Living with monkey mind...
Today at the Unitarian Church here in Eureka Springs, we had a visit from 5 Tibetan monks traveling with the Dalai Lama. They chanted during our traditional Mother's Day Service, so between regular members and guests who had come just for the monks, the church was crowded. In a question and answer session in which attendees were able to ask one of the monks questions, he mentioned what has been called "monkey mind," the incessant interior mental chatter that most often revolves around the painful injuries we may feel we have sustained, or the hopes we may have of changing circumstances to elevate our own position in things, in life, and within our communities.... A great deal of monkey mind is plotting and scheming and taking us out of the moment.
A quick question of my readers... "Is the status of monkey mind alleviated or made worse by our technologies?" I suspect the answer is obvious. If students, and we ourselves cannot observe at least a few moments of silence, how can we learn things that are most truly meaningful?
This afternoon, I'm exercising my monkey mind by doing sketchup drawings for boxes to illustrate a Fine Woodworking Magazine article on the safe machining of small parts.
I am also working toward transcendence. Being in the woodshop with real wood is much easier and more fun.
Join me this day as I fall silent in my own quiet symphony of hands.
Make, fix and create...