Monkey Mind

I'm a newbie here so this is my first post. I am really hoping someone can help me shed some light on this. This is something thats become prevalent in the last 10 years or so. In looking thru the net for info on this the closest thing I can come to what I deal with is the monkey mind which is the term sometimes used by Buddhist to describe the incessantly moving behavior of human consciousness. For me this is constant narrative of past,present and future events where in my mind I look at all these things break them down in to the basic components and then rebuild it into a potential scenario watch it play out and then I tear it all down and build it into something else over and over again. This goes on 24/7 for me and its not limited to anyone thing it can be several different things that have no relationship to one another. It doesn't effect my day to day life it just runs in my mind in the background. Its gotten to the point were I cannot just let something be for the sake of it being. I'm hoping that maybe someone else has dealt with something similar to this and as some advice has to how to deal with it. Before any one asks I've been trying to meditate for years now but with this "program" for lack of a better word running in the background I'm unable to. 


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  • edited April 2014

    Welcome aboard, there's loads to learn but it can be very rewarding!


    There's probably a million responses and no 'right' answer. I've had two significant spiritual teachers in my life, responses to them have ranged from love through to intense dislike - horses for courses I guess :) One teacher used to say (in dialogue with a student, imagine you are answering each question) "Are you in control of your thoughts? Do you choose your own thoughts? No? If you were wouldn't you always be happy? .... So they are not your thoughts. Whose thoughts are they? Who owns the thoughts that argue with other thoughts? ... Leave them be, stop accepting them, stop rejecting them, stop hating them, stop arguing with them, stop resisting them. Just watch them, leave them alone, be still, and they will quiet down of their own accord. If you stop giving thoughts energy (by 'energy' he meant treating them as though they mattered) they lose intensity, their sting.". The teacher claimed that his mind was often perfectly quiet but would sometimes carry on from time to time, just he didn't let it bother him when it did carry on. It might help to look into some sort of similar spiritual education?



    Other than that perhaps take look into a super clean diet (my intuition says good diet means less irritation which means things are more calm - my heart rate spikes up from a resting 60bpm to a resting 90 when I eat total crap, 70-80 when I eat something mildy incompatible), exercise, emWave, Neuroptimal and perhaps racetams. I'm not a racetam expert but I seem to remember some of them were good for focus. See here:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/nootropics/wiki/faq#wiki_what_supplements_are_possibly_good_for_mitigating_anxiety.3F


    Also some supplements are said to be calming, Magnesium sounds like it's maybe a big deal. Then of course there's other things you can take with Magnesium to increase efficiency/absorbtion. Scope out the BP diet and supplementation threads here:

    http://forum.bulletproofexec.com/index.php?/topic/1232-bulletproof-notes-cheat-sheet/

    http://forum.bulletproofexec.com/index.php?/topic/1318-bulletproof-supplements-nootropics-guide/

     


  • Is the problem anxiety based? Have you looked into psychedelics? There may be things you need to work through that an ayahuasca ceremony, or an ibogane treatment could help.


    There has been great clinical success with MDMA as well.


    If you aren't interested in that, check out some eckhart Tolle books, I like his take on this problem.


    Meditation should eventually work. Saying that you can't mediate because of a racing mind is quite different than saying you successfully meditate but it doesn't help.


    When I skip meditation I am less patient, and less compassionate. Just look at some of my posts from yesterday, I was quite an asshole :)
  • hzahza ✭✭

    If you'd like to try an intervention from the realm of Brain Hacking, I think there's a very good chance that you'd benefit from some EEG neurofeedback.


     


    Pretty much all my life I've been, for lack of a better term, a compulsive thinker, not too different from the sort of tendencies you describe.  In my own case I've always had a portion of my brain stuck in some cognitive loop or other.  Rarely if ever have I ever been able to use this tendency to my advantage, like ruminating on a problem or challenge until producing a workable solution; usually it would be a loop of a negative memory, recent or distant, of some interaction that went badly, or in some cases imaginary confrontations.


     


    With age the "noise" level of this activity steadily increased despite my forays into meditation and meditative states via binaural beats and other audio approaches, white/pink noise, hypnosis scripts, etc (all drugs made it MUCH worse).  This is not to say I was pursuing any of these things as a means of addressing the noise--I wasn't aware of it except peripherally as something that was just always there.  


     


    In recent years 2 new flavors appeared, one in which something irritating or angering would happen, and later some association would cause me to revisit it and then get caught in a loop of the event memory and the emotional reaction that came with it.  Actually that wasn't really new in itself, but the intensity really went through the roof about 5-6 years ago.  Also, I started flashing on old embarrassing memories and getting caught in a similar flood of shame reactions.  The really odd thing about that is that it could happen in connection to memories of events that weren't even all that embarrassing, either in themselves or in my own experience at the time.  And again, this could be something from 20 minutes or 20 years previously, it would have the same fresh and often disproportionate intensity.


     


    So anyway, different phenomena, but similar in some ways to what you describe. 


