We rode 84 miles today into a very heavy headwind, crossing into Florida this morning southwest of Pensacola on Perdido Key. We ended the day in Miramar Beach and somewhere in the middle we became separated from our support vehicle. I’m not riding with a bike computer, my phone or any other technology, so I’m never quite sure where I am in the course of the day’s journey unless I check in with our support and that was a challenge today. Despite all the benefits that come with technology, I’m able to focus much more on being in the moment without concern for how fast or, in today’s case, how slow, I’m going, without it. It’s actually quite liberating to go “tech free” sometimes and as necessary as technology is these days to keeping us connected during coronovirus shutdowns, it is equally important to make space for ourselves outside of it.
Last December I participated in a 10 day silent, tech free, meditation called a Vipassana. The goal was to learn to be with yourself and also learn the Vipassana practice which, in turn, teaches you how to get to know yourself. Vipassana is an observation-based, self exploratory journey that focuses on the interconnectedness of the mind and body through attention to the physical sensations. The 10-day course was the most transformational experience of my life and I would encourage everyone to explore it. It cost no money, room and board are provided and, on top of teaching life skills for living happily and stress free, it provides a welcome break from technology. You can learn more about Vipassana at www.dhamma.org.
Regardless of whether you do a total tech detox or a Vipassana meditation, we can all be more mindful about whether we are controlling technology or the technology is controlling us. Easy for me to say when I spent the greater part of the day cycling away from the sun (due east) on the only east-west road on a barrier island that was so narrow that I could constantly see water to my left and my right. As directionally challenged as I am even I managed not to get lost without GPS! May we all learn to stay the path both with and without technology :)