Thursday, February 14, 2019

                          “Everything in nature contains all the power of nature.  

                                       Everything is made of one hidden stuff.”  
                                                       Ralph Waldo Emerson

                                                      "Look deep into nature,

                                    and then you will understand everything better."
                                                              Albert Einstein

                                                  — THE FIVE ELEMENTS -- 

                             A loose version of this presentation was given at the Castle 
                                   in Echo Park on February 17, 2019, with a short ritual 
                   of harmonizing the relationship between ourselves and the environment.

In times gone by, indigenous people around the planet had an intimate relationship with nature.  They were mindful and looked deeply toward the sky, watched the wind, built fires, carried water, and planted in the earth. These rituals of everyday life were a very important part of survival and put them in direct contact with the five elements.  

Space, Air, Fire, Water, Earth — are thought to be the substance from which all things and processes arise.  Now, because of the stress of our planet and its people, more and more of us are turning to that ancient wisdom that considers the five elements. 

There is nothing that is not composed of these five aspects of energy.  Being born of the elements, we are not separate from our natural environment.  We can identify the big wide open space we live in with the Space element, our breath with Air, our metabolic interactions with Fire, our blood with the Water element, and our bodies with the Earth element.

These elements keep breaking down into more subtle features.  There is a manifestation of the elemental energies in our emotions.  Remember how you feel in nature — open, wild and free, connected
, passionate, flowing, grounded.  These are same positive emotions that correlate with the five elements.  This is when we can say we are in our element!

When we say we are out of our element, we are out of balance.  Think back to our own personalities and see the imbalance — for example, being too spacey or airy fairy or fiery with anger or with too much water, wishy-washy and indecisive.  The obstinate, stuck person may have too much of the earth element.

And our precious planet works with her imbalances also — polluted waters and sky — soil that has been abused with chemicals.   As you know, there are many ways in which we can help her.  Awareness and ritual even casual ritual is contagious.

Tonight I will introduce you to a shamanic practice that is basically Tibetan with a mix of the pagan me.   Working with the elements will bring them closer to our lives.  I do something of this sort everyday and I feel I have a more intimate relationship with nature.  It is putting me more in balance along with an awareness in most moments.

To start, we will put together an altar for balance and healing of our internal elements with the external elements.  When there is balance, healing occurs and all things are possible.  I have gathered the pieces that symbolize the elements — stones for the Earth, shells for water, a candle for the fire element, and the sound of the bell for air.  You could use a feather, a bird pic or statue.  Be imaginative! In the center, we have created a vortex symbolizing the space element.  This is the spot for an offering tray.

In this tray, you can place some same personal items that you love and a card stating your intentions.  Tonight for this gathering, we will ask that the performers and everyone else to be filled with confident and creativity.  May we find the pathway within that will lead us to our limitless creative uniqueness.  And let’s add — May all beings be filled with creativity and love.

At this point let us begin the ritual and to invite the energy of each element to this gathering. If you don’t resonate with this energetic-type work, I ask that you shift into your playful inner child for a bit and just use your imagination.  Now I will light the candle and ring the bell.  We will take a moment and do three slow breaths. Breathing in … filling with the energy of the universe and breathing out … letting go of all contractions … Feel your heart expanding with openness and love.      And our precious planet works with her imbalance also — polluted water and sky — soil that has been abused with chemicals. We can help her.

Tonight I will introduce you to a shamanistic practice that is basically Tibetan with a mix of the pagan me.  I do something of this sort everyday and it’s brought me a more intimate relationship with nature.  And I feel good the I am working with our environment.

Tonight we will put together an altar for balance and healing of our internal elements with the external elements.  When there is balance, healing occurs and all things are possible.  I have gathered the pieces that symbolize the elements — stones for the Earth, shells for water, a candle for the fire element, and the sound of the bell for air.  You could use a feather, a bird pic or statue.  Be imaginative! In the center, we have created a vortex symbolizing the space element. This is the spot for an offering tray.

In this tray, you can place some same personal items that you love and a card stating your intentions.  Tonight for this gathering, we will ask that the performers and everyone else to be filled with confident and creativity.  May we find the pathway within that will lead us to our limitless creative uniqueness.  And let’s add — May all beings be filled with creativity and love.

