When I Google “Idea Horse” nothing much shows up. The first hit is the Ideal Horse in Aristotle’s concepts of the Ideal-Fill-in-the-Blank.
When I search for The Monkey Mind and The Idea Horse, I begin to find small mentions. Both represent the endless chatter of fear, restlessness, distraction and other voices in our heads that people wish they could silence with meditation.
In meditation, counting breaths is taught so that the heart and breath can come into unison and thus we are doing what is called locking up the monkey heart and tying up the running horse of intellect.
But despite that language, in more compassionate Buddhism, we don’t lock anybody up. Teachers do not bonk students with sticks. We do not tie up the horse and we do not lock up the monkey. We love the student, the forever student, we smile at the monkey and the horse and wish them well. We do not hate that they are there and we do not try to suffocate the life out of them. Instead we learn how to rein them in when we can.
I hope this is helpful. Years ago, I believed that the ego had to be smashed. After years of little or no success, I realized that Buddha and the other NowPeople were not suggesting a permanent awakening but rather a moment-by-moment awakening of the heart to the mind. It is the development of compassion toward how awfully human we are.
Now my mantra is in English: I am enough, There is enough, It is enough.
I am neither perfecting myself nor my meditation practice. I am held safely in Jizo’s arms, loved as I AM and not as I SHOULD BE.
If that does not make sense now, I hope it will. Some day.