Monkeys and Racing Minds
This week I went to the wildlife park on my own without children, grandchildren or significant other. I usually go to visit the monkeys first as I’m a “Monkey”, a Fire Monkey in the Chinese astrology chart, according to my birth date. I sat in front of them and watch their antics. I don’t like to eat food or drink water in front of animals as it encourages them to beg, the monkeys especially! I watched the busyness of these seemingly fun loving creatures. They are just one bundle of activity. I watch the monkeys screech and seemingly fly around, swinging from branches, poles and the cage mesh. Sometimes my mind feels like that, a mess of undisciplined thoughts with no stop sign. If I sit there long enough I notice that eventually they sit down in a corner or on a branch. They may even find themselves a grooming partner. I could fall asleep at times like this.
I wander over to the giraffes and watch these graceful animals glide as they walk. One of them sat down and grazed on some hay. I had never seen a giraffe sit down before, they become so awkward getting into the seated position and her baby sat next to its mother. I sat down to observe this awkward beauty. My mind felt relaxed and I stayed ages just enjoying their relaxed mood.
Just hanging out!
As I left the tranquillity of the zoo, I looked at my watch and as if a switch was turned on, I began “my real life” again. “I better move as the traffic is about to start building up and if I make it to the ring road in 10 minutes I could save myself an hour in traffic. If all goes to plan I could be home for 6ish, prepare and eat something and finish off that lecture for next Friday by 8pm, I think there’s a good movie on at 9pm! Ah I’ll get a Chinese take away instead and that way I’ll be able to sit down and relax early, now where did I park my car”?
Sound familiar? Every living creature on this planet of ours is connected in some way. We are all connected to the different moods in our immediate environment. If we connect with happy, calm and tranquil people, places and things, we will find it easier to attain their qualities ourselves. This goes in some way towards our better health, movement, freedom and wellbeing.
Today I find regular mindful meditation helps to build resilience to “stress” and calm the “Monkey Mind”. Its a natural cost effective habit, a good habit, a zen habit. See more about my mindful suggestion here.
James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.
This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.