Mind monkey

Mind monkey or monkey mind, from Chinese xinyuan and Sino-Japanese shin'en [lit. "heart-/mind-monkey"], is a Buddhist term meaning "unsettled; restless; capricious; whimsical; fanciful; inconstant; confused; indecisive; uncontrollable". In addition to Buddhist writings, including Chan or Zen, Consciousness-only, Pure Land, and Shingon, this "mind-monkey" psychological metaphor was adopted in Daoism, Neo-Confucianism, poetry, drama, and literature. "Mind-monkey" occurs in two reversible four-character idioms with yima or iba [lit. "thought-/will-horse"], most frequently used in Chinese xinyuanyima and Japanese ibashin'en . The "Monkey King" Sun Wukong in the Journey to the West personifies the mind-monkey. Note that much of the following summarizes Carr (1993). "Mind-monkey" is an exemplary animal metaphor. Some figures of speech are cross-linguistically common, verging upon linguistic universals; many languages use "monkey" or "ape" words to mean "mimic", for instance, Italian scimmiottare "to mock; to mimic" < scimmia "monkey; ape", Japanese sarumane ? [lit. "monkey imitation"] "copycat; superficial imitation", and English monkey see, monkey do or to ape). Other animal metaphors have culture-specific meanings; compare English chickenhearted "cowardly; timid'; easily frightened" and Chinese jixin [lit. "chicken heart"] "heart-shaped; cordate". The four morphological elements of Chinese xinyuanyima or Japanese shin'en'iba are xin or shin ? "heart; mind", yi or i ?

"thought", yuan or en ? "monkey", and ma or ba ? "horse"'. The psychological components of the "mind-monkey will-horse" metaphor are Chinese xin or Sino-Japanese shin or kokoro ? "heart; mind; feelings, affections; center" and yi or i ? 'thought, idea; opinion, sentiment; will, wish; meaning'. This Chinese character ? was graphically simplified from an original pictogram of a heart, and ? "thought; think" is an ideogram combining ? under yin ? "sound; tone; voice" denoting "sound in the mind; thought; idea". In Chinese Buddhism and Japanese Buddhism, xin/shin ? "heart; mind" generally translates Sanskrit citta "the mind; state of mind; consciousness" and yi/i ? translates Sanskrit manas "the mental organ; deliberation". Some Buddhist authors have used ? and ? interchangeably for "mind; cognition; thought". Compare these Digital Dictionary of Buddhism glosses ? "Spirit, motive, sense. The mind as the seat of intelligence, mentality, idea. (Skt. citta) … Thought, intellect, feeling; (Skt. manasa)" ? "Thought, intellect; (Skt. manas; Tib. yid); the mind; (Skt. citta; Tib. sems)". For example, take the Buddhist word Chinese xin-yi-shi or Japanese shin-i-shiki ? [lit. "mind, thought, and cognition"] that compounds three near-synonyms. Abhidharma theory uses this word as a general term for "mind; mentality", but Yogacara theory of Eight Consciousnesses distinguishes xin/shin ? "store consciousness", yi/i ? "manas consciousness", and shi/shiki ? "six object-contingent consciousnesses".