Thursday, February 3, 2011

Riding the Desire

Yesterday, I resonated with something Gil said as we were recording our monthly Q&A session for the IMC Online Community. While Gil's comment was in response to a question about food and cravings, its application to other types of over dependence was not lost on me. My problem is not food, but electronic gadgets, such as iPhone, and computer. I struggle with staying away . . . 

Gil's practice goes like this. Whenever feeling the urge, resist and find an easy chair to sit in. Stay seated until the urge goes away. While sitting, just be aware of all the phenomena, thoughts, emotions, sensations. Simple enough!

And probably very hard also. I will let you know what happens tomorrow, as I vow to stay away outside of a few planned islands of working on the computer. 

Will you join me? What is your addiction?

10 comments:

  1. Interesting timing on your post. I read an article yesterday about having perspective regarding social networking. I'll consider that and do some of my own searching.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and thanks for contributing to the mindfulness of this beautiful world.

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  2. but if you are already sitting down at the computer, what then?

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  3. Patrick, you may appreciate reading this old post of mine:

    http://minddeep.blogspot.com/2010/05/coining-mindfulness-based-social-media.html

    And obviously, from writing about, to actually doing, lies a big expanse that needs to be crossed . . . as proven by my ongoing struggle still.

    I wish you well in your practice.

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  4. Catherine, how I approach this is, there is nothing wrong with working on the computer or using one's iPhone to make or answer a call. Where the unhealthy part comes in, is in the disruptive urges to use such gadgets, without a real purpose. Same way eating food is a good thing, but making repeated trips to the fridge when one is not hungry is clearly dysfunctional. Or drinking out of control.

    Maybe it would help if you clarified your question?

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  5. Waking up this morning, with iPhone purposely not placed at my side the night before, I lied with the urge to check my emails . . . Quickly, anxiety, and dissatisfaction rose to the surface. And the realization that I live in a general climate of unpleasantness, of wanting my current life other than what it is. Beneath it all, a sea of hurts, and still very much alive demons, that need to be addressed.

    Riding the desire . . .

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  7. Nice post. Reminds me too, not so much about desires but about staying with the difficult feelings that arise, as you call it riding the desire. We might be riding anxiety or rejection or anything else that is triggered by a situation, or what someone said to us. If we can stay with it for the ride, I love the description that the feeling will "self liberate" used by the Bon teacher Tenzin Wangyal.

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  8. The younger than us generation has a even tougher time than us-when you see an 8 year old kid with his own iphone it makes you wonder. My addiction to technology is partly work related, I work in I.T. but (everyone has a big but) my checking out facebook , twitter etc. is more geared to sangha type searches overall. Is that rationalizing ? As long as you don't try to scroll your partner's face like to would on an iphone perhaps things aren't so bad ?

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  9. Thank you Carole (zendotstudio). Yes, you are right, riding the desire applies to all difficult situations we may encounter. Facing reality head on, and not avoiding anything . . . Knowing that much light await on the other side. Love that word too of 'self-liberate'. Feelings are universal phenomena, not to be taken personally. And so is the possibility of liberation!

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  10. BD, I know when I am abusing the Internet and when I am not. The body is my best indicator. If constricted, I know I am not being mindful. When at peace and relaxed, no need to worry :)

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