Recently, I had the great pleasure of visiting a Buddhist monastery to do a walking meditation on a luminous summer morning. It was a beautiful experience but what struck me afterward was how quickly even many of those bent on being here now reached for their cell phones to check their text messages or play Angry Birds. As charmingly ironic as this is, it is also a perfect manifestation of what most ails us. We just can’t stop working/amusing ourselves to death.
Not too long after my encounter with the texting Buddhists, I came upon an illustrative article in the Travel section of the New York Times entitled “Call Waiting: ‘It’s Me, Vacation’: Can’t Let Go? Eight Rules for Getting the Most Out of Your Time Off” by Matt Richtel. Richtel’s article starts with the story of a failed vacation that left him “exhausted, defeated, and irritable” rather than refreshed and at peace. He then turns to the wisdom of neuroscientists, behavior experts, and business executives to learn that “letting go” is something you have to “practice on a daily basis.” [Read more…]