The mind is like a crazy monkey, which leaps about and never stays in one place.
It is completely restless and constantly paranoid about its surroundings.
From “Trapping the Monkey” in The Teacup and the Skullcup:
Chogyam Trungpa on Zen and Tantra.
I come home from a busy day at work. The house is quiet. C.C. has not yet come home and I want to savour the moment do nothing more than relax for a bit and release the tensions of my day.
I lie on the bed watching the birds twitter about the backyard. I feel thankful. Grateful. At peace.
Ahhh, blessed repose. Blessed silence.
And then, that ‘ole critter, my monkey mind, leaps into the calm.
“Don’t be so lazy. Get busy.” Its voice whispers with a sibilant hiss oozing like steam seeping from a lumbering volcano scorching everything in its path. “You’ve got a lot to do before April 25th both for the wedding and work. Get busy.”
The more rational part of me leaps in to defend my indolence. “Back off Jack. She needs some downtime. She just got home.”
But still the monkey mind persists. “There’s too much to do. Quit lying there like a great big lump. Who cares if you’re tired. You don’t matter. Anyway, nobody likes a lazy person.” Don’t you just hate how the critter can take either side of the argument? When I’m busy getting things done, he likes to convince me to stop. And now, when I’m stopped for rest, he wants to convince me to get going.
Silly critter and its power to disturb peace of mind and tranquility.
Buddha said,“Patience is the greatest prayer.”
Yesterday morning, as I was getting ready for my day which included giving a noon-hour workshop on “Teamwork”, working on the Foundation’s Annual Report, a meeting with a reporter and work on the business plan, C.C. excitedly called me into the kitchen to look out the window. “Look! I count at least six robins at the feeder.
What? Come see the robins? I’ve got things to do. I have to get ready.
I took a breath.
What a lovely opportunity to get out of my own way. To spend a few quiet moments in community with my beloved and nature. To be present in the moment and whisper a prayer of gratitude for all that is present in my life.
I stood beside him and watched the robins and silently gave a prayer of thanks.
“Thank you my beloved for reminding me to take this moment to treasure us and this day. Thank you robins for your presence. Your lithesome spirit. Your twittering verse. Thank you for heralding Spring into the garden.”
If I had but one prayer, let it be, “Thank you.”
To fall into prayer I must surrender my ego’s need to justify my existence — my state of doing nothing, as well as my state of doing ‘busy’. To surrender, I must release my need to feel that everything I do matters. My eldest daughter once wrote, “I am nothing. And everything… I do not matter. And yet, I am matter, so I must.”
I must surrender my need to matter enough that my matter becomes all that matters to me. When I matter enough to cherish the goodness in my being me in this present moment with all that it brings, all that it has to offer, then I will have fallen into that place where all that matters is — this moment in which I breathe in gratitude and exhale thankfulness.
Let me move through my day in gratitude, the gateway to patience with all that I am, and all that I need, to be present.
If I had but one prayer, let it be, Thank you.