At this point let us begin the ritual and invite the energy of each element to this gathering. If you don’t resonate with this energetic-type work, I ask that you shift into your playful inner child for a bit and just use your imagination.  Now I will light the candle and ring the bell.  We will take a moment and do three slow breaths. Breathing in … filling with the energy of the universe and breathing out … letting go of all contractions … Feel your heart expanding with openness and love. 

                      First a chanting of the seed syllables mantras that name the five 

               elements while doing a hand mudra that rejuvenates and balances them.

          A Yam Ram Mam Kham -- A Yam Ram Mam Kham -- A Yam Ram Mam Kham  

1)  Beautiful energy of SPACE you are here!  Everything exists into space and dissolves into space.  Thank you for the openness of thought you offer.  We know there is room for everything and anything.

2)  Sacred AIR that we breathe!  We invite your energy into this circle.  We are flexible and always accept different aspects of an experience.  We know that it is air that connects everything — here and now, we follow our breath and can be everywhere! Thank you!

3)  O’ warm energy of Fire! We feel your presence tonight.  Thank you for the passion of inspiration and creativity that you bring us.

4)  We now invite the powerful energy of Water to join us.  With your constant flowing and cleansing movement,  we are so open to change.  Thank you for glimpses of mirror-like wisdom showing the way of love and compassion.

5)  Energy of our precious Earth, we invite you to our circle.  We feel your energy beneath our feet.  We are so grounded and stable.  We are filled with mental calmness in all situations.  Thank you!

                  Chant the mantra of the combined elements again while doing the mudra:  
          A Yam Ram Mam Kham — A Yam Ram Mam Kham — A Yam Ram Mam Kham 

I do something of this sort everyday and it’s brought me a more intimate relationship with nature.  You can design your own ritual.  And don’t forget that you walk around everyday in all the elements.  Just be mindful of them … looking at the sky, watching a tree blow in the wind, feeling the sun on your face, taking a shower, walking, looking at a tree … bring it all within.  Your practice can be endless and this mindfulness will bring balance.


More information about the elements:

Saturday, November 3, 2018

 Namaste, my family and friends ...  I came across this beautiful Buddha story on forgiveness.  With thoughts of where forgiveness fits into Buddhism, I wanted to share it.  It's a little long, but worth the time to read!

The Buddha was sitting under a tree talking to his disciples when a man came and spat in his face. He wiped it off, and he asked the man, “What next? What do you want to say next?” The man was a little puzzled because he himself never expected that when you spit in someone’s face he should ask “What next?” He had no such experience in his past. He had insulted people and they had become angry and they had reacted. Or if they were cowards and weaklings, they had smiled, trying to bribe him. But the Buddha was like neither, he was not angry, nor in any way offended, nor in any way cowardly. But just matter-of-factly he said, “What next?” There was no reaction on his part.

But Buddha’s disciples became angry, and they reacted. His closest disciple, Ananda, said, “This is too much. We cannot tolerate it. He has to be punished for it, otherwise everybody will start doing things like this!”

Buddha said, “You keep silent. He has not offended me, but you are offending me. He is new, a stranger. He must have heard from people something about me, that this man is an atheist, a dangerous man who is throwing people off their track, a revolutionary, a corrupter. And he may have formed some idea, a notion of me. He has not spit on me, he has spit on his notion. He has spit on his idea of me because he does not know me at all, so how can he spit on me?

“If you think on it deeply,” Buddha said, “he has spit on his own mind. I am not part of it, and I can see that this poor man must have something else to say because this is a way of saying something. Spitting is a way of saying something. There are moments when you feel that language is impotent: in deep love, in intense anger, in hate, in prayer. There are intense moments when language is impotent. Then you have to do something. When you are angry, intensely angry, you hit the person, you spit on him, you are saying something. I can understand him. He must have something more to say, that’s why I’m asking, “What next?”

The man was even more puzzled! And Buddha said to his disciples, “I am more offended by you because you know me, and you have lived for years with me, and still you react.”

Puzzled, confused, the man returned home. He could not sleep the whole night. When you see a Buddha, it is difficult, impossible to sleep anymore the way you used to sleep before. Again and again he was haunted by the experience. He could not explain it to himself, what had happened. He was trembling all over, sweating and soaking the sheets. He had never come across such a man; the Buddha had shattered his whole mind and his whole pattern, his whole past.

The next morning he went back. He threw himself at Buddha’s feet. Buddha asked him again, “What next? This, too, is a way of saying something that cannot be said in language. When you come and touch my feet, you are saying something that cannot be said ordinarily, for which all words are too narrow; it cannot be contained in them.” Buddha said, “Look, Ananda, this man is again here, he is saying something. This man is a man of deep emotions.”

