Raghu chats with author Nancy Colier about balancing spiritual practice and our ever increasing use of technology.
Nancy Colier is a psychotherapist, interfaith minister, author, mindfulness teacher and public speaker. She is also a longtime student and practitioner of Eastern spirituality. Raghu speaks with Nancy about breaking our technology addiction and how we might use technology for the tools that they are.
The Power of Off (Opening) – Raghu introduces Nancy Colier and shares his love for her newest book “The Power of Off.” Nancy shares her spiritual background and what led her to a path of inner inquiry.
Escaping the Moment (10:30) – We have the tendency to do whatever we can to distract ourselves rather than stay in the present moment. Nancy and Raghu discuss this human condition and the role technology plays in it.
“It’s striking how the way we find peace is by turning inward. That’s what all of spiritual practice is, finding one’s self as the destination. And yet, everything we are doing with technology is teaching us to say, ‘What else? What am I missing? What else could I be doing? Anywhere but just myself.’ This tool, this smartphone, this screen is an ally to our fundamental fear that we, without filling, are nothing.”
Make a Hole (17:20) – Are you filling your life to get to the end of it without having to meet an empty space? The urge to escape is directly connected to boredom. Nancy discusses how we can use awareness to fill the hole created by boredom.
Technology is being used to fill our deeper human needs, which is creating a crisis. Part of this is the instant gratification that denies us the deeper experience that brings nourishment to our lives.
Addicted (28:55) – We are relating to technology in a way that we have related to little else in the past, in that we are turning over our authority. Nancy talks about how we are turning over intellectual responsibility and accountability to technologies like autocorrect and GPS. We are developing into full-on addicts and enabling each other in our addictions.
Finding Freedom in Technology (33:30) – Nancy challenges us to find freedom in technology, not from technology. She talks about the possibility of using our addiction to technology as an opportunity for practice. We can use our impulse to use technology and escape to instead check in on ourselves and move into the moment.
It is not all negative, though. Raghu and Nancy discuss the potential of technology to aid in mindful awareness. Apps, like the HeartMind app https://beherenownetwork.com/heartmind-app, can give us tools improve our practice and move us into the moment.
“There is nothing wrong with using technology, but the way we are using it is really out of alignment with what makes for a good life.”
Attention (41:35) – Most of us have a hard time allowing the vulnerability that comes from exposing the parts of ourselves that we think are unlikable or unlovable. It takes courage to admit that we sometimes need to be at the center of someone else’s attention. Nancy and Raghu talk about the need for attention we are filling with technology and how that factors into resisting awareness.
The Experience of Being (48:35) – A core message that Nancy delivers in “The Power of Off” is the role our fear of the impermanent nature of reality plays in our addiction to technology. She addresses the fear we have of being in the moment and why we try to move away from that experience.
Find Nancy Colier online, and keep up with her articles at the HuffingtonPost.