The Internet Encourages Monkey Mind
There’s always so much to learn whenever you’re online. Although advertisers would have you only go to the sites where you’ve been shopping, you can really expand your knowledge base, albeit with crazy information just by clicking away. Here’s what happened to me:
My Monkey Mind jumps around the Internet
Finishing an article about the Ennegram (one of the most fascinating methods of understanding your personality), I clicked on a link about the modern founder of this information, who consolidated information from ancient sources, Oscar Ichazo. It brought me to Amazon where I could buy a book about his philosophy. From there, a review brought me to the Arica School, the place where Ichazo’s trainings took place. Perusing the website briefly, I found an article: “Oscar Ichazo killed my teeth” by Alex Carr. Totally captivated by the title, I spent a good 20 minutes reading the entire long blog post about the Arica school and movement. Fascinated as his story unfolded, it occurred to me that the trainings and cult of personality revolving around Ichazo reminded me of the movie I had recently seen about Scientology – although the premise of both were basically different. From there my thoughts went to why is it that people want to latch on to a person who will “save them”… then going to back to the outline of the book I had once wanted to write: The Missing Instruction Manual for Human Beings… and on to asking myself why I’ve never completed that, and how I might do it now by making each section into a separate book! By the way, I ended my jumping from branch to branch with an article about how to start a fire in the wild with the bottom of a soda can! At that point I realized that my monkey mind was just wasted over an hour and thought about sharing this information with you.
If you’ve ever tried to meditate and found that your mind was jumping from thought to thought, the paragraph above could probably describe how your thoughts shifted continuously as well! The Buddhists call it “monkey mind” by showing how thoughts jump from one branch to another like monkeys in the trees. The Internet provides us the actual tools to go further out in the branches than ever before.
First of all- there’s nothing wrong with you. That’s what happens when people try to meditate. You have to practice to gently bring yourself back to whatever you are focusing on.
But what is it that makes us jump from branch to branch? And which branch do we grab for? If we choose to pay attention to our thoughts we can learn something about ourselves: we follow one branch, as opposed to a different one, teaching us who we are and what we are interested in. Given the same starting point on any page on the internet, I venture to say that each one of us would follow a different route. This can teach us about our focus in life, our personality, our way of determining what things we think are important. The question is – are we meandering and wasting time, or attempting to reach a destination? Does it matter? What do we do with the information we have gleaned from our reading and ensuing thoughts? Is it always necessary to be following a goal behavior? If not, are we “wasting” time are becoming a more rounded person with interesting information to share with people in conversations?
Do you feel like you don’t have enough time in your life to do everything you want or need because of your monkey mind? Do you multi-task to “save time”? All that changing direction and unfocused action creates STRESS! What’s the way to relieve stress? Practicing mindful meditation, or HeartMath’s cardio-contemplation although it takes time, will be the very thing that ends up giving you the willpower to stay on track and not jump from branch to branch in your head, on the internet and in life in general – which relieves stress! It helps to keep your priorities in order – and not get angry at yourself when you do go swinging through the internet!