CT meditates: a comedy (7) Monkey Mind


Monkey Mind! A term particularly apt, at least for me, as I navel-gaze into my own brain (hmm, mixed metaphors also seem to be a personal problem). Sitting quietly in a chair paying attention to breath CANNOT BE THIS HARD, but my analytical internal left-brain monkey is active all the time.

I mentioned my new-found meditation habit to a colleague who tells me “I did T.M. (transcendental meditation) for 20 years. During my hippie days…” (there has GOT to be a story there).

I also mentioned this to a patient of mine, who suffers from severe anxiety, as a possible solution, and that I’m starting to meditate myself, but am having some difficulty. He smiles, says that he does this every morning for 30 minutes, and that it helps him a great deal with his anxiety symptoms. What we don’t know about our patients…

And then, he amazes me by reassuring ME! “Don’t worry, doctor, keep focusing on your breath. You’ll get it.”


So, coming on the journey with me? I’m going to stay with a 3 minute meditation, eyes closed, with just the simple goal of spending 3 minutes in a comfortable pose, and focusing on breath. Then to watch the inevitable stream of thoughts floating by, observing each one as a puffy cloud, letting it just drift by without diving into it, and returning to my breath.

CMIO’s take? Sometimes advice comes from the most unexpected places. Be ready to accept it!

Author: CT Lin

CMIO, UCHealth (Colorado); Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine

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