     


    I don't remember precisely how many sessions it took, but somewhere well within the first 10 sessions of EEG nfb I did on myself, both these tendencies fell off dramatically, and the noise level dropped greatly too.  Only after getting some relief did I begin to appreciate the magnitude of the problem I had been living with.  It was like driving on the highway in second gear, like I had been operating the machinery of my brain so inefficiently that the works were constantly in the red line.  By comparison, I still have plenty of mental chatter and internal dialog at all times, but if I attempt to still my mind now I can actually get somewhere with it.  


     


    So, that's my experience.  Intense meditation might get you there in 5-10-20 years, but if you're like me then it's worth spending a little cash to effect a serious short cut.  I can't tell you what specific nfb you should do, but traditional qEEG or Quick-Q based nfb and a clear goal like quieting the mind will deliver lasting results in a very short time.  Do a little web research on providers in your area, read up on what others have to say about their own experiences, and find what looks like the best fit for your situation.  I think you can't go wrong with that approach.  The biggest variable is how much improvement you can get with the least expense.




  • Is the problem anxiety based? Have you looked into psychedelics? There may be things you need to work through that an ayahuasca ceremony, or an ibogane treatment could help.


    There has been great clinical success with MDMA as well.


    If you aren't interested in that, check out some eckhart Tolle books, I like his take on this problem.


    Meditation should eventually work. Saying that you can't mediate because of a racing mind is quite different than saying you successfully meditate but it doesn't help.


    When I skip meditation I am less patient, and less compassionate. Just look at some of my posts from yesterday, I was quite an asshole :)




     


    I've experienced some severe anxiety recently with some personal issues that have come to a head. Other then that for the last ten years there has been no anxiety. Just this constant and continuous internal diatribe. As far as  psychedelics I've researched DMT as well as  ayahuasca, which I would have no problems doing except for that fact that being in Montana from my research there is no access to those items. I would love to be able to meditate but I just cannot get this whatever you want to call it to turn off no matter how hard I try. I've tried guided meditation as well as numerous do it yourself programs. 



  • Welcome aboard, there's loads to learn but it can be very rewarding!


    There's probably a million responses and no 'right' answer. I've had two significant spiritual teachers in my life, responses to them have ranged from love through to intense dislike - horses for courses I guess :) One teacher used to say (in dialogue with a student, imagine you are answering each question) "Are you in control of your thoughts? Do you choose your own thoughts? No? If you were wouldn't you always be happy? .... So they are not your thoughts. Whose thoughts are they? Who owns the thoughts that argue with other thoughts? ... Leave them be, stop accepting them, stop rejecting them, stop hating them, stop arguing with them, stop resisting them. Just watch them, leave them alone, be still, and they will quiet down of their own accord. If you stop giving thoughts energy (by 'energy' he meant treating them as though they mattered) they lose intensity, their sting.". The teacher claimed that his mind was often perfectly quiet but would sometimes carry on from time to time, just he didn't let it bother him when it did carry on. It might help to look into some sort of similar spiritual education?



    Other than that perhaps take look into a super clean diet (my intuition says good diet means less irritation which means things are more calm - my heart rate spikes up from a resting 60bpm to a resting 90 when I eat total crap, 70-80 when I eat something mildy incompatible), exercise, emWave, Neuroptimal and perhaps racetams. I'm not a racetam expert but I seem to remember some of them were good for focus. See here:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/nootropics/wiki/faq#wiki_what_supplements_are_possibly_good_for_mitigating_anxiety.3F


    Also some supplements are said to be calming, Magnesium sounds like it's maybe a big deal. Then of course there's other things you can take with Magnesium to increase efficiency/absorbtion. Scope out the BP diet and supplementation threads here:

    http://forum.bulletproofexec.com/index.php?/topic/1232-bulletproof-notes-cheat-sheet/

    http://forum.bulletproofexec.com/index.php?/topic/1318-bulletproof-supplements-nootropics-guide/

     




     


    I was thinking some sort of supplement maybe?

  • edited April 2014


    I've experienced some severe anxiety recently with some personal issues that have come to a head. Other then that for the last ten years there has been no anxiety. Just this constant and continuous internal diatribe. As far as  psychedelics I've researched DMT as well as  ayahuasca, which I would have no problems doing except for that fact that being in Montana from my research there is no access to those items. I would love to be able to meditate but I just cannot get this whatever you want to call it to turn off no matter how hard I try. I've tried guided meditation as well as numerous do it yourself programs. 




    =====================================


     


    That depends on your definition of meditation. It doesn't necessarily mean stopping your mind, in some circles it means sitting down and watching what happens. In the watching, without trying to accept or reject what's happening, things may calm in and of themselves. Study this perhaps, short, little and with an audio CD, $10 USD: http://www.amazon.com/True-Meditation-Adyashanti-ebook/dp/B003X27LB8/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397873134&sr=1-1-fkmr1&keywords=the+art+of+meditation+adyashanti




  • I was thinking some sort of supplement maybe?




