Steve Wilson at the Smart Set recalls hiking from San Fransisco to Los Angeles.
As the novelty of walking vanished, and as I entered a three-week period of solitude, my brain turned inward and began digging around among old piles of National Geographic and dusty stacks of vinyl records, looking for entertainment. This was my introduction to what Buddhists call Monkey Brain, the ceaseless chattering of the mind.
This kept up for about 4 weeks, until.......
I was tired, carrying a slight virus, I think, and aiming for the beach. The anxious voice chattered away, complaining about my feet, fretting over getting ill, worrying about the distance to the beach.
Then, suddenly, I heard, “Shut up!”
This was alarming. It is one thing to have a monologue in one’s head, but quite another thing to have a dialogue.