Insights from Millennials
I read a blog post from Huffington Post recently that solidified my thoughts on the wisdom of youth and the evolution of the collective unconsciousness. Today’s young adult generation “Millennials”, to a large degree, realize intuitively something that took me many years to learn and that is that Boomers got it all wrong with the workaholic consumer-driven behavior that we adopted in the eighties. I will not repeat the full list of Millennial insights discussed in the blog post, but a few really resonated with me.
The first is “Do what you want”. I still struggle with this. I still try to do what I think “I should be doing.” I want to give back and strive to do it, but frankly, giving back by using the core energies that I have used for so long that I feel like I’ve used them up and no longer suit me, is just not cutting it. I find myself doing some things that I hate. This is draining and makes me feel the same way that I did when I was in the corporate world. I know that I either need to reframe the way that I am doing this particular thing or simply not do it. Seems pretty simple right? But I question whether many boomers really know what we want to do as opposed to what we think we should be doing. I have a client who tells me that I am the voice in her head, and this amuses me because I wish that the voice in my own head was the voice that she hears. Unfortunately for me, the voice in my own head tends to sound an awful lot like that of my parents.
I suspect that most Millennials were raised by a higher level of consciousness from their boomer or Gen X parents than Boomers were from their “Greatest Generation” parents. The guilt, fear, and scarcity that we were raised with are still paying dividends all these years later. Perhaps for Boomers to do what they want – rather than denying our needs – we have to finally reparent ourselves. I thought that I had, my actions recently, however – tell me otherwise. Wasting a day of the few that I have left is simply not in my best interest. There are ways of paying it forward that do not drain me. And frankly, I do not need to be paying it forward all of the time. I did not leave too much on the field of play in the first half of my life, so having fun now is okay. So “do what YOU want to do” is my new motto and I encourage you to adopt it as well.
Millennials and technology
Another item on the Millennials list of “givens” that stuck out to me is to “Embrace Technology.” This is something which I have always thought that I was naturally good at. But in retrospect, I find that I was doing it with preconceived notions on what “effective” and “legitimate” uses of technology constitute. I was basing this on the tools with which I’m comfortable such as personal computers and laptops, but not smartphones, social media, and leading-edge inventions coming out of modern scientific knowledge today.
Over the weekend, I discovered (via an email from Integral Enlightenment) a set of software from iAwake Technologies designed to improve the quality of your mediation experience. This is a technology that I have seen and even played with to a certain degree. Last Christmas, my wife gave me a product that used biofeedback to improve my mediation experience. I have tried it but found that staring at a computer to see that my pulse and breathing were in harmony with what it should be was not really effective for me. My respiration count and resting heart rate are already under control.
The technology from iAwake, however, simply uses entrainment of the brain to deepen the meditation experience. I am using this twice a day, for forty minutes each time. I have never been able to meditate for that length of time prior to using this technology. I have found that it is now almost effortless to hold my mantra in my mind, and I am no longer beset by hundreds of thoughts during my meditation. This has resulted in deeper meditation and less impact “off of the cushion” by stress. There is a reason Zen teaches “after enlightenment- laundry.” It is because we can re-enter the world after a mindfulness practice easily and proceed to do the laundry of the 21st century.
Is this cheating? Maybe. But who cares. I am sure that with discipline, I could get to the quality of meditations that I am getting immediately from this technology. To be fair – I am trained in primordial sound meditation from the Chopra Center and have practiced meditation for most of the last two years. But not to this level of quality. SO, which is of greater value? Spending a couple of hundred dollars on technology or spending years of training? A Millennial would simply just buy it. I did as well, and it works. Oh, and by the way, I also love Pinterest.
How about you? Do you struggle with the voices of “Should” and “Should Not!” inside your head? Do you meditate? Do you feel leveraging technology to enhance a spiritual practice to be cheating? And if so – is that OK?
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