Q: Sadhguru, we have so many distractions today – mobile phones, Facebook, WhatsApp… How to meditate in this situation?

Sadhguru: If you think your phone is a distraction, imagine sitting like Adiyogi at Kailash, let us say at, minus fifteen degrees Celsius! That is far more distracting. The mobile phone is for your convenience. The purpose of empowering ourselves technologically is to make our activities easier and to enhance our lives. If you get your work done more quickly, you should have more time to meditate.

The purpose of empowering ourselves technologically is to make our activities easier and to enhance our lives.

You may remember how tedious it used to be just a couple of decades ago in India to make a long-distance phone call. In the nineties, when we were building Isha Foundation from the fundamentals, I was constantly on the highway, driving from town to town. About once a week, I needed to make around fifty to one hundred calls all over the country and abroad. When I decided “today is my call day,” I would stop in a smaller town or village at one of these blue booths with “STD” written on them in big, bold letters.

First, I would give the owner of the place a few thousand rupees. Then I would start making my calls. By the time I was done with all these calls, my fingers would hurt from dialing, and the fact that the black phone stank and I had to be in this horrible booth was not pleasant either. Today, I do not even have to dial manually – if I say a name, the phone will make the call for me.

Complaining About Convenience

Instead of enjoying such convenience, you are complaining about it. It becomes an issue because if you start doing something, you do not know when to stop – even with the simplest things. If you start eating, you do not know when to stop. The problem is not the conveniences we have – the problem is lack of consciousness. Things that should be a solution to enhance our lives and make them easy, we are turning them into a problem, out of ignorance.

If you do not mess with the world too much, people will be happy with you now.

Is it possible to sit still today with WhatsApp constantly pinging? Yes – you can switch off the phone. The world will go on just fine without your interference. You will realize this if you switch off your phone now. If you realize it now, you will do many things more sensibly.

If you do not mess with the world too much, people will be happy with you now. If you mess with it too much, then people will be happy when you are dead. It is your choice. When I am leaving any place, I generally try not to inform anyone, but somehow, a handful of people will anyway come to the airport. I keep telling them, “Why are you all so happy that I’m leaving?” Then they start crying. I say, “No, no, it’s okay. I get you.” The choice is yours – either you wait for people to rejoice when you die, or you spread joy now.

Editor’s Note: Isha Kriya is a free online guided meditation that has the potential to transform the life of anyone who is willing to invest just a few minutes a day. Try it out!

A version of this article was originally published in Isha Forest Flower May 2017. Download as PDF on a “name your price, no minimum” basis or subscribe to the print version.