Do Twitter and meditation mix? Ramblings of a twittering mind.

July 6, 2009

What I am really asking is — am I cut out for Twitter? “Do twitter and meditation mix” just sounded like a good title. Meditation mixes with anything — meditation can be a part of any lifestyle. But for someone like me who was drawn to meditation partly because of my “twitter mind”, Twitter can be a challenge.

My twitter mind is a lot like the Buddhist “monkey mind” — jumping from thought to thought like a monkey from tree to tree. Some of us are more that way than others. In Ayurveda, my mind has a lot of vata energy. For those conversant with Ayurveda, I’d say Twitter would aggravate vata, pacify kapha and be neutral for pitta. But that’s a whole ‘post in the making…

Noticing anything about this post — does it seem to be jumping around? Too much time spent learning the Twitter ropes got my mind going. The energy there is incredibly frenetic for someone like me. It’s also exciting. My mind tends to go off on tangents and free associates. It’s great for creativity, but it has to be tamed. I’m sure that’s what lead me to the style of meditation I learned and the style I teach. 

In my guided meditations, I consistently encourage letting go of thoughts — not following the train of thought. This allows the mind to detach and settle down. Not only does this allow for deep rest, but it allows for the discovery of what lies beneath our thoughts. When we meditate, we experience the quality of awareness itself — the silence and stability within. We call it getting centered. It is the opposite of having a scattered attention. The attention becomes one-pointed, anchored.

Twitter could easily scatter ones attention as you jump from tweet to tweet, clicking on links wandering here and there through blog posts, videos, and more. It’s all a matter of balance — finding the right mix of activities that keep us balanced and grounded. The “right mix” isn’t the same for everyone. What we need to learn is what works for us.

As I said, for me Twitter is a challenge. It’s a fun challenge — I love the interconnectivity and especially the opportunity to connect with more of our podcast listeners. But because of the way I’m wired, I can’t spend a lot of time on Twitter. (And that’s a good thing — I have so many projects to work on!) I have to find a way to make Twitter work for me. I need to tweet my way, and how that will look is just beginning to evolve.

For now, if you follow us on Twitter, you will receive updates of new blog posts, podcast episodes and other news. I’ll try to follow you back if you look like a podcast listener. Let me know if I miss you, and suggestions are welcomed!


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7 Responses to “Do Twitter and meditation mix? Ramblings of a twittering mind.”

  1. patti on July 6th, 2009 3:38 pm

    i fell into twitter last year and was instantly besotted!
    i couldn’t stop tweeting, following tweets and talking about twitter.
    the energy was crazy, the people were fun, the ideas were prodigious and constantly fresh and changing.
    and the information overload began to fry my brains and i was losing sleep just trying to keep up with it all. and more freakily, i was starting to feel a bit spaced out as i went about my daily life, because my mind was on twitter.
    oooo tooo much!

    in january, i closed my facebook account.
    in march i closed my twitter account.
    i found hours extra in each day and regained some space in my head.

    i blog. i post on some forums of interest to me. i read the odd blog (odd as in occasional, not as in peculiar). i get lost with google for hours at a time and discover new things at my leisure. it’s enough…. for me….right now.

    twitter really fed my busy chattering monkey mind and the danger of twitter (for me) is that it was bottomless and endless and infinite and i had no built-in “enough’ button.

  2. AH on July 6th, 2009 10:01 pm

    I think Twitter is the equivalent of an ADD brain for “normal” people. Twitter for me is a nightmare as I have an ADD brain and I work really hard to keep on task. I even have a watch that vibrates every hour to help me re-focus. I love your meditations because you emphasize letting go of the thoughts – not following them, and if we do, to gently let go. By using your meditations I am able to feel in control of my thoughts for a while and it is very empowering. Thank you!

  3. Mary on July 7th, 2009 8:39 am

    patti — sounds familiar! Glad you “regained some space in (your) head”!

    AH — Twitter does seem like the ADD brain! Sometimes I think our whole culture has ADD — everything moves so fast and multi-tasking is the norm. Movies and TV shows jump around more and more. I’m so glad you’ve found ways to re-focus and that the meditations are helping. You are welcome!

  4. Chris on July 8th, 2009 7:21 am

    This goes to a question I have been asking: How do you balance the meditation life with the Twitter (real) life? In meditation I feel connected. Once out, I am back to Tweeting.

  5. Mary on July 8th, 2009 1:42 pm

    Chris, I like to think of balance as a dynamic thing. I like the image of someone on a balance board. There’s constant movement with the feet tilting the board back and forth as balance is maintained.

    In life, we go back and forth between outgoing and ingoing attention — outgoing when we’re busy with tasks, ingoing when we meditate and our attention can go inward. It’s natural to have both movements happening — in and out — but I think the problem in our culture is too much time spent with the outward attention. We become scattered, lose our center and it drains our energy. I think with regular meditation, one becomes much more self-aware and able to recognize when the sense of connection and centeredness is lost. With that recognition, the mind can shift. In fact, meditation can culture the habit of shifting the attention back to center.

  6. chris on July 13th, 2009 7:45 pm

    Thank you, Mary. Just hours after I asked my balancing question, I had a week that challenged me to keep my balance. My father was hospitalized, could have lost his life, but with lots of prayers, and loving doctors, he made it through.

    I spent a lot of time last week/weekend using your gratitude podcast – appreciating my dad, those helping him and loving him. He actually is home now much to the surprise of the medical staff….and his family. No way to prove it, but I do believe the appreciating and prayers (from around the country) increased his will to live, and sped up his healing.

  7. Mary on July 14th, 2009 8:36 am

    Chris, sounds like you made it through this very difficult situation able to maintain balance, and I’m sure it helped your father! I’m glad he pulled through.

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