I always find time to have at least a 3 km run at the park 2 hours after an 8 hour work, twice every week. I remember one time when I decided not to bring any gadget that would distract my exercise routine. Instead of listening to my playlist, I listened to my breathing. I listened to every step that I make. Hear every other person that I pass by talking and without a doubt, felt this temperamental sensation of the most minute sound of the wind I am sure no one would even notice. I continued this state in my rest on one of the bench at the park. I acknowledged how comfortable my shoes were. I stared at my lime green sweat shirt. My three days unwashed running shorts. I noticed my dirty nails and thought really awful about it and felt the sweat crawling from my scalp to my ears as it fell down to my hands. I’ve never felt this being mindfulness for ages. I would never have experienced this tranquility If I have brought with me my gadgets.
Since the day I have lost my smartphone, I have found the inner peace of being mindful. I consider this as the art of disconnecting. The art of doing nothing. With the absence of the gadget, I have read five books, painted four portraits, discovered centuries of unresolved debates, got to know the promiscuous Anne Frank and her sexuality, the Nuclear Iran, filled my disregarded sketch pads with doodles and played even more with my son – which is by far the most fulfilling part of my ascetic adaptation.
The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) developed in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn, is a set of mindfulness instructions or meditations to help distress us – the gadget dependent age to reach peace in mind, in body and in heart. It teaches us to become aware of what’s around us and what’s inside us. I dare you to break-up with your smart phone for a day without ever thinking what messages you have received, what emails you need to read and what posts you need to share.
“In a time when no one seems to have a time, our devices allow us to be in many places at once but at a cost of being unable to inhabit the place where we actually wanted to be.” -Kate Pickert, Time Magazine.
It’s like owning post cards but you’ve never actually visited them. Have you ever tried to count how many times you looked on your screen? For me, as I am always connected, I probably be staring at my phone like always. Either reading my Twitter feed or maybe avoiding conversations.
Based on my experience of the adequate gadget-free demotion, and also from the articles that I’ve read from the MBSR society and from the Time magazines that I always read. I have made my own list of steps to mindfulness.
- Sit like the Buddha. Close your eyes and notice the faded, rippling gray and white patches over the infinite darkness.
- Concentrate on that sight as you release the tension in your shoulder. Slowly drop them as you listen to your breathing.
- Imagine your hands being unfolded. Relax them as you slowly take notice each finger and doing deep inhaling and exhaling as you count them.
- Slowly open your eyes and keep the slow breathing exercise. Start to acknowledge the color of your clothes, your skin texture, the smell around you, the shape of what is in front of you. If there are people around you, observed what they are doing. Notice the way they move.
- Stretch your body and be calm and appreciate the simple ways of being mindfulness.
You can do these steps at least 10 minutes every day. After you wake up in the morning. Avoid greeting your cellphone, instead greet yourself, your body as it will never be the same tomorrow. Try to wake up without ever depending your on alarm clock.
Doing these things makes you feel more human, more comfortable and peaceful.