Mindfulness practice helps us understand how our dailyhabits affect our lives. So when we think about how much time we devote to ourvarious electronic devices each day, we must ask ourselves: are we usingtechnology mindfully? Or are we using it mindlessly?
Zen master and mindfulness teacher Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) recentlyspoke on the omnipresence of technology and its effect on our lives:
“We have to go backto ourselves, to our beloved ones, to nature, because electronic devices helpus to run away from ourselves. We lose ourselves in the internet, business,projects and we have no time to be with ourselves. We do not have the time totake care of our beloved ones and do not allow Mother Earth to heal us. We arerunning away from self, family and nature.”
Thay, who is scheduled to give a series of mindfulnesstalks at software companies such as Google towards the end of this year,offered this thought in a recent interview with the British newspaper TheGuardian:
“We need to have an awakening and when I talk to Googleand the other companies, I will tell them to use their intelligence andgoodwill to help us create the kind of instruments to come back to ourselves,heal ourselves,” he says. “We do not have to reject or throw away allthese devices but can make good use of them.”
The tech companies have invited Thich Nhat Hanh as part of abroader effort to encourage responsible business practices, drive innovativeproduct creation and promote mindfulness (along with happiness) amongemployees.
The Guardian wrote:
“He (Thich Nhat Hanh) plans to discusswith them how they can develop a deep understanding of the inter-connectednessand inter-dependence of all life and offer practical tools to better integratemindfulness in their daily work, in the products they design, and in the visionthey have for how technology can change the world. The event will end with thepractice of walking meditation.”