Week 3: Urge for Distraction


1.      Read the piece below then at least once each day – while you are at work – observe your body. If you work at a computer, are you typing with your shoulders? How does it feel to relax the forehead, neck, shoulders all the way to the fingertips and touch the keys lightly instead of hitting them? When you bring your awareness back to this later in the day, has the tension crept back into the body?

2.      Observe your body while you walk. Is your mind aware of your body and its movements or is it darting around elsewhere?  Anchor the mind in the breath at the navel center and practice walking mindfully.

Answer the following journal questions:

1.  Write about your observations of the above two practices.

2.  Last week, we practiced going without music, tv or our usual distractions a couple of times for a 1/2 hour or so. This could be while doing housework, driving or anything where you usually create something to keep the mind occupied.

This week, observe the urge to distraction yourself with something. Broaden the range of ‘distraction’ to include eating certain foods, reading fiction etc as well as music, tv or talking with someone. Notice when the urge arises and what happens if you postpone distracting yourself for 5 minutes? 1/2 hour? Is it an unpleasant emotion arising? Boredom? What is underlying the urge to distract ourselves?

 Reading by Swami Veda Bharati

“First of all: interior silence. Interior silence. Along with that, naturally relaxed musculature.  One reason you people suffer so much is because part of your body, the part of your organs, limbs, your nervous system, your neuro-musculature, your sensory and motor nerves, your left and the right hemisphere of the brain you tire it unnecessarily by using those parts which are not necessary to use for a given task. As I said, you type with your shoulders instead of with your fingers. I don’t type with my shoulders; I just type with my fingertips. Just that, just touch.  “Let your fingers do the tensing.”  So my shoulders are not tired. I sit on the computer all night. Most days I lie down for a few hours of rest in the morning, 8:00, 9:00, because there is so much work to do, as people know. So I have to conserve every ounce of my energy and not waste it, in tension. When you people walk, the forehead is walking, the shoulders are walking, the stomach is walking, the foot is going this way, the eyes are going that way. There is no coordination in your neuro-musculature, in your senses, in your experience of being. That’s not walking, I don’t know what it is. It is making erratic graphs with your mind.”

Contact: Lynn Fraser  [email protected]