Monday, January 28, 2013

#Hashtag Meditation

(; Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly
Could this obsessively-used, time-consuming device be useful for contemplative practices?
Bringing awareness to how we use social media is, in many ways, probably more difficult than bringing awareness to how we engage in our other relationships. 

For one thing, we’ve got a lot less practice with it. Social media has only started bursting onto the scene over the last 10 years. 
For another, much of social media is designed and used to illicit unconscious patterns of behavior. When we look at Facebook posts or Twitter feeds, how much self-aggrandizement and opinionated frustration do we see? How much do we contribute? 
In response to these questions, I’ve started exploring ways to make the activity of socializing online a more contemplative activity. 
For months, as I looked into this question, nothing really happened. It wasn’t until I physically disconnected from the Internet for 10 days, while on a meditation retreat, that I noticed something interesting. I noticed that although my body wasn’t on the Internet, my mind still was.

In particular, as I was practicing, thought strands would run through my head; they seemed pretty profound to me. (Ha!) My first impulse was to tweet them. I started humorously labeling these thoughts “Twitter thoughts,” and I was amazed to see how frequently they arose. ...
What I’ve come up with is something I’m calling “#hashtag meditation.” It’s a melding of the vipassana [insight meditation] noting technique (a basic mindfulness practice) with posting to social media. ...
How to Practice #Hashtag Meditation
Facebook privacy fades (
In the basic practice of vipassana noting meditation, one mentally notes (or “labels”) experiences arising in the present moment as part of one's direct experience. The mental note or label is used to stay engaged with whatever’s arising. The point is to notice what’s arising, not simply to mentally categorize it. That said, when the notes or labels are used properly, they help one [BE HERE NOW and] maintain a clear awareness of all that’s happening... More

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