So, I’ve been watching Sylvia Boorstein‘s retreat teachings on Tricyle – “The Whole of Life as Practice” and something she says about one of the Five Precepts has really resonated with me. The fifth precept can be stated as “I undertake the precept to abstain from intoxicants that cloud my mind and lead to heedlessness”. Well, ok, I think – I don’t have a problem with that. I do occasionally have a drink (though less and less these days) but don’t get drunk. I don’t cloud my mind with drugs. This one’s pretty easy. But then, she goes on to talk about other things that may be considered to be intoxicants that cloud your mind and lead to heedlessness. Things like streaming news on TV. Things like email. Things like the internet. And that’s where the penny drops for me.
THE INTERNET IS INTOXICATING!
Am I really keeping my mind clear when I mindlessly browse the internet, clicking from here to there and back again?
Is compulsively checking my email or blog stats an example of a clear mind?
What about the half dozen tabs I have open on my browser? (damn you, Firefox, and your multiple-tab browsing!)
So, I’m going to try to use the internet in a more mindful way. To accept that, actually information can be stuff. And reducing stuff is my aim.
I’ve said it before and I come back to it again: I need to SIMPLIFY MY LIFE. This means clearing space – not just physically, in my house but also mentally, in my mind. I have visited this before, producing these art journal pages last year:
But it seems that I need to keep reminding myself of it.
This is my weakness. Or maybe one of many weaknesses.
In what ways do you intoxicate your mind?