The rope to tie the monkey

Our mind is like mercury. It is also like a monkey who is struggling all the time to free himself. When he is pulled back, he may stay still for a little while, but a moment later, he will try to move away again.

We will need to pull back and control our mind frequently, otherwise it will not remain still and it will wander away according to its emotions. The mind will follow whatever arises in it when there is nothing to discipline and tie it down. We must have mental training to stop its wandering.

So meditation is the tool to tie up ones mind. It will cultivate mindfulness which is the foundation of the practice. Samadhi stills the mind and reduces impulses and emotions. It's the same as tying the rope around a post and then tying the monkey to it.

It does not matter how much the monkey struggles, he will have to stay within the limits of his bounds. As he is tied with the rope, he can only go back to the same spot again. The only chance for him to stop is when he is exhausted.

When we follow the movement of our mind, it is like watching the monkey. We do not have to become the animal, we just sit and watch him. Stay still, do not struggle like him. If we struggle like him, we will turn into a monkey and will become really exhausted.

To practise Samadhi is like looking at the monkey. In the process of watching, he will go round and round until the rope is so tight that he is bound up. In the end he will have to stop and sit still.

The monkey also knows that it is time to stop when the rope is so tight that it strangles him. The movement of our mind is very similar, so if we keep on meditating in order to observe it (the mind), then it is like watching the monkey without behaving like him.

If we act like him by creating thoughts, we will be exhausted by our meditation because the mind never stops. We have to be in control at the post where Sati (mindfulness) and Samadhi are. Fix attention on body and mind. Peace will occur. Wherever the mind wanders it will return. The moment we are quick enough to be aware of thoughts when they start to form, the mind will come back to where it started. It is as though we have passed the Examination for mastering our own mind.

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