Scripture and the Monkey Mind

One approach to our inner dialog/monkey mind is to try to shut it down altogether (essentially the Buddhist approach).

Another might be to keep the monkey occupied with something — at least that way it isn’t charging off all over the countryside wreaking havoc.

It seems to me that mantras serve that purpose, including repeating Scripture over and over in one’s mind. In that light, consider Psalm 1:

1Blessed is the person… 2But his delight is in the Torah of the Lord, and on His Torah he meditates day and night.

The word here for `meditate’ is interesting in the Hebrew. HALOT has (omitting all the technical Hebrew stuff, and bold is theirs):

to pronounce, to count to mutter a recitation, (pigeons) to coo, (lion) to growl, to utter a sound, to moan, to read in an undertone, to mutter while meditating, to speak, proclaim

This suggests that the author of the Psalm has in mind not abstract ruminations, but actually speaking the words — perhaps under ones’ breath. Even if that extends to saying the words silently to oneself in one’s head, that is still something that would displace the monkey mind.