The gift, or the box it came in?

awake and amazedHas anyone here tried mindfulness and/or meditation of another kind.  Why is being present so hard?  And why is quiet focus so tricky?

I feel like we (humans) can’t have always been this way – and I glare suspiciously at the hectic modern lifestyle, accusing it of being the culprit, all the while hiding behind my copy of The Metro with my iPhone blaring music into my ears.  I’m not woman enough to march right up to the modern world and renounce all ties to it – I have too much of a Facebook addiction, and fear the likely withdrawal-seizures.

But I do wonder, as a species only just waking up to the magical mystery of our own sentience – why do we spend so much waking time actively dodging our consciousness?  Often times it is not until we jump when the phone rings, or walk ourselves into a lamppost, do we realise that our attention had drifted off and we were on autopilot.  I know zombies are cool and sell lots of movies etc, but does any self-respecting human aspire to being one?  I expect not.  Well, there are probably a few hardcore exceptions to this.  But why do we allow ourselves to live in a fog?

A neuroscientist might tell you that our autopilot is a feature built on learning, evolved that way for convenience and in the interest of saving energy.  And that’s all very well.  I question then that evolution is really doing us a favour – what are we turning into?

While we are constantly plugged in, multi-tasking our senses with staring at the newspaper while listening to music, all the while utilising our proprioception so as not to fall over when the train moves… where is our conscious mind?  It’s probably buried in a story about a Kardashian, or something equally distracting in a bad way. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the Kardashians, they are just a pop-culture example of what we fill our minds with so as to not use our minds for, oh I don’t know, our own experience of reality.

So my big question to leave you with is this.  If today is a gift, then are we like little kids at Christmas, distracted by playing with the box?

And my one suggestion to leave you with – don’t try to keep up with the Kardashians, just keep up with yourself.


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