We live at a time of intense technological distraction. I am often distracted by technology and busyness. I am not totally indulgent when it comes to technology but it is a battle. Being constantly available by email, texts and voice mail is a battle we all need to wage. The bombardment by TV and the Internet is taking a toll. What effect it is having on us individually and as a society is being researched. See the link below to an article I read today on the NY Times webpage about researchers studying the effect that being away from technology in the remote outdoors can have on us.
Are you willing to make a guess at what the researchers are going to find? This is a no brainer for those of us who love the outdoors and have some control over technology (instead of the other way around). We know that we regain an inner peacefulness in our hearts and thoughts when we step off the grid. It is not only the NY Times who thinks so. Check out this quote from a Greek monastic writer…
The era we live in is pre-eminently one of external action. We are continuously on the move. We think that we will transform society by means of such activity. Society cannot be successfully changed, however, without our own transformation and this cannot be achieved without the hesychastic method which is an integral part of the Orthodox Tradition. – Metropolitan Hierotheos in “The Science of Spiritual Medicine” page 50.
Hesychia can be briefly defined as the cleansing of the heart from thoughts, liberation from the deliberate seeking out of sinful action and the influence of our environment; it means to dwell in God. Technology for all the good is does is no safeguard for our hearts and minds. Unwinding outdoors, going off the grid, can provide the environment where the hearts and minds can take a deep breath and pray again.
Here is the NY Times Article.