Jokes aside, meditation is unmistakably a definitive tool that we possess as human beings to tune in to higher realities. Long before the advent of computers and electronics, meditation had been practiced in many human traditions and civilisations, across all the corners of the globe and throughout millennia. Meditation has endured natural cataclysms, wars and social and cultural upheavals to remain what it has always been: a natural and intimate way to commune with the inner and higher worlds. In that sense, meditation is as old as humankind and precedes any religion or any other human invention however ancient its roots may appear to be.
It is claimed that many scientific and health advances that India could boast at some point in its rich history were thanks to rishis, advanced human beings with developed intellectual and spiritual abilities. Rishis could access vast reservoirs of advanced knowledge stored deep inside the universal consciousness. Their prolonged, deep and self-enraptured meditations were the source of that knowledge.
Ironically, today knowledge is sought elsewhere than inside that universal consciousness that also resides inside ourselves. Rather than depend on our own intuitive faculties, we seek knowledge in schools and museums, in books and magazines, and on the internet. Internet has become a one-stop shop for school papers and for rumours, for entertainment, and for business and political agendas. It is almost unthinkable and, frankly, potentially quite injurious to the psyche of a modern day citizen, to go without access to internet for more than a day. It has happened to you and me many times over: without a smartphone in our pocket or an internet café nearby, the world suddenly turns dark and inhospitable, and life is devoid of joy, so we feel.
Wouldn’t it be something to study for an exam, prepare for an interview, and recover from a difficult relationship or from an illness by entering into a profound and refreshing meditation? Just think of it. One would not need to spend endless time in reading and research, training and recovery, or waste time waiting for a doctor’s appointment. The solution would be closer and more readily accessible than what a smartphone in our pocket seems to provide us with: the solution would be in our very soul. Such a nifty solution would also be entirely customizable to our own needs. In contrast, a mass produced electronic gadget, even if progressively thinner than the preceding model, with its occasionally intermittent and costly access to the network and limited battery life, could not even compare to the universality, adaptability and accessibility that our own internal Wi-Fi system provides. If only we dared to heed its continuous calls …
However, giving up the modern lifestyle would not be the right thing to do. As no radical and abrupt change is a beneficial or sustainable change in the long-run, a more thoughtful approach is required. There is nothing wrong in using a latest generation smartphone for the right purpose or in reading books or magazines of the right kind. In fact, not doing so will make us into useless and ineffective human beings of modern times. Rather, the solution is to embrace in full awareness the many benefits that the technological progress can offer, while following the basic norms of the modern society in which we live. The key is to remain unattached to these things, in the widest sense of the term, while gradually developing the powers of inner awareness through meditation. And the next time your smartphone displays the error message “no Wi-Fi connection is within reach”, you’ll know for sure that it is time to meditate (but not before you tap “forget this network” button).
For more articles on integrating meditation into the present-day lifestyle and for more information on starting a meditation practice of your own, visit www.GenevaMeditation.ch.