This week we are jumping forward a couple of chapters in the book “Hooked” to read “You Are What You Download” by Diana Winston. She describes the inevitable effect of our carelessly letting anything into our sense doors. In a silent retreat your mind becomes still, but if you wait long enough, just about anything you’ve ever seen, heard, or experienced will reappear from Brylcreem jingles to scenes from CSI. She argues that overexposure to the Net can cause even more difficulties. Our conversations begin to jump around as if we are following links on websites. The acquisitive mind we talked about last week takes supreme ascendency. “Pleasant feeling, wanting feeling, and instantaneous action, all in just a few seconds.” This is the world we live n when connected to the web. The Buddha’s teaching reminds us that it is actually painful to want. Yet the web gets better and better at creating that desire. Have you noticed how more and more links feature moving images? How long before we have 3D and olfactory stimulants as part of this milieu. Fortunately we have our bodies to ground us, to remind us that there is something right here we can check in with. How do I feel about this object? Can I feel the tension of the bottom of the ninth in the last game of the World Series? That body check can get us back to reality.
Have you experienced any of this? Have you found a way to cope with the desire and aversion which pulls at you through that cable? What grounds you?
- Tuere will not be with us the next two weeks. She’ll be leading the SIMS Sangha at Keystone Church in Wallingford on the topic of Engaged Buddhism.
- We will return to meeting upstairs at the church, entering on the east side. If you don’t have the pass code dial the Colonial Room on the call box and someone will come down to let you in.
- We have a planning gathering next Saturday, November 8, 10 AM to noon. If you want to attend please RSVP for location.