret existence. You have to be cool with that.
Make no mistake, meditation will change you life, if you let it…
Story time about how I learned effective meditation.
The lone participant.
When I was a junior in College, I took a mediation course.
I’ll be honest. I needed to complete a few more credits to graduate on time. I wasn’t exactly looking to become a zen master.
In fact, I figured the class would be a bit of a joke or “blow-off,” class. I’m sure you all know the type I’m talking about.
Students eagerly spreading the news that so-and-so’s class is awesome if you want an easy A for nothing.
I didn’t really think about learning anything useful.
The man who taught the course was like everybody’s sweetest, kindest uncle or grandpa.
The type of guy who might be a constant source of positivity even in a chaotic situation.
Of course, 95% of the class was wildly rude and disrespectful to him.
He was too nice, and the kids were taking the class for the wrong reasons.
But I actually listened. I realized he had a lot to share if I gave him a chance.
Out of all the actual information he gave me, there was one central idea that was the most important.
You already know what that is. You have to just be during meditation. You observe and label thoughts.
you don’t judge yourself for not having a completely still mind. That’s not even the goal.
Up to that point, meditation was always a big waste of time to me.
I had done it off and on since high school.
I would try so hard to clear my mind and not think about anything.
That just made me feel weak because of how hard that was.
It seemed like I wasn’t destined to get the benefits of meditation.
As soon as he mentioned that subtle mindset shift, everything changed.
Suddenly, meditation became incredibly powerful.
I not only felt much better after meditation, I actually enjoyed it.
Before, meditation felt like a chore. it was difficult to meditate for more than 10 minutes before wanting to stop.
Suddenly, I could meditate 10, 20, even 30 minutes without a major problem.
I had to make myself stop at 30 minutes, because I had a life to live!
Health and wellness is something I’ve been passionate about for a very long time. In fact, I’d been experimenting with various techniques and practices since late middle school.
When you grow up as a kid with learning disabilities, that’s what you do.
You’re willing to try anything to help yourself.
But enough of my soapbox, I say that to illustrate how much I had already tried.
Trust me, it was a lot of things.
Some good, some meh,
Some new age nonsense or outright scams.
When I took that course, I was already well-adjusted.
My social circle was healthy. I had a good balance of work, play and leisure. There were no major problems with my daily behavior left over from middle school (Thank God!).
But one issue still haunted me. I couldn’t get over anything.
Now, most things didn’t phase me. I had a good sense of what was important and what wasn’t.
But difficult matters still bothered me tremendously. Breaking up with a girlfriend or having a fight with a loved one would devasitate me.
That’s fairly typical, but we’re not talking for a few days here.
We’re talking weeks and months.
There were occasional times my day would be ruined by a thought from YEARS ago.
A random bad memory, there goes the day’s beauty and potential.
Some Of You Relate To This Type Of Crippling Self-Induced Depression.
It sucks because it severely hurts your ability to do your best in the here and now.
It’s like having a computer with a terrible virus or malware. It still runs, but it has a lot of random slow-downs and problems.
After I made that one brilliant mindset shift, it finally happened.
That whole self-induced malaise of depression NEVER happened anymore.
I’ll be realistic and honest. Occasional feelings of depression and sadness still popped up.
But now, I didn’t give them any weight. They didn’t matter. They would leave as quickly as they came up.
It felt like I finally removed the last major mental block to becoming the best me possible.
Pretty cool right?
Everything in my life got better afterward.
My connections with loved ones became more intense and powerful. I no longer felt distant or distracted in their presence.
I could tell, that they could tell. They started volunteering to talk to me more. With no bad thoughts plaguing me throughout the day, I could actually listen well.
Again, they noticed the difference. Their body language and facial expressions became more positive and open.
You see, not many people truly listen to others. They just sort of nod their heads and pretend to listen.
Many people are distracted, or they’re only arrogantly thinking about what they’ll say next.
I was always one of the two myself, even with important people.
All those issues, gone. No more distraction and no more empty expression on my face.
No more disappointment from a girlfriend or brother because they KNOW I’m not actually paying attention!
The look of full emotional and mental connection on someone’s face is priceless, literally.
There is nothing better than seeing someone’s eyes light up with your attentiveness.
All because you’re not enveloped in sadness, anxiety, angry, or depression as they talk to you.
The monkey brain keeps doing what it does. The difference is that you let it be, and it quits running your life.
At the very least, it doesn’t get in the way as much.
Some of you reading right now can’t relate to that.
Good for you, I’m glad you never struggled with this kind of self-imposed misery.
For others, you know the pain of a mind that can’t quit reminding you of every mistake you ever made.
One that always wants to make you feel mad, sad, depressed or anxious at the worst possible moment.
One that doesn’t allow you to fully live life and engage with others.
You know what I’m talking about.
Keep in mind, I wasn’t even following a strict, detailed program at the time.
That was just my own casual adjustment to my practice.
YOU however, can achieve much more than I necessarily did.
It might be tempting to think what you’ve read is a bit dramatic.
You know what, you’re right. It is.
But for damn good reason. When you find something(for free) that removes life-long obstacles to happiness, that’s a big deal.
There is no investment more important than health and happiness.
Mental and emotional health is just as big apart of that as physical health.
Wealth without health doesn’t even come close.
No amount of money compares to having peace of mind.
No amount compares to being fully present at a celebration, with loved ones, or during your favorite activities.
No amount compares to finally having the balance and inner calm to live life on your terms.
A little guidance and help goes a long way to change your life.
That link above contains the best professional resource that embodies the key principle I’ve discussed today.
I can 100% for it’s quality. It uniquely and powerfully enhances the power of meditation based on letting go.
It is one of the most comprehensive courses ever done on meditation period. It also works for complete beginners.
There’s nothing stopping you from living exactly the same. I can’t blame you, and I understand not wanting to buy anything.
I’ve already given you the main way to make mediation work for you, so I understand integrating that and calling it a day.
It’ll take the type of transformation I described above even further. That way, you can have a similar transformation as me.
But you’ll do it in a lot less time and with far superior results. I essentially had a real life version of the resource above.
I had a personal mentor guide me with the principle mentioned in this article.
You(likely) don’t. This is the next best thing out there.
It takes the principle explained in this article and give you very specific tools to best monitor your own results.
It also helps you enter an “alpha,” state of mind, which allows maximum results.
If you want to know more, you’ll have to give the program a try. 😉
Again, you don’t have to. But, meditation for beginners can be especially difficult.
I strongly recommend it.
Either way, I hope you enjoyed this article, and it’s new perspective on meditation. It’s 100% honesty from my heart to yours.
Have a great day today,
P.S. That resource is a money-back guarantee, I don’t now and will never try and shake someone down for money. I just want to give you the best tools possible.
P.S.S. A newsletter is coming pretty soon my fellow wellness travelers. Stay tuned if you want to learn much more about effective self-actualization. They’ll be tons of stories, resources, tips, tricks, bonuses and more!