We are living in a time of gadgets. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, TV, smart watches, and many other “smart” things are indisputably helpful in many tasks we are facing every day. However, all these gadgets are, at the same time, great soakers of our attention and energy, often being extremely addictive.
To many of us, building the daily habit of meditation sittings is a challenging task. Even if we establish it, we might be often distracted by many external influences, including electronic devices.
When we are watching something on the device’s display, we are in fact totally immersed in that content. Our attention is entirely absorbed by the games, movies, music, images, or anything else emerging from that shiny rectangle. Our life energy is drained, and we often feel exhausted after a few hours of such an activity.
And much of our free time we spend immersed in endless contents these devices offer. We have become the society of gadget-addicts.
Wouldn't be awesome if we could reverse this situation somehow? Is it possible to actually transform all these gadgets into gateways to conscious living? Of course it is.
Is it possible to actually transform all these gadgets into gateways to conscious living? Of course it is.
One of the ways to turn this immersing habit into a portal to inner freedom is this meditation. Here are the steps you may follow:
Before you begin, it is necessary to become familiar with the terms “physical attention” and “mental attention.”
By physical attention, we mean to direct our eyes toward something in front of us.
On the other hand, mental attention implies an intense awareness of something, which means focusing our mind on that (regardless of our eyes’ direction).
1. Focusing on the phone’s frame
You can begin this meditation in whatever position or situation you find yourself in. Whether you are sitting, lying down, or standing, you can do this brief exercise, as long as you hold the phone or some other device in your hand.
First, while still looking at the phone’s screen, become aware of its frame or bezels. Extend your mental attention on the frame. Remember, your eyes are physically still directed toward the center of the device’s display, while you are becoming more aware of the device’s edges.
If a thought or emotion arises, just accept it. If you find a related tension in your body – accept that as well, and return to meditation.
2. Sensing the phone
Now, while still being aware of the phone’s edges, become aware of the gadget as a whole. As you are holding it, feel its surface and weight.
So, your mental attention should now encompass the phone’s display, the edges, and your senses of its surface and weight. All the while, keep your physical attention on the screen.
3. Sensing the hand
Feel your hand which is holding the gadget. Retain the awareness of the device itself, its frame, surface, and weight. Do not move your physical attention from the phone’s display.
Next, extend your mental attention to all sounds that you hear at that moment. Is your phone emitting some music? Or you hear some noise from the outside of your room? Do you hear the gentle sound of your breath? Anything else? Include all these noises into your expanding mental attention.
5. Space behind the phone
Become aware of the space behind your phone. It doesn’t matter how deep that space is, just feel it.
Also, try to retain your all-inclusive attention on everything else that was mentioned previously. And keep your physical attention fixed at the display of your phone.
6. Space between you and the phone
Now, expand your mental attention to that space between you and your phone. Just include it into your growing awareness.
7. The visual field outside the phone
Include into your mental attention the wider space around your gadget, including all things and furniture inside the room you are in, or buildings, trees, and people if you are outdoors. Be attentive to everyone and everything that is inside your visual field. Let all of that be within your all-inclusive field of awareness.
8. Sensing your body
Now, direct your attention to your body. It is not outside of your experience. It deserves your attention and care. Feel your body as a whole, feel the warmth and life energy within it.
Return to your external, all-inclusive awareness (if you lost it meanwhile), then merge it with your body.
Let your awareness abide everywhere you can see and feel, inside and outside of you, encompassing your phone, its frame, your hand, space around your phone, all things and beings in your surroundings, and your body.
9. Awareness of who is watching
At this stage, turn your attention inward. But not to your body, or mind, or thoughts. Become aware of that which is aware. Of your essence. Of the watcher, of the witness behind everything you experience.
But, you may ask, how to find the watcher, how to recognize it? Who or what is that, after all? It is a tricky question, for sure. Do not think about this too much. Merely try to become aware of that silent presence in the background, of the witness who is behind all your experiences.
Now, merge your awareness of who is watching with the previously achieved awareness of everything else (your smartphone, space, sounds, your body). Feel all of that as a whole. Become that oneness, the unity of your background awareness and everything outside, including your body.
Abide in that state of being as long as you want. If anything disturbs you and pulls you out of that state, accept it and return to that awareness of oneness.
Now, you can see that even those things that usually distract us from our meditative practice, as those electronic gadgets do, can become valuable tools of that very practice.
Of course, you may do this meditation with your tablet, computer, and TV. Simply adjust each step slightly to the specific device you are using as the portal to your expanded consciousness.
Enjoy your inner work! :-)
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