A “Like” button for life


Or has Facebook become reality?

It seems as thought the whole World is on Facebook. From kids to elderly, Nuns and Monks, Politicians and more. And most of us, myself included, spend way too much time getting input and stimulus from the dribble of updates and quotes posted by a myriad of people who may are may not actually be personal friends or Family members.
And while for most of us, we feel as though we are tuning-in to all that is happening by doing this, I think the reality is that we may be tuning-out. Disconnecting from reality, and viewing life in snippets of trivia.

A prime example of how easily one can get lost in the garbage that is Facebook is something that happened to me personally just the other day. Having several Facebook pages for personal, Blog and Business, I tend to flow from one to the other in an effort to keep up with everything. And while checking my business page, I noticed a comment from a friend/customer. These comments are often similar in that they comment about something music related, and not vital information at all. So seeing this comment, I immediately hit the “Like” button. This has become a quick and mindless way to feign interest in what others post. No need to think or connect or reply with words, a simple click of the “Like” button and we feel we have done our due diligence.
Well no sooner had I hit the button than I realized what he had actually posted. He shared with me that a mutual friend had lost his battle with cancer and died! “Like”, really? What the hell is wrong with me?

This was a wonderful awakening for me about mindfulness, or actually the lack there of. And while mindfulness is often discussed by myself and so many others, how mindful are any of us really being? Then it occurred to me that mindfulness is not just a nice word to be bantered about in Buddhism, but something far more profound.
The thought arose in my mind how simple acts, like that of standing upright, happen with no mindfulness whatsoever. Just think about how many muscles and brain waves are involved to keep us upright and balanced so we do not topple over. And while this may sound silly to you, I see it as a wonderful example of how we move about our days with no mindfulness at all in so many instances. And Facebook is perhaps just another one of those cases where we just turn off our mindfulness and stumble on.

I believe the solution to increasing our mindful awareness lies in self observation. Just like Bhante Sujatha directs us in guided meditation after 15 or 20 minutes, he asks “where is your mind?”. Then suggests we return to the breath. Return to the present moment. Because it is only in the present moment that we truly have the opportunity to be mindful. And whether we are at home with Family, at work, out with friends, or perusing Facebook, perhaps we all need to keep Bhante’s words on our mind. Because it is obvious that more easily than I care to admit, mine likes to run with the monkeys when given the chance.

May you be well, happy and peaceful.