Most people live in a state of "monkey mind". The mind does not stop moving from place to place, constantly chattering and hard to control. To resolve this useless state, awareness and surrender must be brought to our minds.
Once you start to observe your mind and relinquish resistance, you become in touch with what you really are, and the restless mind loses control over you.
The Monkey Mind Pretends To Be You
Monkey mind is the name given to our unobserved thinking minds. It is constantly moving from place to place like a monkey in the trees. If we do not observe our own thoughts, we become spiritually unconscious. This unconsciousness means we are identified with every thought and emotion that arises - we believe these things are who we are.
Who you really are is the awareness behind thoughts, emotions and sense perceptions. You are the space in which they all exist.
At first the thinking mind seems uncontrollable, pulling us here and there into the past and future through a continuous stream of thought. Every yogi, monk or spiritual teacher you may look up to has much experience of this monkey mind.
How can you control something that seems so powerful and strong? So random and cunning?
Leave It Alone
Relinquish your need to control the mind, and suddenly you are more in control. This is surrender.
If you fight or resist your monkey mind, it becomes stronger and more painful. If you get involved with it, it takes you over.
The monkey mind truly has its own will. If you are identified with it, you just get dragged around. When you increase your awareness of thought or emotion, you weaken your attachment to it.
Awareness is what separates you from your monkey mind. The moment you can notice the gap between you (the observing consciousness) and the stream of thinking, then you begin to know yourself as the silent awareness behind the thinking mind.
Practice for yourself by just watching what your mind does. Do not label, judge, analyse or criticise your thoughts - because this is just the mind taking over again. Just watch from within, as if you are watching or listening from inside your body.
From here you can be the awareness behind thoughts, and not be taken away by them.
You may well get taken in to a stream of thought that lasts a certain amount of time before you suddenly realise that you have been thinking again. This is normal, since the pull of the monkey mind is so strong and habitual. Once you have noticed you have been thinking, this means you are becoming more conscious, you are waking up.
When you get sucked into a stream of thinking, do not judge this in any way. Just allow it to be. The observance of your mind is an effortless state and requires no strain or stress. When you can stop judging and just watch, then you will begin to feel inner peace.
If a monkey is restless and agitated, trying to grab it and hold it still will just make it worse. If you leave it alone, leave the area and give it space, it will eventually calm down. As you watch from a distance, you can still be at peace. Treat your mind in this way. Watch your thoughts as if they are completely separate from yourself. Be the space in which they can play out. Grab hold of nothing.
All thoughts and monkey mind activity have nothing to do with who you are, so just leave them alone.