The Buddha referred to our untrained mind as “monkey mind.”  And mindfulness can help us catch it.

Stress and anxiety is a great challenge for many people in today’s society. 30% Percent of U.S. adults say stress strongly impacts their physical health; 33 percent say it strongly impacts their mental health*

That’s kind of alarming, right? Considering that the Buddha termed the phrase “monkey mind” (presumably, no way to know for sure) over 2,500 years ago, and he never once saw an iPhone, iPad, desktop computer, laptop, T.V., or the 1st world work ethic, I’d say “monkey” might be a bit tame for us.

But whether we have a monkey mind, or a steroid-enhanced sugar-injected monkey, it’s all the same: we have a crazy, active mind that bounces around like a manic monkey, and the first step before we can discover any greater level of well-being is to bring it to rest. You might not show your monkey mind how to place chess right away, but with relatively little work you can create a huge transformation within your mind through meditating.

We may still feel some stress from time to time (it’s natural), but through meditation and our efforts to calm the monkey mind and gain a clear mind with which to receive insight, we also end up gaining an important tool for maintaining our general mental well-being, not only removing stress when it creeps up but creating an environment in our minds that oftentimes keeps it from ever arriving in the first place.

Peace and Love, Jim

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