The man looked at Buddha and said, “Forgive me for what I did yesterday.”

Buddha said, “Forgive? But I am not the same man to whom you did it. The Ganges goes on flowing, it is never the same Ganges again. Every man is a river. The man you spit upon is no longer here. I look just like him, but I am not the same, much has happened in these twenty-four hours! The river has flowed so much. So I cannot forgive you because I have no grudge against you.

“And you also are new. I can see you are not the same man who came yesterday because that man was angry and he spit, whereas you are bowing at my feet, touching my feet. How can you be the same man? You are not the same man, so let us forget about it. Those two people, the man who spit and the man on whom he spit, both are no more. Come closer. Let us talk of something else.”

                                       ---from Osho

    Thank you for being on the pathway of awareness!
                                      Isn't this fun?

Monday, April 23, 2018

It’s a beautiful day!  Namaste!  First thing every morning, I take some time to commune with  nature.  I see the Tibetan prayer flags blowing in the wind.  They are beginning to fade and to fray around the edges.  All is good!  They are sending out prayers of elemental balance to all that exists.  According to some Tibetan practices, the elemental colors are:  blue for space, white for air, red for fire, green for water, yellow for earth.  Today all flags are dancing in the wind.

I lift my eyes to the open sky that is the space element.  I look deeply into the vastness.  With my breath going in and out, in and out, I soon close my eyes.  On the in breath, I fill with the spaciousness and with the out breath, I allow myself to sink deeper and deeper into this blue space.  It is so big and I affirm, that is me.

I feel the wind on my face and take another deep purifying breath.  This air runs through us all, as well as sweetly caressing our bodies — reminding us to breath.  Thinking of white, I close my eyes and feel the breath going into my whole body and on the out breath, releasing any blockages.  The air carries energy through all things.  Yes, and when I am conscious of every breath, this air element shows me there is no separateness from the air element, either!  It's all the same!  It’s in me and surrounding me.

The Earth is now warming up with the sun.  The sun is of the fire element.  I bow to the direction of the sun in the eastern sky.  I acknowledge fire as an intricate part of life’s energy.  When I feel the sun upon my body and realize, too, this fire energy is within me.  Physically, the fire element heats our bodies to the right temperature for all its processes.  Metaphysically, fire ignites our passions in the direction of love and compassion.  I feel this fire element within me and I see it everywhere in nature.  I am fire!

Looking to the river, I am aware that it connects to all the waters of the planet.  This water element makes up a great deal of our body fluids, too!  It courses through our veins, all our cells are surrounded by sacred water.  Mindfully, I breathe while watching the river gently flow to the ocean.  That makes me think of my blood flowing about my body.  Again, on the out breaths, I remind myself to merge the water within me to the waters of the earth.  We are one!

I look to the mountain ridges that start out low and keep getting higher until I see the peaks of Wai‘aleale (on some days) at the center of the island.  This point is the first volcanic beginnings of Kauai.  While imagining the yellow color, I spread my toes and sink further into the earth.  I do warrior poses and feel so strong.  Thank you, Earth!  Physically, our bones are of the earth; and, metaphysically, we can ground ourselves with the earth for stability in at least every other moment.  I am like the tree!  Feet sinking deeply in the earth and raising my arms up into the sky consciousness. 

                       Namaste to the five elements!
                                     I am smiling!

                                  A haiku for you:

                               those five elements
                       o' space air fire water earth
                               make love endlessly

                 Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!
 Sometimes, imaginative thoughts lead to realizations!

Friday, March 23, 2018


       "Remember to look up to the stars ...... Be curious." 
                       Stephen Hawking (1942-2018)

Namaste to All ...        

 I am so thankful to have had Stephen Hawking's energy touch my family.  His mind-bending insight into the workings of the Universe deeply captivated my two sons when they were at the age of looking more deeply into themselves and life.  (Does that ever end?)   Stephen Hawking's book A Brief History of Time opened doors of new thought giving more explanation to our existence.

After a visit to CalTech to hear a Hawking lecture, my sons were hooked even more.  They watched this man in action talking of the cosmos in seriousness tinged with his ever-present humor.  At this time, my youngest was majoring in physics in high school.  Eventually, when his creativeness took over, he shifted to writing and drawing.  He became a Berkeley grad with a degree in English never letting go of his keen interest in astronomy and science fiction.

