Have you arrived yet?

By Sal Barba, Ph.D. | Sep 12, 2012

Living in the 21st century challenges us to learn to manage the variety of information we receive in our daily life.

We live at an accelerated rate completely dependent upon our electronic toys. How often have you been driving in your vehicle and observed how many other drivers are on the cellphone, texting or listening to something with their head phones on?

These illustrations do not reflect that we are arriving in our life.

Two weeks ago, I was talking with my consultant. She mentioned how kids today do not understand the meaning of privacy because of their over stimulating exposure to cellphone use, video games, and Internet chatting.

Parents of the cellphone age are referred to as “helicopter parents,” parents who primarily communicate with their kids by text messaging.

These days we can do anything that we want on Bing, Google, Facebook and other social media. Something is gravely wrong with our culture that we have become deeply hijacked by the Internet.

Kids today can say whatever they want that is negative toward other kids. We can subject each other to fowl speech without consequences. Perhaps we haven’t caught up with the way technology is shaping our brain from our Internet experiences!

Is this technology removing us from becoming more responsible for the way we behave toward each other? Is it distracting us from understanding our mind and the humanity of our heart?

Perhaps it is like the way Michael Moore responds to the problem of gun control laws: “It isn’t guns that kill people; it is people who own guns that kill people.”

This is a reflection of something being very wrong with our culture. Perhaps it’s how we use our technology that makes us become unkind toward each other, and removed from our morality and ethical conduct.

I recently heard a story about a man who was driving to pick up his child at school, and running a little late from the office. As he prepared to make a turn onto a side street, a vehicle approaching from the on-coming lane would not stop.

He thought the person in the other vehicle was going to hit him head on. The on coming vehicle swerved around him and stopped.

The man rolled his window down to tell the other man that he feared for his life. The other man spit in his face, and sped off!

The recipient of this rage noticed the other man had a child in the back seat who was witnessing her father’s rage. This is not just an example of a culture gone mad with road rage and electronic technology, but of a limbic system preventing our potential to be present, compassionate and patient.

Where does accountability arise in such illustrations? We all have the potential to be either one of these individuals.

At times, while on our spiritual path, we will find that our genuineness is being tested. Are we who we think we are? Do we react to our challenges or respond from compassion and meditative equipoise?

Our body, brain and mind hold a vast number of systems that require constant maintenance of healthy equilibrium. We are faced with an on-going variety of challenges of changing conditions that continuously interrupt these systems invoking threat, pain and distress; a modern definition of suffering.

We dampen our stress responses by training in equanimity, which requires considerable relaxation and tranquility.

When we continually practice equanimity in our daily life, we develop a profound inner stillness and capacity to arrive and remain right on the spot in being present with each other.

Through our equanimity “we break the link between feeling tones and craving,” we deconstruct our attachment to pleasant and our aversion to unpleasant without resisting either.

Intention is the key to developing equanimity. Remind yourself continually of all the important reasons to develop equanimity: You want freedom from craving and all the suffering it brings. Put reminders up everywhere to support your practice of equanimity.

Call 360-929-5850 with any questions.

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