I would say that the vast majority of people in the world, although we are all "Buddha", are sucked into their "monkey mind" most of their lives, maybe 100% of the time. Thus, we can speak of "deluded sentient beings". Their monkey just leads them around by the nose.
Some folks, on the other hand, believe that once one realizes "enlightenment", one is free of the monkey mind 100% of the time. I don't care for that, see no proof of that apart from oft repeated legends of the past, and think that were it so, we would also loose a good deal of the beauty and complexity of what it means to be human ... reduced to numb wood and cold stones in a vanilla world.
In my view, much better is the true realization that the monkey mind is the monkey min
d (most people in the world, deluded sentient beings, do not realize even this, let alone that they need not be its victim), as well as that realization by which the monkey mind dissolves back into the jungle vines of emptyness
, followed by the monkey's lovely re-emergence from the vines he never left to start with, followed by developing the ability to see Curious George's trouble making clearly when the monkey runs amuck, and to free ourselves when needed of its worst doings. In other words, through our Buddhist practice, we can develop the ability to see through the monkey sometimes, make him vanish completely sometimes, return to his cage sometimes, train him sometimes, and let him run free in healthful ways sometimes ... a whole bag of tricks suitable to the circumstances. That is "enlightened" insight and behavior, and is something allowed us through our Buddhist training to be monkey trainers. But without that monkey, life is so much poorer ... for we need to laugh and cry and feel joy and pain sometimes, even if we should be keeping all that in the direction of moderation and not let our simian-self run amuck and lead us to extremes. .
I think it naive to think that we can always control King Kong, that he will never break loose and climb the Empire State Building. That does not mean that we are "not yet Buddha", "not yet enlightened". It simply means that, in this complex world, there might be a sliding scale
between more "Buddha like
" and more "deluded
" behavior and experience, and we may always be traveling between those poles on different days, in different circumstances. (Where did this idea come that once someone was "realized", they just never stumbled again, never faced complexity in life, never had the monkey do his thing
?) Hopefully, as we continue this practice over time, the monkey becomes Tarzan's friend and not our wild enemy more and more
... but he will always be there, with his animal nature ready to break loose.