Week of

What is Monkey Mind?

The monkey-mind, or sem, is the intelligent state that relates with objects. It is fickle in nature, constantly moving, and this movement leaves impressions behind. The mind also takes on the burden of others. Mind is a constant state of movement. Sometimes, extraordinarily, the mind extends itself into speeding along very fast. At some points, it seems to slow down, but that is also an expression of speed. Whether it is slow or fast, the nature of mind is restless, completely restless. At times, there may be room for irritations or obstacles to pass through, but even the occasional stillness of mind lasts no longer than a fraction of a second. That is the definition of monkey mind.

From “Beauty and Absurdity,” in The Teacup and the Skullcup: Where Zen and Tantra Meet, pages 84 to 85.

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The CTR Quote of the Week is coming to you from the Chogyam Trungpa Institute at Naropa University. The compiler of the quotes and the moderator of the list is Carolyn Gimian.

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