During my recent time away from FB and blogging I read the book Taking Jesus Seriously. The book was an instructional manual for using Buddhist meditation practices to facilitate a greater understanding of Christian scripture. During the weeks that I was reading and re-reading the book, I spent a fair amount of time practicing meditation. I use the term practice because it is a skill that does not come naturally.
Buddhists believe that the goal of each person is to reach enlightenment; which they define as a state in which one desires nothing. Meditation trains the mind to be in the moment. It is through this practice that we learn to truly appreciate the world as experienced through our five senses. This brings me to the purpose of this post.
Technology is making it increasingly difficult for individuals to stay in the moment. Multi-tasking used to mean throwing a load of laundry in the dryer while the cookies were baking in the oven. Today multi-tasking looks more like, answering an email from a blackberry while sitting through a marketing meeting. Technology is encouraging us to check out of the present in pursuit of the future.
I see this demonstrated increasingly on FB. Here are two examples of status updates that I’ve seen recently: “having dinner with my husband, son and girlfriend at _____________” I’m at Lifetime fitness with ___________” In the case of the restaurant post, if you were really enjoying time spent with family, then why are you on FB during that time? Instead revel in the smells and sounds of the dining experience and in the presence of your loved ones. And how important is it that everyone else know that you are at the gym with your hubby? Just be there, in the moment.
Having spent some time behind a video camera, I know that it is impossible to fully appreciate an event if you are behind a camera. From the time that my children were little, I would watch parents videotaping everything from school concerts to baptisms etc. I always wanted to knock the camera out of their hands and tell them “Just watch, listen and commit to memory every moment of this event.” Watching the replay will never be as good as experiencing it for the first time.
I love sharing my experiences with others through FB and my blog, but only after the experience has occurred. Though I will admit that my meditation practice has gone by the wayside, I continue to try and live in each moment good or bad, because God doesn’t promise a tomorrow to any of us.