Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Meditate or Televate?

All television is educational television. The question is: what is it teaching? ~Nicholas Johnson

I recently shared the gift of meditation with a good friend. She dreaded the idea of it, before she got started, with every excuse in the book of why she couldn't do it. Then she tried it out and voila...she really liked the effect of it - calming, soothing, relaxing and head clearing. Now she is hooked!

In return, she has given me the gift of television. Fair trade, right? Great friend, eh? No I am actually kidding and exaggerating as she actually really didn't get me hooked on TV. But the last few nights I have actually watched a little television after literally about 9 years of not having watched seriously any television. Tele-WHAT? I asked. I watched a few programs on TV and for the most part realize that it is truly mind-numbing and deadening and probably the worst thing ever for people on the planet. But despite my objections, it still goes on. So I thought, rather than resisting what IS, I might as well check out what people are watching these days.

For the most part I am frightened and amazed. And I pretty much swore I would never watch any reality tv shows as my attitude is why would I watch someone else's life instead of living my own. But of course a reality show came on called, WifeSwap, sounded pretty horrific and I was encouraged to watch it for the lessons. Lessons, I thought, what lessons? But I actually learned a little bit, really. One of the families reminded me of my own family and the same pain and lessons learned on the show were lessons that would have helped my own family in healing. It was pretty cool actually. It did get me thinking!

I also realized that my life is really one big wife, or family, swap. That is, the more people I meet, the more I grow - the more different from me the better. I fortunately have the pleasure and honor of meeting different people all the time and learning through conversations and interactions how similar we are despite the apparent differences. As human beings we all want the same things - to be loved, to love, to feel safe and be happy. It really is simple if we could only remember that.

All that being said, my experience with television was a good one. I am still not a big fan, I don't highly recommend it and I definitely won't give up my meditation practice, my writing or really anything else for it. But it was a good break from the "real world" for a few minutes to check in on what the rest of the world spends so much of its time doing. And if you are reading this and watch tv all the time, take a break from it once in a while and go meditate. Everything in moderation and balance and the world would truly be a better place.

Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom. ~ Buddha

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