#Mindfulness and #Social #Media

In today’s world, we have instantaneous access to an abundance of information. From news reports and historical data to updates on what our friends had for lunch, we are constantly inundated with information. It is easy to get lost in a false reality that we have created in our minds and fostered on social media. It is important to take time to step back from the barrage of distractions and just be present. We have all seen people (and maybe we have even been these people), walking down the street, eyes glued to their phones, unaware of their surroundings. Having this technology right in our hands can be empowering, but can also pull us away from what’s really happening right in front of us.  We sacrifice true human interaction for a detached, digital community, spending more time worrying about tweets and followers than we do enjoying the company of the people in the same room as us.

Besides turning your phone off, there are some other ways we can bring ourselves back to the moment and practice staying more present. One strategy that has been helpful for me, is to set an alarm on my phone for multiple times throughout the day, as a mindfulness bell. When I hear this single tone, I return to following my breathing, and center myself, before returning to whatever I was doing. I often find that my attention is not on the task at hand, and taking a moment to breathe helps to renew my focus and to concentrate on what needs done. There are also apps, like Headspace, that many people are using to help bring meditation and mindfulness into our world of hectic schedules and busy lifestyles.

buddha

If you are fortunate enough to be able to take a retreat of some sort, that can be very rewarding, however, the real trick is to integrate meditation into everyday life. Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the great spiritual teachers of our time, was recently featured in Walk With ME, a documentary about monastic life at Plum Village his monastery in France. I was fortunate enough to see a pre-screening at Midtown Cinema in Harrisburg, PA. I highly recommend this movie to anyone interested in meditation and I am deeply grateful to Midtown Cinema and Marcy Brenner for helping to bring this movie to Central Pennsylvania.

So whether it’s the food you put in your body or the information you put into your consciousness, be sure to try something healthy.

Buy Thich Nhat Hanh’s books:

//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=enlightene064-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=0938077260&asins=0938077260&linkId=8902b555deb27d75dec2c0ac087ed545&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=true&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>Old Path White Clouds

//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=enlightene064-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=188837540X&asins=188837540X&linkId=e41457381ca70947e6e661e4301f7ef0&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=true&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>Being Peace

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