June 14, 2010

How To Skillfully Live with Technology

Last week I did a blog post about a New York Times article that discussed the impact of technology on our brains. Since completely unplugging is not a viable option for many of us, I wanted to learn more about how to find the right balance and better connect with the modern world, fellow humans, and myself. Early last month Zen teachers, technology leaders, neuroscientists, and professors met in Silicon to discuss how to do this.

This conference, called Wisdom 2.0, was led by Soren Gordhamer, a friend of Tricycle who wrote a book in 2008 under the same title. Tricycle has a copy of Gordhamer’s book and I took it home this weekend to look it over. His book is organized by short chapters with a short paragraph at the end challenging the reader to apply the lessons in the preceding pages to his or her life. His advice made immediate sense, if at times it is difficult to apply. Gordhamer encourages questions like: "Is what I am doing right now most deserving of my time?" For instance do you really need to be picking up that phone while driving or visiting with a friend?

Today while watching the Wisdom 2.0 videos I was struck by the repeated request to produce only quality communication and give our full attention. Roshi Joan Halifax said during the conference “I know as a practitioner, the most precious thing that I have to give is my presence. That is my world, there is nothing really more than that.”

My challenge to you (and myself) today is to write an email, make a phone call, or sit down with someone and turn everything else off and give your full attention to that moment. Write, speak, or listen without any other tabs open.

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The middle way and social media « on the precipice's picture

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