Breathe Through the Ring

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mindful connection

How do you feel about your phone? About the ability to get texts, phone calls and Internet access anywhere and for anyone to contact you at anytime? I love technology, everything about it except its magic attraction is always in my face. Today while driving in our cars we’re talking to the air and no one cares, no one looks twice because they know we’re on the phone. (I like this because I can sing to my heart’s content and just look like I’m talking wildly, maybe I should gesture too to make it more realistic. Ha!)

It’s hard for me to not answer the phone or a text. I feel compelled to be there, to be available “just in case anything comes up.” It used to be we had cell phones in our glove compartments (just as big too) that we used only for emergencies, now everything is important. Or is it… Thich Nhat Hanh has this to say about the telephone in his book “Peace in Every Step:”

“The telephone is very convenient, but we can be tyrannized by it. We may find its ring disturbing or feel interrupted by too many calls…The telephone bell creates in us a kind of vibration, and maybe some anxiety: “Who is calling? Is it good or bad news?” Yet some force in us pulls us to the phone, and we cannot resist. We are victims of our own telephone.”

Now mind you this was written in 1991. We didn’t have all the phone technology then that we have now. We can do so much more in so many ways, in so many places. Ah, and here’s the interesting thing, he offers a “telephone meditation:”

“I recommend that the next time you hear the phone ring, just stay where you are, breathe in and out consciously, smile to yourself and recite this verse: ‘Listen, listen. This wonderful sound brings me back to my true self.’ When the bell rings for the second time, you can repeat the verse, and your smile will be even more solid. When you smile, the muscles of your face relax, and your tension quickly vanishes. You can afford to practice breathing and smiling like this, because if the person calling has something important to say, she [he] will certainly wait for at least three rings…You are your own master. You know that you are smiling not only for you own sake, but also for the sake of the other person. If you are irritated or angry, the other person will receive your negativity.  But because you have been breathing consciously and smiling, you are dwelling in mindfulness, and you pick up the phone, how fortunate for the person calling you!” pp. 29-30

A totally, so different approach to answering your phone. In fact, why not broaden this a little bit and extend it to answering texts or e-mail’s you’ve received on your phone? Breathing in you remember you are interconnected with all to the Whole, part of Spirit, breathing out you smile, mindful of the moment, then calmly with a smile you answer or text, “Hello.”  We are more than this…

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