These days it seems that no matter how many "time saving" devices we own, we tend to end up with less and less "free time" as there tends to always be something (or someone) else that requires our attention. Even with the invention of social media, we are encouraged more and more to "download an app" for something as opposed to truly applying our own energy. While all these advances in modern technology are wonderful and far-reaching, there is a downside. This downside is potential of losing the ability to be "unwired" and to simply be ... without the need of external stimulation.
When we take the time to "simply be", whether through the act of meditation, devotional practice, or taking a walk (preferably through nature - be it a local park or wilderness area) away from our computers and other electronic devices, we offer our bodies (physical and spiritual) an opportunity to unplug from our man-made grid and re-align to the higher energies of the universe. If this sounds a little "out there" or "new agey" for you, I ask that you take a moment and consider this ...
- When was the last time you stepped out into nature and gave yourself time to just "simply be"?
- When was the last time you unplugged yourself from our technological world ... leaving the world of social media behind for even for five or 10 minutes?
For those of us living in suburbia, it is getting increasingly difficult to find places to "simply be". The constant buzz of modern life is always around us - so much so that we often have often what life was like before 24 hour lighting (light pollution now prevents us from seeing a large percentage of stars in the night skies), seven day a week shopping (our increasing need to have everything available to us instantly and our inability to "do without"), and so on. However, for our spiritual self, we still require the need to "tune out" of our modern highly technological world, and to "tune in" to the natural world around us.
If we do not have the luxury of residing near a local park, nature reserve or wilderness area, then we can still bring this much needed realignment into our lives through the simple act of meditation.
There are numerous meditation techniques available, however one of the simpler (as well as being more effective) ones is to simply follow the breath - a technique commonly found within many Buddhist practices. By focusing on the breath, we give our conscious mind something to do, and even if thoughts cause it to wander (which will happen), all we need to do is to gently bring our awareness back to the breath.
As we sit and breath, we are attempting to become more and more aware of that act we are undertaking - the breathing - the sensation of the breath entering our nostrils as we inhale and then leaving the nostrils as we exhale. Each time our busy mind wanders as incoming thoughts attempt to distract it, all we need to do is to bring our awareness back to the breath and allow the mind to settle again.
Such a practice helps to ground and balance us, as well as allowing us to experience that much needed (and often lacking) sensation of inner peace that is increasingly need in our modern "wired up" world.
Just as when the sediment from the ocean floor is churned up during a storm, making the water murky, once the wind die down and the waves return to their natural rhythm so too does the sediment return to the bottom, allowing the water to become clear again.
Regular meditation or even giving ourselves the opportunity to be "unplugged" and out in nature can assist with easing the constant churning of sediment our minds go through in an attempt to deal with our modern lives.