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Posts Tagged ‘launch of red Ravine’

Monkey Mind - Don’t Feed the Monkey, photo by QuoinMonkey, all rights reservedAs red Ravine gets ready to launch, I’ve been thinking about how important it is to have a teacher, a mentor.

Natalie has been that for me.

It didn’t happen right away. It developed over a long, slow time of showing up and not being tossed away. Sometimes it meant being willing to listen to what I might not want to hear.

And now I have practice. And now I have community. And now I have red Ravine.

All because I showed up. I listened. I practiced. I did things that didn’t make sense at the time or I didn’t have the energy to do – like travelling thousands of miles to Taos last year by car, plane, and Batmobile to write and sit with other writers in silence.

One of those writers is standing beside me as we spring board off into red Ravine. Wow. That’s amazing.

I have a lot of gratitude for the writers and teachers that came before me. And that they are willing to share their successes and failures, so that I might see my own more clearly.

I do a ton of research on my pieces and ramble around the Internet on a daily basis. Last week, I stumbled on this interview with Natalie Goldberg. It’s bare bones, back to basics. And it still rings true.

Here are a couple of excerpts about Monkey Mind from the interview with Natalie. You can read the whole exchange onwhat it means to write down the bones” at Sounds True.

Thank goodness for teachers, in all their many forms. And from the bottom of my heart (which is feeling quite full these days) – thank you.




ST: Please talk a little about what you mean by monkey mind.

NG: Monkey mind is actually a Buddhist term. It refers to mental activity that creates busyness which keeps us away from our true hearts. And it’s an extraordinary truth. Look at our whole culture; it’s built on busyness, and that’s why we’re so unhappy. But part of us loves busyness, including Natalie Goldberg. You have to pay attention and learn to understand how monkey mind works.

What does your true heart want? You have to give it at least half your energy. Otherwise monkey mind fills your whole life with busyness

ST: During the Bones program, you talk about a key teaching you received from Katagiri Roshi – “not to be tossed way.” What does this mean?

NG: Don’t be tossed away by your monkey mind. You say you want to do something – “I really want to be a writer. But I might not make enough money as a writer.” That little voice comes along. “Oh, okay, then I won’t write.” That’s being tossed away. Those little voices are constantly going to be feeding us. You make a decision to do something. You do it. Don’t be tossed away. And part of not being tossed away is understanding your mind and not believing it so much when it comes up with all these objections, when it comes up with all these insecurities and reasons not to do something. Don’t be tossed away.


Thursday, April 5th, 2007

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