And with my eldest son, Hawking's vast perceptions fanned his interest in mind experience leading him to philosophy and then on to neuroscience.   He possesses a drive not to give up on his other artistic interests.  I do believe Stephen Hawking's determination and expansive views were very influential in both their lives. 

For me, as a lazy Buddhist practitioner (a term I've heard the Dalai Lama use for himself), deep science and spirituality had found a meeting place in my studies.  Both look at life elements very closely, watching the energy, seeing the movement, the impermanence, the sameness of all life, and the intuitive control our minds have over molecules in regard to healing and making change.  For me, this knowing is joyful. 

Hawking looked so deeply and far into space, I do believe that pathway lead him full circle to within.   He intrinsically held a great love for life and it is said that he lived life to the fullest with humor.  He felt "life would be tragic if it weren't so funny."  

Stephen Hawking never said he was a Buddhist.  I believe he didn't need that label.  He obviously had no attachments to his physical form and flowed through his life.  I liked what he says here stating his dislike for aggression which is one of the three poisons that Buddhism talks of:  

       "The human failing I would most like to correct is   
       aggression. It may have had survival advantage in   
       caveman days, to get more food, territory or partner
      with whom to reproduce, but now it threatens to destroy
      us all.” Likewise, he said about empathy that it’s the 
      quality he “would most like to magnify .... It brings us 
      together in a peaceful, loving state.”

Stephen Hawking's energy will always be here.  Blessings to this remarkable human being on his new adventure.  I would like to dedicate a poem to him ... 

 creative insight
aha! prismatic cosmos
reflections of me

to be fully expressed
dancing with life and love
in the rainbow mist

a colorful gathering
and melding of all that is
I am here and now

Thank you for being on the pathway
of awareness!



Wednesday, February 28, 2018

                                  Namaste to all of you! 

I awoke early this morning with an old song going through my head.  Written in the mid-sixties by Stephen Stills, you may remember the one called "For What it's Worth."  It's a great song.  Please take a couple of minutes to listen and read the lyrics.

Fortunately, the young adults of today are still trying to understand and make since of the dualities of life.  And when their voices are heard, they help to make change.

Today I am writing this post to honor all the victims of the Parkland, Florida shooting -- the ones who lost their lives as well as the ones who were wounded physically and mentally. I am bowing to all the young people of Florida who are speaking their minds and sending out a ripple of awareness all over the country saying we are fed up and something isn't right with this gun situation.   I am bowing to all of them around the country for being brave.  I say right now, "Power to the young people!" for wanting change.

I am reminded of the book Shambala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior written by Chogyam Trungpa,  another Tibetan Buddhist teacher.   Looking at the duality that is relative in our everyday life (for example ... night/day, love/hate, cold/hot, guns/no guns) he tells us that we need to be fearful, tender of heart, or sad to enable one to "open up, without resistance or shyness, and face the world."  The fear  transforms into fearlessness.  

In watching and listening to the high schoolers that are facing the world and speaking out, it looks like their fear transformed them into fearless "spiritual warriors."   Chogyam Trungpa says:

“Warrior-ship here does not refer to making war on others. Aggression is the source of our problems, not the solution. Here the word “warrior” is taken from the Tibetan “pawo,” which literally means, “one who is brave.” ... "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye."

I am glad that these activists are out there carrying signs, going to D.C., speaking to political officials -- letting it be known that things are not acceptable.  We need this and I believe we should do all we can to empower this mission of calling for change.  

Some think that simple prayers, thoughts and meditations may not help in the big picture.  But that is not true when you have a inkling of the cosmic energy that runs throughout the whole universe -- through all of us including our actions, thoughts and words.   If you are of the right mind and practice with compassion, it can help to raise the consciousness of all. 

I go along with the thoughts of the Dalai Lama that world peace starts within.  And Gandhi's words:  Be the change you want to see.  And then there is Thich Nhat Hanh suggesting that each step must be peaceful in obtaining peace.   These three spiritual leaders are known to be activists for peace, equal rights and freedom.

           So I tell myself:  Don't talk about it.  Be about it!

Our hearts have been wounded again and we are open and vulnerable.  Is it time to recognize yourself as a spiritual warrior?  I am looking toward more active efforts leading to higher consciousness for all and raising the vibe of the planet.  Meanwhile, I will continue to be the best person I can be and do Tonglen meditation as I have talked about in the preceding post -- the meditation is something I can always do.  

