Monkey Mind, Puppy Mind

by Wayne Ren-Cheng

At the Cherokee Buddhist Temple (Wat Buddhamanee Rattanaram) a couple of Sundays ago the topic was the Five Precepts. As part of that discussion Lorena talked about the ‘monkey mind’ except she used a different term, one that speaks more directly to a Western sensibility. She called it ‘puppy mind’. Wow. That metaphor made me smile then, and it still does. With some time to contemplate the concept of ‘puppy mind’ I’ve come to realize what a use of skillful means that is. Westerners have very little experience with monkeys while most have first-hand knowledge of puppies.


Puppies are all over the place, unable to focus on one thing as they try to take in all the world has to offer their senses. A puppy must learn to set aside sense input in order to follow commands. A mind must be trained for much the same reason. A mind must learn to set aside sense input in order to follow the Middle Path.

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Welcomed at Cherokee Buddhist Temple – Wat Buddhanamee Rattanaram

by Wayne Ren-Cheng


Joined the sangha at the Cherokee Buddhist temple for a robe ceremony, a fund raiser so that this local temple can offer more English language instruction and expand their engagement with the city of St. Louis.  Welcoming people, beautiful temple, and engaging teaching in the heart of my neighborhood.

Phrakru Vijit Silakun may not speak a lot of English but his sincere manner of offering the dharma and the loving-kindness he radiates is voice enough.


I bow with respect,

Wayne Ren-Cheng