Golfing With Monkeys

Tara Brach talks about Golfing With Monkeys. She started with a story of monkeys proliferating in a golf course in Calcutta. The lesson is how we respond to the proliferation of suffering.

Tara Brach opens this talk by sharing a story of monkeys interfering with golf balls in Calcutta, symbolic of how the uncertainty and uncontrollable flow of life intervenes with our expectations for how life should be. It offers a poignant opportunity for us to reflect: how do we respond to life when things don’t go our way?

The Monkey and Our Sense of Self

The monkey that lives in the mind tells us story after story – stories which create a sense of self. This sense of self, strengthened by all of the beliefs we hold onto tightly, helps us to earn approval (or a sense of approval). In response to this attachment to the stories that live in the mind, we plan and worry in an effort to control the world around us. This proliferating of our mental habits leads to suffering as we cannot control the external world; we can only control our relationship to its flow.

Taming the Monkey Mind

Taming the monkey mind begins with our awareness of it. Can we start to catch ourselves when the mind races off into stories of how things should be? Mindful breathing exercises can help us to reconnect with the present moment, which is a starting point for a deeper witnessing of the mind. 

From there, we can practice observing the types of thoughts that arise, revelling in the truth that our thoughts are temporary energy bodies that do not belong to us no matter how much we identify with them. Creating this little bit of distance between our mental tendencies and our sense of self can help us to reconnect with the truth about who we are.

More from: Tara Brach

Tara Brach
330 Mindfulness Worksheets

Step-by-step guidance for developing mindfulness for your health, relationships, career, meditation and more!

50% OFF

  • Safely download them all to your own computer
  • Nicely designed PDF's with writable fields to add your reflections, answers and journal entries
  • Expertly designed for both beginners and advanced mindfulness practitioners
  • Organized into separate folders, based on health, relationships, career, self-discovery, purpose, formal meditation, and more
  • Evidence-based practices for increasing a sense of peace, calm, clarity, care and confidence
  • 100% Money-Back Guarantee
200+ GUIDED Meditation Scripts

Discover the world's most popular mindfulness meditation scripts that make a positive impact on people's well-being.

50% OFF

  • Safely download them all to your own computer
  • Elegantly formatted for you to read easily and confidently at your own pace
  • Learn how to do many new mindfulness meditations , while deepening your experiential understanding of the one's you're practiced
  • Evidence-based meditations for cultivating calm, self-compassion, embodied presence and resilience
  • Guide these meditations for others to make a positive impact on the qualify of their day-to-day lives
  • 100% Money-Back Guarantee
mindfulness exercises attribution

About the Author Sean Fargo

Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]

follow me on:

Browse More Categories

>