A Year Of Mindfulness : Would You Tame Your Monkey Mind This Year?

By Kenny Lee | Others

Feb 20

A Year Of Mindfulness : Would You Tame Your Monkey Mind This Year?Have you ever thought how much of your life could change for the better if you could just live a year of mindfulness instead of having your monkey mind running wild and uncontrolled? Wonder what’s a monkey mind? Just try to recall how many times your mind has strayed to the past in the last 30 seconds?

Or did you let yourself get carried away by some other thoughts while attempting to recall? Now that’s monkey mind for you. We’ve been conditioned to live with a noisy and untrained mind that it never occurred to us that we have the power not to react to every single thought that arises.

Nor have we imagined the transformation that could happen when we are at peace with our thoughts. Where we no longer react to every single thought and let every single negative emotion of anger, regrets or hatred taking over our mind.

Mindfulness In Your Daily Life

A Year Of Mindfulness : Would You Tame Your Monkey Mind This Year?

Living in the present.  Being attentive to your thoughts. Not dwelling on the past nor worrying about the future. These are the general definition you’ll get from famous gurus or articles. It sounds straight from the textbook, and made you wonder how does it pertain to you in your busy daily life?

For a start, how about spending less time in the gym just to get rid of the excessive fat that comes from your eating habit. Having a second thought of what you’re putting in your mouth is equally important as spending quality time at the gym. Trust me, your regular GP wouldn’t want you visiting more than necessary.

If you spend more than 2 hours driving on the road every single day, you realize that most of the time you take your driving skill for granted. I learned that at the cost of wrecking my car. What happened is that I have my thoughts all over the place except on driving itself. Besides causing accidents, an unfocused mind is weak and susceptible to emotional outburst. Ever wonder why you lost your temper easily on the road?

Workplace Mindfulness

If you’re thinking that mindfulness is all about slowing down what you’re doing and wondering how that could be applicable that when you’re chasing deadlines with your boss breathing down your back, you are in for a surprise. In fact, bringing mindfulness to your workplace increases your focus amidst distraction and pressure.

Programmers will spend less time hunting for bugs in their thousand lines of code. Marketers will stop getting overwhelmed by the numerous campaigns they are juggling at the same time. Start-up entrepreneurs will stop getting in their own way and start focusing on what really matters when they bring a deeper awareness into their fast-paced life.

We have made a habit of taking too much stress home. We’re talking about getting a couple of weeks break just for a stress-releasing vacation. But what about nipping workplace stress in the bud? There must be a solid reason for companies like Google, General Mills, and Intel initiated mindfulness programs at their workplace.

So Is Mindfulness Easy?

A Year Of Mindfulness : Would You Tame Your Monkey Mind This Year?

It depends on what you’re trying to achieve.

If you’re expecting to transform your mind to be ever-present and not caught up by a single stray thought after a single day of practicing mindfulness, you’ll be greatly disappointed. The fact is, building up mindfulness takes consistency and patience.

When you have spent decades of your life living with an untrained mind, it will take years to cultivate your mind into a calm presence from the turmoil it is now. Anyone who tells you otherwise does not understand what mindfulness really is.

But the good news is, mindfulness practice is easy to start. You can start with 15 minutes of daily mindfulness meditation. Just grab a FREE copy of my meditation guide if you haven’t done so.  But just don’t limit yourself to thinking that mindfulness is only confined to the practice of meditation itself. If you’re not bringing mindfulness to your everyday life, you’re missing out the real value of mindfulness.

The Challenge Of Mindfulness

The common frustration I’ve seen with people practicing mindfulness is they turn it into a goal setting practice. It’s like having expectations like “I’m going to have 30 minutes of calm, mindfulness experience before I sleep” and guess what? They get frustrated and discouraged when they find that their mind doesn’t really behave as they expected.

Here’s what you really should remember when you’re meditating or working on your daily tasks. Mindfulness doesn’t work when you’re setting an expectation and forcing yourself to stay in the present. Mindfulness works when you set a right intention and decided to give it your best effort. Bottom line is, if you’re feeling bad for not achieving mindfulness, you’re getting the whole mindfulness idea wrong.

