Sunday, March 7, 2010

Got My Mind On My Monkeys And My Monkeys On My Mind (El Yogi Cynico en Costa Rica Parte Cuatro)


...everything we do is music...
John Cage

... returning from Casa Zen to Punta Coco on the last afternoon, heard unmistakable barbaric yawping of howler monkeys in the trees by the tiny escuela across the street...unmistakable not because I recognized or had heard them before...but since, having heard of them, could imagine no other answer to the inevitable what the hell is that??!!...like a roaring hippo mixed with a cement mixer and filtered through a wah-wah pedal...


...though it wasn’t on the official agenda, managed to wander out every morning straight from bed to sit, legs crossed, back relatively straight, on a folded up towel on the rocks, peering hazily out to the sea for half an hour...though morning yoga was at the ungodly-for-me hour of 7:00 AM...sometimes was out even before the sun rose at around 6:00...on the last morning, when we needed to catch an early morning bus, it was closer to 4:30...with a bright red moon and a shooting star...made somewhat easier by the near-unimpeachable logic that peering out to sea while the moon goes down and the sun comes up is better than sleeping, anyway....


...Zen Buddhists...when not talking about the pointlessness of talking about anything...talk about something called monkey mind...a term which describes the way thoughts go leaping through the leaves and branches of consciousness...so quickly...in seemingly random motions...that convincing them to be still seems close to impossible...and even to calmly follow and watch takes great skill...


...ended up taking nearly seventy pictures up into those trees, in crappy light, of creatures that, like my thoughts, won’t seem to keep still...hoping one or two might come out okay...(now that I think of it, this rather forced metaphor might relate more to writing than meditation...whatever works)...and, like denizens of the deeper recesses, don’t, apparently, want to be seen very clearly...though ever ready to leap out and disturb any seeming calm...


...back home, I’ve managed so far to keep the morning meditation thing going...if a bit later...and just so long as I’m willing to let the monkeys howl...

11 comments:

Bossy Betty said...

Beautiful posts and pictures! Wow!

Lana Gramlich said...

Hubby & I were surprised once to see & hear the howler monkeys howling at the zoo one day. Your photos are much more pleasing to the eye, of course.

Bob Weisenberg said...

Continuing to love these blogs.

Your wry comment on Zen Buddhism reminded me of a similar line I once wrote:

"I go talk to my Zen Buddhist priest neighbor, but he’s hard to talk to because he’s very into making no effort, and talking about Buddhism is an effort, and everything is illusory anyway, so why talk about it."

(From "A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to Learn About Buddhism" http://wp.me/plUox-mM ).

Please keep writing.

Bob Weisenberg
YogaDemystified.com

Kim said...

That's a great way to think about it--the monkey mind. I never thought of that before.

Linda-Sama said...

monkeys, huh? I decided if I ever open a yoga studio I'm calling it "Crazy Monkey Yoga Studio"....

after the rhesus monkey that walked into my room in India.

yeah, really. a big sucker.

want me to tell ya what went through my monkey mind? ;)

Bob Weisenberg said...

No, Linda. We want to know what you said to the Monkey.

I assume you asked it how it felt about being the symbol everyone's inability to engage in sacred Yogic concentration and the reason they can't reach samadhi.

On the other hand, you've got the very positive monkey images like the monkey-god Hanuman.

How does all this play out in the sensitive monkey psyche. I assumed you talked about all these things, didn't you?

Also, a selfish question--when do you start blogging again?

Bob Weisenberg
YogaDemystified.com

laughingyogini said...

Ditto Bob's comment to Linda about blogging again.

And Jay, I love this post.

I think the metaphor of not catching stuff in the trees works really well with meditation. I'll remember it as we head into warbler season this spring.

Eco Yogini said...

wow- meditating every morning!!! SANS MONKEYS?? crazy.

seriously, I am humbled. My monkey mind would be more like monkeys on crack. or with ADHD. UBER monkeys. ok. I'll stop now.

Brooks Hall said...

I love Monkeys! That second picture knocks me out!

Melinda said...

Monkeys should definitely be left in their natural habitat. My husband bought a monkey once (before I knew him) and he had to give the monkey to a zoo because the monkey kept taking his diapers off and throwing shit at him (not kidding). The monkey also engaged in improper (wanking off) behavior that made social occasions at this house a bit uncomfortable.

But hey! The monkey didn't ask to be taken out of paradise . . . .

Loved this post.

Melinda

rushal said...

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Another reason why experts believe that yoga works for physical and spiritual health is that yoga training requires the use of the entire body when performed correctly. From head to toe, yoga movements are feats of concentration and control.
If you're interested in finding out if yoga works for you, find a class to improve your physical and mental well-being through yoga training.
Yoga, the sound word, is possibly derived from Sanskrit. "Yuj" which means to "yoke, join or unite" implies "joining or integrating" all aspects of an individual - the mind with the body and those with the soul - to achieve a happy, balanced and useful life. Yoga also facilitates the union of the spirit of an individual with the supreme creator. A yoga teacher training course aims at training the candidate, having the potential and knowledge, to reach where the trainee wants to be. The yoga teacher training course aims at unfolding ones potential and transforming an experienced yoga practitioner into a yoga teacher through proper and planned learning.
Most of the yoga teacher training courses specify some minimum requirements for the candidates to qualify and make the candidates eligible for a particular course. It is also a good idea to supplements ones training by seeking out info on the great Yogis of the past and from the last of the living greats.