Is your mind full of a thousand chattering monkeys?
In zen there is a saying that your thoughts are like a chattering monkey. Sometimes that creature can be too loud. This is why meditation is such a beneficial activity for you. When you meditate, you also actually learn how to tame that little creature as well. When you get to know your thoughts, you can also effecively declutter them and clear your mind.
If you are the meditating type, maybe you have found that all sorts of thoughts might float up to the surface of your consciousness during a meditation session. If you cherish these “bubbles of creativity” and jot them down on a piece of paper when they appear, you can be quite suprised of what you might find. That is why I highly suggest that you start meditating with a piece of paper nearby, so you can be ready to catch those extraordinary thought before they have a chance to escape.
Declutter your mind with a meditation session
Do you have a system to help you remember everything? Do you keep a journal? Maybe you carry a bullet journal around everywhere you go? We all have our different strategies to declutter our brains.
I LOVE Ryder Carrolls Bullet Journal system with all its opportunities to keep your life super organized, and if you haven’t tried it I highly recommend it. (He also recently introduced his first book on the topic as well, The Bullet Journal method if you want to check that out.)
Let me introduce you to The Brain Dump!
If you keep a bullet journal you might already be familiar with the concept of a brain dump page to help declutter your brain once in a while. Jot down everything that pops into your mind and forget about it until you need it.
Now I want you to take it to the next level: The Brain Dump Meditation Session. Try to meditate with the intetion of “dumping the brain”, i.e. try to write down everything that little monkey rascal tries to tell you.
The Brain Dump Meditation Method
Now without further ado, let me introduce you to the method I use when I just have too much chatter going on in my brain and need a serious cleaning session. If you want to try this, don’t give up too soon. It can take a while but I promise that it’s worth it! Try it out and see if it works for you.
- Grab a piece of paper, your bullet journal or a notebook and a pen.
- Sit comfortably in a quiet room and close your eyes.
- Take some deep breaths. If you want, you can use the breathing method that I have described in a previous post to help you calm your mind. Concentrate on your breathing.
- Sit like this and breathe for as long as it takes until a random thought pops up in your head. You will probably be surprised by what your mind is trying to tell you. Sometimes you don’t know what it means just yet. That doesn’t matter. Just write it down for now and let it go.
- Write the thought down and say: “thank you for letting me know”. Continue to concentrate on your breathing.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 for as long as it takes.
- You have now successfully cleared your mind and have a to do list as well.
Okay, so you have a brain dump. Now what?
So you have completed a session, and hopefully you have caught some of the noisiest thoughts on paper. What are you supposed to do with it now?
Let your brain dump page work for you by taking a look at the brain dump page and try to analyze it. Did you write down something you had to remember? Is it just gibberish that makes no sense whatsoever? Oftentimes the brain dump show exactly what your subconscious mind is trying to tell you. It is a reflection of what’s going on in your life, so pay some attention to what you believe it means.
Try to see if you can spot different categories amongst your thoughts in the brain dump. Pay attention and try to figure out what they mean. You can learn a lot about yourself this way and it’s a fun thing to look back to a set of brain dump pages from a certain time period. In retrospect, you can gain a lot of wisdom from thoughts you didn’t think mattered at the time you wrote them down.
For a start, try to do this at least once a week for a couple of months and see where it leads you.