Mindfulness could be many things, but it’s definitely not a course that you could finish in 6 months and brand yourself a mindfulness guru. It’s through years or decades of living and dedication to taming the monkey mind that one become adept in mindfulness. Think of it as a lifetime practice, rather than a short-term solution that you summon when you’re desperate.

Top Mindfulness Teacher

You can’t mention mindfulness, without highlighting some of the renowned mindfulness teachers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Jack Kornfield, and Sharon Salzberg.

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Jon Kabat-Zinn is the founder and director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and associate professor of medicine in the Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine.

He is best known for the stress reduction program that he has created, mindfulness-based stress reduction technique (MBSR). MBSR programs have been offered in more than 720 medical centers, hospitals, and clinics around the world. His book, Wherever You Go, There You Are became a national best-seller in 1994.

Jack Kornfield

Jack Kornfield is one of the key teachers who introduced mindfulness practice to the west. Trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Burma, and India, Jack Kornfield has taught meditation in centers and universities around the world since 1974.

He has written more than a dozen books and The Wise Heart has touched many with his delightful stories and humbling wisdom.

Sharon Salzberg

Sharon Salzberg is the co-founder of Insight Meditation Society and The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, both in Massachusetts. She is best known for her practice of Vipassana meditation and cultivation of loving kindness and compassion.

Sharon  Salzberg was honored by the New York Open Center in 1999 for her “Outstanding Contribution to the Mindfulness of the West“. Her book, Real Happiness: The Power Of Meditation has been a New York Times Bestseller in 2011.

A Year Of Mindfulness

When I started my mindfulness practice as I finished high school almost two decades ago,  it’s a pretty lonely journey, as most of my friends are more interested in games, dating, and footballs. I’m not saying you can’t practice mindfulness alone. But wouldn’t it be more fun if you’re able to connect with like-minded people and learn from the best meditation teachers?

That’s how I came to learn that SoundsTrue, a multimedia publishing company that started in 1985, has brought together top mindfulness teachers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg and more in a new online mindfulness program called Year Of Mindfulness 2017.

The thing that I like about this program is how you get to connect with a single mindfulness teacher live each month and connect with other like-minded practitioners in a private Facebook group. It definitely made practicing mindfulness more fun than grabbing a mindfulness book and meditating in the corner of your room.

Here’s what you’ll get from A Year Of Mindfulness at a cost of $27 per month (with ONE-year money back guarantee). A Year Of Mindfulness : Would You Tame Your Monkey Mind This Year?

 

You can check out the message from Jack Kornfield and other mindfulness teachers HERE, along with other program details that may interest you.

Either way, I hope you are bringing mindfulness into your life this year, before your monkey mind caused more trouble for you, as it did for mine.

Has your monkey mind caused you dearly in life? Or has practicing mindfulness transformed your life in a positive manner? Share your mindful stories at the comment below.

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About the Author

I am an engineer-turned-writer who once struggle with social anxiety. After overcoming problems inflicted by low self-esteem and the fear of interaction, I realize the need for taking a holistic approach in developing our mind. I'm sharing my experience, remedies, and techniques that interest me in my quest to be a better self.

Leave a Comment:

(30) comments

Ashley February 20, 2017

I love the term “monkey mind” 🙂 It gives an adorable name to a pretty irritating problem! My monkey mind used to act up quite a lot, especially at nighttime. But through using a few meditation techniques I learned how to quiet my mind before bed and was able to fall asleep much faster! I’ve not heard of the experts mentioned in your post, but I’ll definitely be checking them out! Thank you for the info! 🙂
Ashley

Reply
    Kenny Lee February 21, 2017

    Hi Ashley,

    I’m glad you managed to tame your monkey mind. It’s an inexpensive solution for the many sleepless nights most of us have.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Manuel February 20, 2017

Hi,

I have never heard of such a program like this one, it sounds very promising.

I agree with you that it is a lifelong pursuit, this course could be a good starting point.

I have a few questions about “One Year of Mindfulness”

1) How does the one year money back warranty works? Can I after one year of paying $27/month simply say: I did not like it and get my money back?

2) Regarding the life questions and answers: Who is answering the question there?, is it the practitioners or is it the teachers?

