technique helps bring about inner calm amid outer chaos, especially
in group settings.
one is honest, one sees oneself playing many roles in a group
— trying to win, wanting approval, trying to control or
dominate others, being envious, angry, or bored. Our mad monkey
mind is just desperate to stay in the game. This exercise is designed
to help you end all of the various roles that the monkey plays.
You are not going to try to stop the monkey. Rather, you are going
to watch it, and identify what it is saying or doing. When a certain
thought comes into your mind such as, "Oh, I know a better
joke," or "I’ll tell them the one about the man
at the bar with the dog," all you have to do is silently
notice — catch the monkey — identify its behavior,
then silently state: "showing off." Do not try to stop
the thought. Just watch as it fades. Eventually it may vanish
Locate yourself and Be Still. Take several deep breaths and
relax. Slow everything down.
exercise is best done in a group. Become aware of your thoughts
as you speak, or just watch the people in the group.
notice any compulsive reactions to what is occurring, whether
it is seeking approval, trying to control or dominate, going
along with group gossip, looking to shine, feeling jealous or
envious, or trying to be witty.
your mental attitude. When you feel you are about to act out any
of the above compulsions, verbalize it to yourself silently. For
example, if you feel the need for approval, watch the "approval
monkey" and silently verbalize: "Bob, you want approval."
Immediately stop and watch in silence. Or, if you feel critical,
watch the "critical monkey" and silently verbalize:
"Mary, you are being critical." Immediately stop and
watch in silence.
True spiritual transformation liberates us from the limited
life we know to the freedom of life eternal. Through the flowering
of the subtle mind we become transformed and live in the perfume
of the divine. — B.W.S.