The Imagery & Symbolization of Chinese Words--心猿意马 (xin yuan yi ma; non-concentrating)
中文的意象 & 象征意义——心猿意马
Chinese words originated from hieroglyphs, each word developed from a picture, and the combination of the pictures is a moving video.
Today, when I was sitting at my desk and waiting for the next client to come, usually, I would use this time to finish the process note of the last client. But at that moment, my mind was wandering some unknown places while holding the pen in my hand. When I came back to my senses, a Chinese idiom appeared in my mind: 心猿意马 (xin yuan yi ma)--
means my mind wandered.
I think 心猿意马（xin yuan yi ma） is a very graphic expression. Did you ever experience this: Outside, you are sitting there stilly--quiet & unmoving, but your mind was actively process something else, out of your conscious, like in a trance state. If translated directly, 心猿意马（xin yuan yi ma）means your heart, like a monkey, is jumping up and down on the branches, swinging back and forth, looking right and left while grimacing. At the same time, your mind is riding a wild horse running across the grassland, running wildly and wandering in small steps in the next moment, and sometimes standing with his hind legs and neighing to the sky. Doesn't 心猿意马（xin yuan yi ma) vividly express the hiding inner world?
心猿意马（xin yuan yi ma）can also refer unfaithful in a relationship or indecisive according to the context. They are the extended meaning of non-concentration, in my opinion.
People's inner is often inconsistent with external performance/appearance, sometimes highly different, even opposite. Who would know it better than our psychoanalyst?
More Chinese idioms come into my mind: such as 忐忑不安 (uneasy)、忐忐忑忑 (uneasy), 胆战心惊 (frightened), 提心吊胆 (frightened), 惴惴不安 (uneasy), 心急火燎 (very worried)......
Francy Wang 王方
August 15, 2021, in Toronto