Being Connected Within
--by Jon Kabat-Zinn (Oct 29, 2007)
With our mobile phones and wireless palm devices, we are now able to be so connected that we can be in touch with anyone and everyone at any time, and do business anywhere. But have you noticed that, in the process, we run the risk of never being in touch with ourselves? In the overall seduction, we can easily forget that our primary connection to life is through our own interiority – the experiencing of our own body and all our senses, including the mind, which allow us to touch and be touched by the world, and to act appropriately in response to it. And for that, we need moments that are not filled with anything, in which we do not jump to get in one more phone call or send one more email, or plan one more event, or add to our to-do list. [...]
What about not connecting with anyone in our 'in-between' moments? What about realizing that there are actually no in-between moments at all? What about calling ourselves up for a change, checking in and seeing what we are up to? What about just being in touch with how we are feeling, even in those moments that we may be feeling numb, or overwhelmed, or bored, or disjointed, or anxious or depressed, or needing to get one more thing done?
What about being connected to our bodies, and to the universe of sensations through which we sense and know the outer landscape? What about lingering for more than the most mindless and automatic of moments with awareness of whatever is arising in any particular moment in the mind: our emotions and moods, our feelings, our thoughts, our beliefs? What about cultivating a bigger picture that includes ourselves on any and every level, even if the picture is always a work in progress, always tentative, always changing, always emerging or failing to emerge, sometimes with clarity, sometimes not? […]
The more we are entrained into the outer world in all these new and increasingly rapid ways that our nervous system has never before encountered, the more important it may be for us to develop a robust counterbalance of the inner world: one that calms and tunes the nervous system and puts it in the service of living wisely, both for ourselves and for others.