Reply
    Kenny Lee February 23, 2017

    Hi Manuel,

    I’m glad that this program looks promising to you.
    I’ve checked out with SoundsTrue and here’s the reply.

    1. Yes, if you feel you are not getting what you need from A Year of Mindfulness you can cancel at any time. If you’d like us to remove the videos from your library we can then refund you the full cost of those months for which you’ve already paid within one year. Please do note that due to PCI compliance we need to issue a check for orders over four months old.

    2. During the question and answer period you can ask the presenter questions which they will then answer live.

    Hope it helps.

    Cheers,

    Kenny

    Reply
Steve February 20, 2017

You said ‘we no longer react to every single thought and let every single negative emotion of anger, regrets or hatred taking over our mind.’

Very true and this is what my colleague is doing precisely!

He has a bit a bit of a beef with another guy at work (nothing major) but he has let his negative angry thoughts toward this person take over so much to a degree where he can no longer even bare to be in the same room as him!

It’s RIDICULOUS! I keep saying that he can control this negativity but he doesn’t listen … I will show him this article. Thank you so much for this – it’s truly brilliant.

Reply
    Kenny Lee February 21, 2017

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for sharing your story here. What usually happen with anger is that most of the time, we let the emotion cross the point of no return and blew up in rage. But with deep awareness, we are able to neutralize the emotion before it causes harm to ourselves and others.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Maurice February 20, 2017

Nice Article. I believe that self awareness is key. One has to look inward not outward for success. Looking inward involves believing I yourself and staying mindful of your purpose in life.

Reply
    Kenny Lee February 21, 2017

    Hi Maurice,

    Thanks for checking out my post.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Audrey L. K. February 20, 2017

Thank you for writing this helpful article! It’s right in alignment with a simple yet important realization I came to last month. I had an AHA moment when I realized that I am the one who is in command of my own thoughts and how I choose to use my mind. I had known this in theory, but somehow I kept choosing to go into a place of worry and fear. Once I really grasped this concept, I noticed that my mindset improved, and my life also improved greatly! It’s one thing to understand mindfulness intellectually, but it’s also nice to have those moments where you feel it has become an integrated practice. Still a work in progress though 🙂

Reply
    Kenny Lee February 21, 2017

    Hi Audrey,

    Well done in being able to shift your mindset. Thank you for showing how understanding mindfulness and actually practicing has very different result.

    All the best in your mindful journey.

    Cheers,

    Kenny

    Reply
Nicki V February 21, 2017

Hi Ken,

Thanks for this very insightful article. I have never really given mindfulness any thought before reading this, and now it’s clear to me how through meditation and reading your online book (which I just signed up for) could help me focus more and help direct my thoughts in a more useful way. I am constantly finding that my mind wonders and my attention span for projects can be very limited. it’s very frustrating for me when I am trying to focus on something and then I get “shiny object syndrome” and start looking at something else. I think that I could really benefit from your teachings here which will help me at my job, business, and personal life.
Thanks so much for this!
Nicki

Reply
    Kenny Lee February 21, 2017

    Hi Nicki,

    In this time where we have several gadgets connected to the internet and we spend half or our time living in it, focus become ever more important, especially if we’re trying to give our best on long term projects or starting a business.

    When you recondition your mind to be more aware of temptations and distractions, you’ll find that you’ll be able to focus more.

    Thanks for reading.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
NemiraB February 21, 2017

Hello, Kenny. This program can benefit everybody who want to live balanced lives.
I have a book from Jon Kabat-Zinn. I bought it few years ago. Everything so simply explained. I like his reminder about mindfulness. He told that if somebody wants to talk about mindfulness and brag about it, he or she must to sit back and calm mind more.
We can be mindful every minute. Unfortunately, it is not easy. We are distracted with things and events which do not add value to our lives.
Your offered program is interesting because it can keep you on the track. Meeting people who are learning the same, is fun and it can be a support system.
All the best, Nemira.

Reply
    Kenny Lee February 21, 2017

    Hi Nemira,

    I’m glad you actually read up on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book. Mindfulness is really our personal practice and not something to compete with. It’s not easy to be mindful every single minute. But I’ll say if we make our best effort to be as mindful as we are, then we’ll see an improvement in many aspects of our life.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Laura February 21, 2017

Thank you for sharing some really interesting and easy to understand information about mindfulness.

