Tag: technology

Mediation Experiences – Cuatro

This is the fourth installment “Cuatro” in my series on my meditation experiences. The previous installments included:

Meditation Experiences – Uno where I covered some of the basics of meditation and how I began my own practice.

Meditation Experiences – Dos was targeted at a discussion on some of the benefits I have received from my practice.

Meditation Experiences – Tres is where I tried to make the case for having no expectations from your practice.

Ok enough about the past, but if you haven’t read these posts I recommend you do so, as this has been a journey for me, and you get a better context for what I have experienced if you start at the beginning. During the time that I have written this, I have been meditating on a daily basis for about 3 months. I don’t know if I mentioned this, but my practice has also included studying Buddhism, which I have been doing for maybe around the last 10 years or so. So when I talk about my practice it is comprised of meditation and Buddhist studies.

All of human history has been turbulent, but we are living in a strange era with this pandemic and technological advances that have brought so much prosperity to the world and at the same time caused so many people to be displaced. If there was ever a time that we needed something to provide a lifeline or an anchor in our world the time is now.

As I went beyond just studying and dedicated myself to daily meditation, I feel that this might be an answer to living a meaningful life amidst all this craziness. In fact, it may be the only true way out of this situation. The Buddha spent years coming to the realization that suffering exists as a natural state for human beings and that there is an end to suffering. His prescription was developing a practice of meditation and following the Eightfold Path. You might be thinking this is bullshit, how can I benefit from studying an applied philosophy created 2,500 years ago. I would argue that Buddhism has survived so long because it was relevant in the past and is relevant today and will be relevant in the future. The basic premise of Buddhism that life is Dukkha (suffering), is as true today as it was yesterday.

As I have become consistent with my practice and specifically the meditation component of it I have found it to be the lifeline that I so badly needed. I won’t kid you there are times when I sit down on my cushion and have trouble tuning out the world around me, thoughts about my work, or other things become so prominent that I have trouble staying present. While some sessions seem better than others, all of the time spent meditating is a respite from the insane world we live in. This daily practice starts out as somewhat of a challenge, but as you persist it becomes a habit, and you will start to look forward to it. You become your practice, you become compassionate, and ultimately you become Buddha. Your practice will soon become the most important thing in your life because all good things result from it. You might just become a better spouse, parent, or friend. You might even start seeing the world as it really is and you will start seeing the good in people.

I will leave you with this somewhat funny quote from the Dalai Lama:



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Is our technology making life better?

Is our technology making life better?

You know the big thing now is the integration of your work life and personal life largely due to technology. Those of us who live our life with cell phones, tablets, chrome books, and notebook computers find ourselves connected to work much of the time. We are tethered to our devices like they are some sort of appendage, a third arm if you will. This technology allows us to work outside of the office, at our homes, on the golf course, and even when we are supposed to be on vacation.


I have been guilty of wondering where my cell phone is, so that I can be informed about what is going on. You know that sense of panic feels like when you can’t find your cell phone. I’ve even felt guilty when I failed to acknowledge someone’s birthday on Facebook, when prior to Facebook I would not have had any idea when their birthday was and probably not cared anyway. Observing other people they seem more intent on looking at their cell phone than interacting with people in person, and yes I am guilty of the same thing. So if we can acknowledge that technology has changed the way we work and the way we interact with each other, then what can we expect if we don’t recognize this shift in our world?

  1. Not Really Listening – meetings where instead of listening, our co-workers are looking at their cell phone or laptop. How can we hope to make good decisions and be productive if we are staring at our cell phone instead of paying attention to who is speaking.
  2. Social Media Relationships – instead of face to face relationships we now have friends on Facebook and Google Plus. We have followers on LinkedIn, Pinterest, and maybe our own blogs. I’m not saying this is a bad thing because these tools are a great way to keep up with what other people are doing, learn new things, and an avenue for expressing ourselves just like I am doing now. The problem is when the social media relationships are a substitute for more personal ways of communicating.
  3. Multitasking – instead of focus we are unfocused, distracted by our notifications and not concentrating on the task at hand. This isn’t even funny, as we are wasting time checking our email accounts, scanning LinkedIn, looking at Facebook, and generally not getting our work done. Multiply this by the millions of workers in our country and you have a bunch of payroll dollars being wasted. Every time you take your focus off a task you end up needing to get yourself re-focused on what you were doing, and this is a colossal waste of time.

Here are a few ways to unplug yourself:

  1. Lose your cell phone – I don’t mean really lose it, but put your cell phone in your bedroom or office, and set it to vibrate, or if you are really bold turn it off.
  2. When you go to a meeting leave your cell phone at your desk, don’t take it with you to the conference room or wherever you are meeting. It is rude to be looking at your phone or reading emails on your laptop during a meeting.
  3. When you go on vacation, don’t take your laptop or tablet, and leave your cell phone in the room. Tell people to call the hotel/resort if they there is an emergency.
  4. Only look at social media sites when you are on break.
  5. Stop checking your email every 15 minutes. If someone sends you an email they can wait for a response; tell them to call you if it is urgent.
  6. When you are with your family or friends put your phone away, or at least in your pocket or purse.

If you can’t do at least half of the things I mentioned above then you will forever be controlled by technology, and while you may consider yourself productive you are fooling no one. I would love to hear how you unplug?