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The Age of Distraction

An excellent reminder for us not to be distracted by new technologies and to mindful of our relationships and connections.  It is easy to be carried away by all the new shiny objects –


“The only antidote to this culture of interruption tech- nologies is for us to take back control of ourselves. We cannot stop the proliferation of seductive technolo- gies or the capacity-destroying dynamics of distrac- tion or the techno-speed of life. But we can change our own behavior. In the eighth century, the Buddhist teacher Shantideva admonished, “The affairs of the world are endless. They only end when we stop them.” Goodness knows what was so distracting in the eighth century, but he speaks well for our time.

To restore good human capacities—thinking, meaning-making, discerning—we need to develop discipline. We need to be mindful of distraction, and disciplined enough to shut off the computer, put the phone down, make time for casual conver- sations, sit patiently, and listen—all without getting anxious that we’re wasting time, that we won’t get through our to-do list, that we’re missing out on something. The practice described in the Buddhist lojong (mind training) slogans as the “three diffi- culties” can restore sanity and capacity to our daily lives: 1) You notice the behavior. 2) You try some- thing different. 3) You commit to practicing that new behavior until it becomes natural.” (Margaret Wheatley).



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