I want to start this conversation by making the point that I am extremely grateful for the time in which I live. I love information and the many ways that we can access this information.
However, I do want to talk about a question that has been on my mind for some time: As a culture, are we addicted to technology?
This question really came into my conscious awareness recently, as I attended a five-day silent meditation retreat. I arrived a day early to enjoy the stillness and was excited to actually “turn off” my busy life and focus on my connection to the Spirit and the Infinite Universe. It had been some time since I gave myself the luxury of this kind of retreat, and anticipation was high within me.
The first night of the retreat, the facilitator invited us to actively and consciously “disconnect.” He asked us not to bring cell phones into the room, and not to go online, text or engage with any technology during the retreat. I was thrilled! I shared with my family and business associates that I would not be available, then logged off for the duration.
Now, here is what’s interesting. Most of the people at the retreat have been practicing meditation for many years and were happy to embrace this process. However, at least 25 percent of the participants could not let go of their cell phones. They had them near their meditation spaces. They had them outside during our breaks, where they continued to text or look things up online.
I was a little stunned. “If these people are dedicated to meditation and cannot give up the technology for a few days, what is happening in the rest of the world?” I wondered. Then I thought about myself and asked, “How dependent on and attached to technology am I?”
What came to me was another question: “Do you give as much time to your inner work as you give to being connected to the world through technology?” The answer for me was that I really do spend a dedicated 1½ hours a day on spiritual practice before I get on any device. Great! But then it came to me that, in addition, I could spend more time reading and being with family and friends instead of being attached to my computer.
How are you doing in this area? Is the bulk of your time spent on computers, phones and other devices? Are you dedicating as much time to your spiritual growth, real-life relationships and empowered living as you are to the world of technology? There is nothing to judge here, but I do feel that we are all in the process of some form of healing, and that requires quiet time and dedication to inner work.
Please affirm with me: Today, I actively explore a deeper connection to my inner being and my connection to the universe.