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Ways to spend time

JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matterNetherlands Veteran

It occurred to me yesterday that not only games are virtual environments, but so are smartphones, tablets and computers. A web browser is a virtual environment, a forum is a virtual environment. Looked at it that way I still spend a lot of my time on virtual environments. Especially if you also add reading, which I mostly do on my iPad.

So I was wondering how this speaks to spiritual practice. If I think of other things to do, I could try my hand at mindful gardening, or some form of volunteering, probably helping out some spiritual organisation. I could start going for regular walks in the woods. Or I could start outdoor swimming. I wonder if I would be happier, more joyful, more free…



  • marcitkomarcitko Veteran

    One idea would be to use a simple stopwatch to measure your use of all things electronic for a day or a few days. Then do what you think is best with that information.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran
    edited May 15

    All my devices measure my “screen time” and tell me every Monday morning what the daily average was over the past week. I found it a little bit shocking this Monday.

  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    Todays opiate of the masses.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    Perhaps that’s true @how… you think you’re busy with spiritual things, talking to spiritual friends and reading spiritual books, but look at it another way, and you’re interacting within a forum - on a screen - and you’re using an ebook reader - on a screen.

    It put me in mind of a post I put on Medium, about the kinds of spiritual lives people can lead. For some people the best they can do is sing devotional songs, while other people learn the most from being in a forest listening to the silence. It is a question of knowing yourself and what suits you.

  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    I agree and would only add that all machinations of the mind, photon-supported or not, will result in disease & suffering, to the degree that attachments are developed to them.

    My own comprehension is foggiest about this whenever my mind is dominating over my other sense gates inputs.. and clearest about it when my mind resides in a more collegial relationship with its fellow sense gates. Each new nanosecond, another choice between relative fog or clarity.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    Today I’m coming to the conclusion that most of my interactions on forums are very much about comfort and fellowship, and not so much about learning about the spiritual life, that it is more about knowing that I have an effect on the world.

    Maybe I should try a week’s digital detox, just to see whether I miss it.

  • marcitkomarcitko Veteran

    @Jeroen said:
    Maybe I should try a week’s digital detox, just to see whether I miss it.

    You won't last until lunch on the first day! :p

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think The liminal space Veteran

    At times I've had long stretches without work to occupy my days and find myself at the computer all day. What I've done is make sure I'm breaking the time. Every hour I'd make sure to get up and do something else for at least 5 minutes. Something simple like vacuuming or dusting, which often winds up being longer, just getting up and starting being the hardest thing. I'd also do other, more healthful activities like doing an hour of yoga or going on a long walk, even getting up and walking around while I read is helpful for my mood.

    Also, digital interaction with people isn't psychologically the same as real time interaction.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    I’ve not really made progress with the digital detox today… I’ve managed to restrict my foruming to just half an hour but instead I watched a few more of Bull-Hansen’s video’s, he is interesting. Not a conspiracy theorist really but he talks about some things that give you a peek at the fire where there’s usually only a lot of smoke and mirrors.

    He advocates for people to disconnect from the system, by living away from population centres and becoming self-sufficient, growing your own food and reconnecting with nature.

    Certainly spending time in nature can give a new dimension to one’s spiritual practice. You could say we have been born here on this planet to learn its ways, and originally that was within nature, as a part of nature. Then we invented civilisation and started giving form to the things in our minds, until now civilisation takes over from the cradle to the grave.

    Whether that means that as the South American shamans think we have lost our connection with the spirit world, or whether it might mean we no longer learn the lessons we were sent to Earth to learn, I guess we can only tell after we pass through death’s door.

  • paulysotoopaulysotoo usa Veteran

    too funny, digital detox. i feel you. my stratagy, little by little, form a healthy balance, tech and nature. earth naturally stabilizes my well being. feel the earth type of guy, hence landscaper. some money pay my addiction, tv and youtube consumption, my eye sences is my gateway drug, o well.

  • Shoshin1Shoshin1 Sentient Being Oceania Veteran


  • paulysotoopaulysotoo usa Veteran


    second helping....too funny.

  • paulysotoopaulysotoo usa Veteran

    chan or zen masters, they are dear friends of wake up to whats real. i was tempted to be a zen student. i get our joke.the bodhi masters, they were kind to give me zen learning in my toyota work truck. handle unsatisfactory well. key lock dont well, engine light on,ect. it the little things that bless you, or make you anoyed.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    @Shoshin1 said:

    I know what you mean, being extreme in the outdoorsy-self-sufficiency way is also not an ideal path. Maybe we are being pushed off the cliff by our own desires.

    In a way Bull-Hansen’s Viking, outdoors lifestyle of independence and detaching from the system is also an attempt to hold onto something: freedom, ownership, being beholden to no-one. It’s a certain romantic ideal.

    In this reality though, everything is impermanent, even the freedom we have at certain times in our lives. There is no need to hold on, just recognise that even when you buy something it has a limited life, and be content with that.

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