Tibetan and Hindu masters have always viewed this untrained narrator moulded by surroundings and general constructs within society, family, religion as the ‘monkey mind’. Zen masters liken the erratic nature of this mind as the ripples within a pond keeping you from seeing in clarity what lies within.
Many of the most evolved and established schools of self-realization strive to place an individual within such a state of clarity that dwelling about the past or romanticizing about the future, anxiety, frustration and embarrassment are completely eliminated. When you eliminate the internal narrator or at least balance it to a state where one lives completely in the present you attain exactly this. An incredible silence is realized that brings a content state no matter what the situation, a silence that brings to life the moment where before it was lost in your past or future allowing you to appreciate your surroundings, nature, loved ones. A silence that brings freedom from oneself… such a paramount issue which crosses every demographic within society.
People are very afraid of silence, and it is directly attributed to this obsessive mind inside which is continuously asking to be active.
Activity is your escape from yourself – it is a drug. In activity you forget yourself, and when you forget yourself there are no worries, no anguish, no anxiety. That’s why you need to be continuously active, doing something or other, but never in a state when nondoing flowers in you and blooms.
The first step is to define the distinction between activity and what action is. Action is immediate. It is nothing ready-made, it is not prefabricated. It doesn’t give you a chance to make a preparation, to go through a rehearsal. Action is always fresh. Activity is when the action has no relevance. Ninety percent of your energy is wasted in activity and when the moment for action comes you don’t have the energy. Activity is never spontaneous because it comes from the past.
Be aware. The second step is to always watch yourself within activity whenever it flares up. Feel the difference between action and activity. That’s all you can do. Watch it. Even if you have to do it, do it with full awareness. Smoke but smoke very slowly, with full awareness so that you can see what you are doing.
If you can watch smoking and always stay aware of your activity, suddenly someday the cigarette will fall from your fingers because the whole absurdity of it will be revealed to you. When you realize its stupidity it simply falls. You cannot throw it because throwing is an activity. If you throw it you will pick it up again in some other way, in some other form. This is the same with all activities, both internal and external.
Meditation is a great practice for awareness. Simply engaging awareness within everything you do can release you from the monkey mind, the dwellings, frustrations, anxiety because this reflection forces all those elements to simply fall away, allowing for a beautiful silence, tranquility to appear – bringing you into the present moment and recharging your energy to act intuitively on a whim.