    =====================================


    It's probably not the whole solution but it might be part of the solution. The book "The Magnesium Miracle" links nutritional deficiency to some instances of anxiety, depression, etc. My g/f experiences anxiety and is currently experimenting with Natural Calm, it's early days so I can't comment on the effectiveness yet.



     


    n.b. Probably the vast majority of society experiences wasteful pointless and damaging commentary running through consciousness. See Eckhart Tolle teachings, Adyashanti and many others too I'm sure.



     


    Also like I said, an ultra clean (e.g. Bulletproof) diet might help to a degree. Then there's whatever is happening in your life that needs to be dealt with.....



  • =====================================


     


    That depends on your definition of meditation. It doesn't necessarily mean stopping your mind, in some circles it means sitting down and watching what happens. In the watching, without trying to accept or reject what's happening, things may calm in and of themselves. Study this perhaps, I've found it useful, short, little and with an audio CD, $10 USD: http://www.amazon.com/True-Meditation-Adyashanti-ebook/dp/B003X27LB8/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397873134&sr=1-1-fkmr1&keywords=the+art+of+meditation+adyashanti




     


    A lot of it at this point is that I am wondering if this is a natural occurrence or if this is something that is unique to my brain and how its wired. Pretty much every person I've talked to about this tends to look at me like I'm from a different planet when I explain it indepth to them. I've always believed that meditation is simply silence. 

  • No, there are many different kinds of meditation. It is very difficult, and often unnecessary to silence your mind. Meditation can help you train your mind to do what you want it to. It is a practice, and will never be perfect. It is the act of the practice itself that is beneficial. Its like the saying about the journey, not the destination.


     


    Just sit and watch your thoughts. Let them happen, but try not to trail off unconsciously. It will happen, but look at it as a practice in bringing your focus back to being the watcher, not the thinker. The thoughts should still happen, but let them happen as a passing cloud.


     


    Watch your thoughts, get lost, bring it back. get lost, bring it back. Over and over this will happen, but that is the practice. Eventually you will be able to subconsciously grab those thoughts as they happen, and do with them what you will. Studies have shown incredible changes happening in the brain in as little as a few weeks of daily practice.




  • A lot of it at this point is that I am wondering if this is a natural occurrence or if this is something that is unique to my brain and how its wired. Pretty much every person I've talked to about this tends to look at me like I'm from a different planet when I explain it indepth to them. I've always believed that meditation is simply silence. 




    ====================================


    I think it's pretty typical to have a constant stream of rubbish flying through consciousness, it's just that you've become aware of it while most are identified with their thoughts. Because it's 'normal' doesn't mean it's desirable though, Eckhart Tolle says that 'normal' is actually pretty dysfunctional. Greed, wars, road rage, environmental destruction, violence, etc. is 'normal' human stuff.


    The definition of meditation changes from one teacher and/or discipline to the next. If I personally sit down, relax and focus I can sometimes achieve complete silence, or rather complete silence happens. But, it's not as simple as flicking a switch, my impression is it's a function of my whole life experiences: health, relationships, spiritual education (Adyashanti, Eckhart Tolle & Bob Adamson), nutrition, genes and life circumstances. Perhaps pick a place to start, a place that calls you, and follow the thread.

  • I read power of now a couple of tears ago it was a really good read. I understand that most everything has the constant stream of stuff rolling thru their minds. I just wonder how many people go thru what I do the whole breaking down into possible scenarios etc etc. MDMA, is that the supplement Dave has talked about and likened it to the movie limitless?


  • NoogisNoogis
    edited April 2014
    The power of now is an awesome book. I liked A New Earth better, but it's best to read PoN first.


    My mind breaks down scenarios all the time. I guess it doesn't bother me.


    No MDMA is known as extacy. It used to be used in therapy before Uncle Sam deemed it schedule 1.

    You are thinking of modafinil. If your mind goes too fast, that's the last thing you want.


  • The power of now is an awesome book. I liked A New Earth better, but it's best to read PoN first.


    My mind breaks down scenarios all the time. I guess it doesn't bother me.




     


    I'll have to take a look at what else he has written. A lot of times I wish I was just naive and didn't have to dig into every little thing I come across.  

  • Evan BrandEvan Brand Writer and Explorer

    Hey man, read through some of the posts here and there is some great information.


     


    Before considering psychedelics, I would recommend a float tank. I sound like a broken record (to myself), but they can provide a minor psychedelic experience and at the bare minimum, a very important and humbling introspective session with yourself.


     


    Also, more time in nature completely isolated from modern civilization with loved ones is necessary.


    Evan Brand, NTP, CPT

    Functional Medicine Practitioner and Podcast Host at NotJustPaleo.com

    Author of REM Rehab and Stress Solutions



  • Hey man, read through some of the posts here and there is some great information.


     


    Before considering psychedelics, I would recommend a float tank. I sound like a broken record (to myself), but they can provide a minor psychedelic experience and at the bare minimum, a very important and humbling introspective session with yourself.


     


    Also, more time in nature completely isolated from modern civilization with loved ones is necessary.




    Where I live we have no float tanks. Closet one is almost 200 miles away. We had a float business open it made it 2 weeks and outta business, 

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