Discover how spirit and technology can be allies, unleashing creativity, energy and efficiency. Balance the need to rush with what is important.
Several years ago when I couldn't hear telephone callers (though they heard me just fine) I immediately assumed I needed a technician. The repairman took a quick look at the telephone headpiece and laughed. He proceeded to take a hardened wad of gum moff the receiver that was left there by a young visitor from the previous day.
Although at first embarrassed by the incident, I look at it now as a reminder of the need for consciousness when dealing with technology.
|Is Technology Crushing Your Spirit?|
|Do you get impatient when humans don't respond to your questions as fast as computers do?|
|Are you so busy multi-tasking that you never reflect on what you are doing or its effect on others?|
|Are you so overloaded with information that you are unable to discern what is truly wise?|
|Do you spend way too much time surfing the Web?|
|Do you feel twitchy if you're away without a cell phone or e-mail for a day or two?|
|If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, it may be time to slow down and reflect, one moment at a time on new ways to work with technology.|
How often do we ask technology to solve problems that should be handled in other ways? Is technology a servant we use responsibly, or is it an unintended master feeding a sense of self-importance while sapping time and energy?
Some high-tech execs spend weekends divorced from technology; some even do without electricity or indoor plumbing. For most of us, such a high-contrast lifestyle would never work. A better alternative is finding ways to integrate technology and spirit into our daily lives.
My friend Harriet Wright created a workplace sanctuary. Whenever she glances away from the computer, she finds inspiration. By working with her spirit during high-tech workdays, she keeps her creativity and energy alive. She's also more efficient.
Philip Sudo, author of Zen Computer, offers this consciousness-raising exercise:
* As you turn on your computer let its chime call you to meditation.
* While your machine boots up, take 10 slow breaths.
* Reflect on the symbols atop each number on your keyboard, for example: Let the "&" sign over the no. 7 help you think about connections.
Remember to give thanks for the human capacities of communication, tool-building and self-awareness. Ground yourself in the history of human learning — from the first-known tools almost 100,000 years ago to the increasingly rapid advancements of the past century. Then give your computer a nod of respect and commit to using it as a tool for consciousness and growth.