At this time, I'm making a request to all of you concerned ones and spiritual warriors to keep your peaceful ways going  and to continue seeking change through rational and compassionate actions in service of a higher goal.  

                          Thank you to all the fearless ones 
                for being here on the pathway to awareness! 


Friday, February 23, 2018

                      Namaste!  I am bowing to everyone!  

I have been talking about and practicing Tonglen meditation for a couple of years.  With all of the tension in the world, I am now making an effort to introduce Tonglen to my friends and family.  Developed by Tibetan Buddhists, this meditation with its unique breathing technique, offers us a chance to feel more helpful in situations.

It has helped me get through lots of physical pain as well as the anxiety caused by illness and now it is helping with the frustration of  dealing with environmental, political and social issues.  It is a different technique in that you take in negative energy and send out positive energy.

With all the information that is out there, you will be able to create a Tonglen practice that works for you.  My aim, here on this page, is to give you a glimpse into this meditation with the assistance of Pema Chodron, a Tibetan Buddhist nun, who has a very real and relaxed manner in teaching.  

Pema says: 

           "Tonglen practice, also known as “taking and 
           sending,” reverses our usual logic of avoiding     
           suffering and seeking pleasure. In tonglen 
           practice, we visualize taking in the pain of others 
          with every in-breath and sending out whatever 
          will benefit them on the out-breath. In the process, 
          we become liberated from age-old patterns of   
          selfishness. We begin to feel love for both ourselves 
          and others; we begin to take care of ourselves and  

The drawing below shows you the process -- breathing in the negative dark energy which could be an emotion or happening and then breathing out the energy of a desired positive outcome.

This is how I use it.  I will breathe in my unsettling and  anxious feeling.  I look internally to how this anxiousness feels.  And then I will breathe out peace, calmness, serenity.  Next I will do this same process for someone that I know is experiencing the similar feelings.  I will breathe in her anxious feelings with empathy and breathe out calmness. Lastly, I will move on to all those in the whole world who are feeling anxious.  I will breathe in that anxious feeling and then I will exhale with the thought of peace for all.  I spend some time with each area of this meditation.

Now a short video featuring Pema giving us more information and some more clarity.  Remember there are different styles of tonglenI suggest you do some research ...

I find this is a meditation that works for me.  You can use it with anger, pain, any negative emotion.  It is engaging my practice to help myself and to help others.  When you start with yourself, it enables you to feel what others are feeling.  A really easy one is to just breathe in fear and breathe out love starting with yourself, then someone else, and ending with the whole planet.  Another one is breathing in ignorance and breathing out wisdom.  It really does ease up the uncomfortable feelings of not being able to do something.

                             Thank you for being here
                                    on the pathway!  



Friday, February 2, 2018

                          Namaste! I am bowing to you! 

We all love walking!   We love how we can move around freely and easily.  Through a physical situation, I lost that freedom for a couple of years.  That experience served me in fine tuning my awareness of the gift of movement.  My gratitude for walking has increased to the umpteenth degree!  I am still rehabbing and I make a big deal out of mindful walking.  It is such a wonderful experience to pay attention to the miraculous symphony of motion in every step!

        I wrote the following essay.  I hope you will enjoy it!

                      Walking Walking Mindful Walking

It’s a beautiful breezy day.  I  am with a new friend who has become one of my favorite walking partners.  Her name is Milly.  She is strong, dependable, and inspiring.  During this time of finding more  physical strength and balance, she has taught me so much about being aware of my body and all its movement during our walks.  I believe her to be a walking master.  I am so grateful that she is always ready for a workout and have come to deeply appreciate all the insights I receive while in her presence!

Before beginning the walk routine, I stand still with my feet at hip width apart.  Balancing on my feet, I soften my knees a bit and sink  into the energy of grounding.  I become aware of my breath.  Of course, we are dependent upon breath for oxygenating all our cells, but I recognize its more subtle function — paying attention to its flow, opens the doorway to mindfulness of our bodies and its movement. While watching my breath, I  breathe slowly and deeply — in and out, in and out.  Following my breath, I watch it travel throughout my body opening the connection and calling me to look deeply into my upper body — the neck, shoulders, lung, heart before continuing on to scan through my hips to upper legs, knees and feet.  I look for any sensitive areas to be aware of during this walking practice to avoid injury to my healing body.

