Balance Technology with Your Spirit Self-Help Advice

Written by Pat Sullivan

Discover how spirit and technology can be allies, unleashing creativity, energy and efficiency. Balance the need to rush with what is important.balancing the use of technology

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. 

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