The Monkey Is the Messenger: Meditation and What Your Busy Mind Is Trying to Tell You

The Monkey Is the Messenger: Meditation and What Your Busy Mind Is Trying to Tell You


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Hope for all those who want to meditate but feel they can't because they think too much.

“My mind is so busy, I really need to meditate.”

“My mind is so busy, there’s no way I can meditate.”

Familiar dilemma? These days just about all of us know we should be meditating, but that doesn’t make it any easier to sit down and face the repetitive thoughts careening around our brains—seemingly pointless, sometimes hurtful, nearly always hard to control. Rather than quitting meditation or trying to wall off the monkey mind, Ralph De La Rosa suggests asking yourself a question: If you were to stop demonizing your monkey mind, would it have anything to teach you? In a roundabout way, could repetitive thoughts be pointing us in the direction of personal—and even societal—transformation?

Poignant and entertaining, The Monkey Is the Messenger offers a range of evidence-based, somatic, and trauma-informed insights and practices drawn from De La Rosa’s study of neuroscience and psychology and his long practice of meditation and yoga. Here at last—a remedy for all those who want to meditate but suppose they can’t because they think too much.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611805840
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication date: 11/13/2018
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 197,304
Product dimensions: 5.49(w) x 8.46(h) x 0.81(d)

About the Author

Ralph De La Rosa is a therapist, meditation teacher, storyteller, and musician. A graduate of Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Services, he is trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) and incorporates Internal Family Systems therapy (IFS) alongside traditional psychotherapy in his work. He has been featured in numerous publications including GQ, SELF, Women’s Health, and Elephant Journal. He currently resides in New York City.

Table of Contents

List of Practices ix

Foreword Susan Piver xi

Prelude xv

Introduction 1

Part 1 Body-The Monkey Is a Meditator 11

1 Taking Responsibility for Your Own Happiness 15

2 The Magnificent Mismatch 21

3 Befriending the Body in Meditation 31

4 Evolving the Monkey's Motivations 55

Part 2 Mind-A Monkey Molded by Model Scenes 71

5 The Body of Breath 73

6 Our Monkeys, Ourselves 81

7 How You Breathe Is How You Feel 97

Interlude: The Stories We Tell Ourselves 111

8 How We Get Stuck: Trauma and the Unconscious Mind 117

9 What We Lose When We Lose Empathy 141

Part 3 Heart-The Monkey's Ultimate Message 153

10 The Challenge of Self-Love 155

11 The Monkey Is a Mensch 169

Interlude: Love, Level 10 183

12 The Gifts of Difficulty 185

13 The Family Within 205

14 Working with the Inner Critic and Other Harsh Inner Voices 227

15 Putting It All Together: Integrating Buddhist Meditation with Parts Work 239

Conclusion 245

Acknowledgments 249

Notes 251

Resources 259

About the Author 263

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