Living organic, glutton-free, and meatless, well almost hamburger-free, is relatively easy these days. Finding a gym, taking a daily walk or making time for some form of exercise is not beyond most of us. But what are we doing with our junk food minds? How much news, gossip, Facebook, and other distractions do we digest every day? Not too long ago they measured how many hours a day people watched TV. Today, kids as young as three are hooked into games. Teenagers are plugged in almost continuously. And although we adults are shocked and complain, our consumption of junk food for the brain is nearly just as out of control.
The Wall Street Journal began the new year publishing an article about "Learning to Embrace Digital Detox." Our digital addiction is just part of the problem. Living a distracted life in general is the real culprit. Even when we turn off our machines, we are so busy trying to get everything done, after wasting so much time online, our minds are going in double and triple time. Most of us do not know how to stop going. More important we do not know how to stop thinking. How many people do we know, excluding ourselves of course, are taking antidepressants or sleeping medication? The symptom is that we are watching, viewing, doing almost nonstop leaving us unable to sleep. The problem is the junk food life that has taken over our ultimate sanctuary, our minds.
Having media no further away then our iPhone or Google watch is leaving us unable to be alone. We are afraid of solitude. Our dependence upon activity leaves us unable to simply be. Our self worth is almost entirely measured in how much we do. The traffic we live with everyday is a relatively small problem compared with the traffic of our thoughts and feelings, worries and desires. Probably it won't be long before science can measure the ever expanding volume of our overcrowded brains. Will science give us relief? Can science restore a healthy mind? Where will we turn for a new cultural diet? Our junk food world has piled so much on top of our awareness, that many of us don't know or believe in our potential wholeness, trust, and generosity. The lost sanctuary of our times is the loss of our calm, peaceful, creative self.
We can see the results of our junk food culture around our waists but who is looking at our mind? When our minds are enlarged with so much input is it any wonder we feel threatened, defensive, and alone? More and more people in all walks of life are turning to meditation. But for many, meditation is challenging, boring. Nothing is happening as they try to let go of their compulsive mental activity. They are busy thinking about not thinking. Mindfulness is teaching people to be present. Heartfulness meditation is leading many to an awareness of the presence of life, joy, being, something more then our distractions. Awareness and thinking are two different experiences. Heartfulness and there is a vastness of peace to receive. Underneath the junk food mind is the big calm within us to be and enjoy. Heartfulness, silence, nature, retreat, we can detox from our digital world. We can detox from our distracted life.