In a conversation with an old friend this evening, about the pandemic and concern for our families in different parts of the world, about anxiety and regrets, we unburdened ourselves and eventually made our ways, yet again, to the realisation that we really are doing the best we can at each step in time.
But one thing that struck me, and I've never looked at it this way before, was this. Most approaches to mindfulness speak of the mind in a very disparaging fashion. We call it the 'monkey mind'. We refer to our thoughts as 'endless chatter', a nuisance to be done away with. We read warnings of the dire consequences of letting our imaginations and minds run amok. We are told to not let the 'slave become the master'.
In short, the mind is seen as an enemy to be dealt with, a beast to be tamed so it will do no more harm.
But it occurred to me today that for all of the worry-inducing activity it engages in, our mind also does some pretty wonderful things! So instead of calling it a monkey (and aren't monkeys beautiful creatures of nature too?) and berating it for imagining horrible outcomes, maybe we should appreciate our mind more.
The mind is probably like a little child. It needs to be praised more for the good things it does than shamed and cursed for its not-so-great deeds. Perhaps that will entice it to comply with us more often and more willingly.
Maybe we should stop looking at the mind as a problem and accept this is simply its way of being and let it be. We can always come back to the breath for the sake of our peacefulness.