Besides conscious breathing, my walking practice involves another traditional zen element.  Now forming my hands into the Shashu mudra, I first bring the thumb and index finger of right hand together forming a ring.  This finger gesture also offers grounding.  I place the left hand over the right hand letting the thumb lightly hook into the ring of the right hand.  Keeping my gestured hands very relaxed, I move them over my solar plexus just below the ribcage.   

Honoring the walking experience, I bow to Milly.  So it is with this conscious breathing and pose, Milly calls on me to start.  With my eyes cast down and looking about six feet ahead, we begin with an ever-so-slow stride.  The slowness allows me to create a rhythm and be more conscious of the movements of walking — I am lifting—moving—connecting—lifting— moving—connecting, over and over again.  I take deep and slow breaths and feel my hips shift back and forth with each alternate step.  

I remember to look more deeply into the movement with my inner eye to see into the region of the feet and their more distinct actions as they first touch with the heel, gliding onto the ball, and finally onto my toes of the forward foot.  As I push off with these toes, my other foot is starting with the heel, then ball, and onto the toes.  After keeping my sight there for some moments, I move on to watch my knee. I feel the spacious movement of these joints — the rotating, lifting and stepping out and then alternating to the other.  Traveling up my legs to my hips joints, I smile at the gentle swing of my hips so thankful to my body for this miraculous and synchronistic action of walking.  Hearing the words “walk like a mountain” run through me.  I breathe, straighten my back and lift my diaphragm.

Confident of my balance, I know I’m ready to increase my speed slightly, I move out of the hand mudra.  Now my arms are swinging freely keeping in time with the alternate leg.   As I move faster, I don’t forget to pay attention to the movement of all the joints and their part in the walking movements.  Back to the simple thought of lifting, moving, connecting with every step.  And still conscious of the gentle shift of the hips, I watch the appropriate leg and foot action.   Is my left foot coming down at the right angle?  Am I moving with my hips in proper alignment over the appropriate leg?  I am breathing?  So much to be mindful of! 

After 30 minutes of walking, I feel it is time to slow it down — I bring my hands back into the walking mudra and I am able to slow my breath and watch it gently travel down my down through my legs looking for irregular feelings.  All is good!  And I concentrate for a bit more on the whole action of stepping out slowly with lifting, moving, connecting and then I again take a deeper look into that action — heel, ball, toes — again and again until I am finished.   I feel flushed, sweaty and good.  I smile and bow once again to Milly and thank her for being here for me. 

Well, now back to real life.  I find the spray bottle and cloth to respectfully wipe down this wonderful machine.  Yes, let the truth be known.  Milly Milly the Treadmill!  Yes, Milly is my name for this constant, no non-sense walking companion. 

And dear Milly can be found everyday on the second floor of Makana Training Center on the island of Kauai.  I have grown to really appreciate this machine.  I can just walk with one step at a time and not worry about any obstacles on the pathway.  With Milly’s help, at this point in my workout, I have created a 35 minute walking program that guides me through different paces that are enabling me to walk with more strength, balance and determination.  I call our time together “walking without walking.”  Thank you!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

             Namaste to you on this beautiful day!

Thanks to Vayu Romdoni for his Rainbow Monkey

Speaking of monkey minds, that constant chatter within our heads that takes us away from the present moment, is something I've been working on these days.  The realization is ... I allow my ego to disguise the chatter in playful and creative ways to make it acceptable to my practice. This ego tactic is fascinating and I'm trying to understand its part in my life. This will take some contemplation for I like to be present in the moment and to have fun playing with life. 

So I ask myself, "Do you, iris, take yourself away from the moment with too many playful imaginings?"
Probably!  I wrote this haiku in an insightful moment:

                                   rainbow monkey mind
                                    disguises the illusion
                                huh! mindful breath calls

I wonder ... I wonder ... I wonder if I am making any sense trying to figure out the monkey mind and its connection to ego.  Here's another take ... an author I have read, Devashish, puts it this way:  "the chameleon-like ego that holds us in thrall with its false sense of self" is ever present. 

The Buddha contemplated the chaotic mental state and called it "kapicitta." And he explained, "Just as a monkey swinging through the trees grabs one branch and lets it go only to seize another so too, that which is called thought, mind or consciousness arises and disappears continually both day and night."

You may be contemplating these same things. I thank you for being here ... And please, if you have any insight on this, let me know!  Blessings!