I have umpteen self-help books on meditation, mindfulness, and slowing down.
Do I practice what they teach?
A bit of background: As a young lass in the cro-Magnon, pre-digital era I signed up for a mantra. (I admit to being partly influenced by the fact that my favorite Beatle — George Harrison — was playing sitar and following the teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at that time).
I even recall my mantra. But today it goes something like Om…Om…OMG I forgot I have a dental appointment at 3:00.
How do I know this? My smart-ass phone just beeped.
Monkey mind is cruel and unkind. Who enjoys swinging from synapse to synapse on a daily basis? Who enjoys digital distractions?
Am I contradicting myself being on the blogosphere? If so, I am in company with the Good Gray Poet, Walt Whitman: “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”
But let’s get back to monkey mind. Do I blame monkey mind on my college and working years in the concrete jungle of Chicago? There was never enough time for quiet in the mornings before hopping on subways and buses. But no, I had the choice for quiet time in the morning or not. I preferred the snooze button on my clock-radio.
At any rate, I left Chicago in the 1990’s and moved to Seattle. Mt. Rainier, the Pacific Ocean, the Hoh Rain Forest — all eye candy for me and my husband.
And something else called out that was new and exciting: the Internet. When we arrived to this high-tech city, the Internet was just a dirt road, not yet a superhighway, nor had it become The Cloud.
The Internet was cool; I enjoyed scootering on the dirt road. I even created a health and safety intranet site for the organization I worked for. But then, during a walk on the beach, I spotted a young man wearing a t-shirt that said “Rage Against The Machine.”
The t-shirt was disconcerting enough, but at the time I was also reading a book titled I Live In The Future and Here’s How It Works: Why Your World, Work and Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted:
“There needs to be a way to opt out of the constant retrieval of images, audio, and information. What do we do when the Internet or computers refuse to forget?”
And “The Internet is changing our concept of location, trust, space, time and connections.”
The dark web is undeniably out there today. But I like blogging.
Walt Whitman, will you please travel to the future and help me deal with these contradictions? My monkeys need sleep.