Magpies and Monkeys


Ooohhh…… shiny object….

Damn.. I was supposed to be meditating,

Then I started thinking about that argument,

Then what I was having for dinner,

And then… oh well it doesn’t matter.

How can I think of nothing?

Surely that’s a thought in itself?

And if I don’t know when my mind wanders,

How can I bring it back?

I feel like have a monkey on my back,

Always chattering in my ear,

Finding things for me to think about,

When I’m supposed to be concentrating on one thing.

Single whip again in Tai Chi, damn!

It occurs in the form so many times,

I stop and can’t remember what technique comes next,

I was thinking about how to do it and not what’s after.

There are so many interesting martial arts,

So many techniques to know,

So many ideas to know about,

What purpose can a ‘still mind’ have?

Don’t think, feel, said Bruce Lee,

Do not think in words said Sifu,

Tai Chi is one thing, not many,

Wisdom lies in stillness.

A still body, a still mind,

Stillness in movement,

And movement in stillness.

Enter a small door, and penetrate deeply.

Keep it simple,

Be aware and focused,

Sensitive and intense,

Then the mind is sharp and guarded.

When you realise you’re lost,

Dispassionately return,

Re-establish mindfulness,

And continue as if nothing happened.

Let the magpie go,

It was only your ego clinging on,

Cast off the monkey,

It was only misdirection.

They are illusion,

They crept in while mindfulness was absent,

They made your mind their home,

And now it’s time for them to go.

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