Music and the Spoken Word

Taming the Wild Monkey - Sunday, April 15, 2018

Thousands of years ago, Gautama Buddha became known as a wise teacher with keen insights into human nature. He often compared the mind to a wild monkey: jumping from limb to limb, restless, distracted, and a bit out of control. When we think about how hectic life can be sometimes, with so many important things to do, so many urgent matters clamoring for our attention, the analogy seems pretty accurate. When this happens, we may feel unsettled, anxious, and exhausted as we try to keep up with the little monkey in our mind.

What can we do to tame the monkey? How do we find peace in our noisy, chaotic world? One woman found that when she felt frazzled and anxious, her mind was eased when she thought of the psalm “Be still, and know that I am God.” A busy man buffeted by the stresses of life repeats the simple but powerful words “Things will work out” to help him carry on. Another finds tranquility in taking a moment to focus on his blessings, even when things don’t seem to be going well. And another is intentional about being more loving in the things she says to herself, such as “I can deal with this,” and that helps hush her fears and worries.

All of these examples have something important in common: Stopping long enough to listen to gentle reminders of truth and whisperings of peace. They are easiest to hear in quiet moments—so sometimes we have to create these moments in our mind and heart. We may even need to find a place that is set apart from the noise of the world. Keeping a journal, listening to soothing music, taking time to ponder and pray, breathing deeply, or even repeating a hopeful word or phrase can soothe our souls.

The world may not become less hectic or stressful anytime soon. But even a wild monkey needs to rest from time to time. We will find greater peace and personal power—no matter what’s going on around us—if we can focus our minds and hearts on messages of truth, encouragement, and hope.

-Lloyd D. Newell
April 15, 2018
Broadcast Number 4,622

Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square

Ryan Murphy

Linda Margetts

Lloyd Newell

Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven
Ryan Murphy

Morning Has Broken
Gaelic melody; arr. Mack Wilberg

Prelude in Classic Style
Gordon Young

Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy
Philip Paul Bliss; arr. Ryan Murphy

Count Your Blessings instead of Sheep, from White Christmas
Irving Berlin; arr. Michael Davis

On Great Lone Hills
Jean Sibelius; arr. H. Alexander Matthews