I actually really liked how you provided information in a concise but informative manner about all the different aspects of your life that mindfulness happens (or is needed) usually it focuses only on one area.

I am looking forward to reading the guide I requested and I am hoping I can learn more about making it more easily part of daily life.

All the best!

Reply
    Kenny Lee February 21, 2017

    Hi Laura,

    Thanks for reading my post and also downloading my meditation guide. I hope it helps you and feel free to drop my any questions if needed..

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Yvonne February 22, 2017

I guess I have a monkey mind. Lol. I can’t seem to stay focused for too long. I love to multi-task and often think of what to do next. I’m not sure where to start with practising mindfulness. Any suggestions?

Reply
    Kenny Lee February 22, 2017

    Hi Yvonne,

    You can check out my mindfulness meditation guide if you haven’t. Alternatively, stay tune for my upcoming post on how to incorporate mindfulness into cooking.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Fushniki February 22, 2017

We can either choose to be present or choose to be consumed by our thoughts. The trouble is, our thoughts are generally regarding something other than what we are doing. Research demonstrates that we don’t actually multitask, we simply change from one activity to another very quickly. So, since we aren’t really doing two things at once, why not be present doing one thing at once?

Reply
    Kenny Lee February 22, 2017

    Hi Fushniki,

    Yes, indeed multitasking are actually non productive. In fact being mindful on every single task is the way to go.

    Thanks for reading.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
leonard February 22, 2017

Hi Kenny. Thanks for such an informative article. I used to struggle with anger a few years ago. I mean any small thing would start me up. It took a while for me to realize just how emotionally draining anger is. It always leaves you worn out.

I started experimenting with meditation and thankfully I was able to overcome my quick temper. Meditation is something I would definitely recommend in calming an erratic mind.

Reply
    Kenny Lee February 22, 2017

    Hi Leonard,

    I’m glad you found meditation helpful in taming your anger. Keep it up.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Merrell February 22, 2017

Hi Kenny,

Enjoyed reading through your post about mindfulness. You started with the general notion of ‘Living in the present’ which is rather cliche and often mentioned by mind health gurus.

What captured my attention was towards the bottom, you addressed the issue of whether mindfulness is easy to achieve and what the challenges are. I found myself making the mistakes you had mentioned and certainly found the tips useful to achieve mindfulness.

Great content and keep it up!

Cheers,
Merrell

Reply
    Kenny Lee February 22, 2017

    Hi Marrell,

    Thanks for reading my post. I think some people have the wrong concept of mindfulness. Some thought that it’s about setting goals and getting frustrated when they’re not met. There are also the misconception about channeling all your thoughts in to the present moment.

    Mindfulness is more than that.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Michael February 22, 2017

This is awesome – I heard about Jon Kabat-Zinn before but never heard of Jack Kornfield or Sharon Salzburg before and I will definitely be checking them out – thanks for letting me know about them, much appreciated

Reply
    Kenny Lee February 23, 2017

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for reading. I hope you like the work of Jack Kornfield and Sharon Salzburg.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Kerlund February 22, 2017

God, I recognize everything you write here… I’m fulla caught up by my monkeys, that goes on chit-chat all day. I know about mindfulness, but never really gets there. For a start I subscribed here and are going to download the free meditation guide. Thanks for a reminder and a great post.

Reply
    Kenny Lee February 23, 2017

    Hi Kerlund,

    Thanks for downloading the guide. I hope it helps. Do let me know if you have any questions.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Harry February 22, 2017

Two decades WOW! I can’t imagine how my life would be if I keep practicing mindfulness for 18 more years.

Just a while ago, I realized that mindfulness should be practiced in every moment of our lives and that cultivating such a state of being is nothing but extremely challenging.

Thank you for sharing your experience with us Kenny. It is nice to see that other people hold the same perspectives as you do.

Be mindful!

Xaric!

Reply
    Kenny Lee February 23, 2017

    Hi Harry,

    Actually I did let live “mindlessly” in between. But that only made you realize how being mindful is really important when you’ve lost so much by being reckless in life. Mindfulness is not easy, but it becomes a habit when practiced regularly.

    Thanks for reading.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
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