A young couple out for a walk on a beautiful spring day; they’re each talking on their respective cell phones; I presume not to each other.
A student gets hit by a car while texting as she crosses the street. (I’m not making this up.)
A women sits in the audience at a concert and checks her email, plays solitaire and “surfs the net” (does anybody say that any more, well, besides me just now?) on her smartphone.
You all see this, all the time. You’re at your child’s music concert or play or awards ceremony, and everybody’s elbowing each other to get in position with their video cameras; but is anybody watching?
I read something once (of course, being me, I can remember NONE of the details, such as what the book was, or who wrote it) about the true route towards spiritual peace and happiness, and that it was to do everything with full attention. (“Mindfully, young Patawan.”) If you’re washing dishes, feel the soap on your hands and pay attention to the contour of the pan and the soothing quality of the repetitive scouring motion. If you’re folding clothes, notice the softness of the clean fabric and enjoy the interplay of colors in the piles of folded shirts. Taste your food, watch the sun rise (or set, or both), listen to your cat purr as you stroke its fur.
I think this is probably one of the most beautiful things about the tradition of yoga. I had a wonderful yoga teacher for a while who used to tell us to say things like “hello hamstrings” when we stepped into that first downward dog, or “hello feet, thank you so much for carrying me through the day” as we did bound angle pose. We would all laugh, a little, but think about it — do you really appreciate what your feet do for you? (I also learned recently that a quarter of the bones in your body are in your feet. Interesting. . .)
So now I’m going to go mindfully fold my towels.
Ommmmm. . . .