The Buddha defines making merit as the accumulation of good in one’s soul through three main practices: giving, virtue and meditation/mental development. Of course there are other practices that add to one’s merit, and one that I considered as a possibility while in Thailand was the merit of disconnecting from technology. This builds merit because being disconnected fosters connection to those I am/was with, encourages engagement with whatever I am doing/experiencing and allows me to get into a mental groove.
I also appreciate the little things even more. My second or third favorite time in Thailand was stumbling into a late night flower market in Bangkok, dazzled by the color and the pattern.
The less I am tethered to my technology the more I creative, happy, and engaged I am. I’m also more inclined to lose time in the right things, like nature, friends and making things.
So, I have numerous strategies for limiting my time online including timing myself, not turning on the computer, limiting the apps I have on my devices (no FB on the phone) and even using programs that block the various sites where I tend to lose track of time.
But the best way to disconnect is to go somewhere where there is no 3G/4G service and don’t carry any of your devices with you. Such was the way I approached Thailand, and how I am approaching weekends this year, turning off devices and leaving them at home. While I am discovering all kinds of loopholes that I use to convince myself that it’s okay to go online, noticing them is the first step, right?
What are your strategies for staying connected to what’s most important to you?
Thank you, Melanie, for the compelling and contemplative photographs of Thailand … as if I were there with you. I also appreciated your insights on disconnecting. I long ago decided not to do FB, Twitter etc. (So, perhaps, I’m not so utterly “old school,” after all?) Sending good thoughts and blessings your way this evening, a always.