A Month of Less Distraction – Day 2

Posted by Steven Russell on Wednesday, July 2, 2014

tadā draṣṭuḥ svarūpe-'vasthānam

Then the Seer (the self) abides in his own nature.

Yoga Sutra number three. It’s at the beginning, so it must be important. Yesterday’s was number two.

I’m here in the family room. I finished teaching for the day. I’m having a bite to eat. My husband is out. It’s raining. So what would I normally do? Turn on the TV. Of course! I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to look on the Optimum app guide to see if Law & Order is on. I’m not even going to justify watching TV by turning to the History Channel. What the TV does for me at this point is make me feel less alone. It would take my mind out of anything that was going on in it, and put it directly into someone else’s drama. I think that’s why TV is so alluring. It relieves me of the obligation to live with my own thoughts. Some people call that entertainment. I’d like to be entertained by bringing me deeper into my own nature, not by being taken out of it and into someone else’s.

The really neat thing about not having the TV on is that there is a thunderstorm going on right now. I love thunderstorms. I can hear the thunder. The shades are up so I can see the lightening. And the best part is that I can hear the rain. I buy CDs of rain to play. And here it is happening right now, causing me to love it all the more.

And I’m doing laundry. I can hear the machine and I know what part of the cycle it’s in without having to check it.

And I can hear the dogs licking their paws. I notice their breathing. I don’t notice that when the TV is on. I wonder what they think of TV. I wonder if it adds stress to their lives as well. My husband came home. He eventually turned on the TV while I was in the laundry room. My neighbor texted me and suggested that we sit in the garage with the door open and watch the thunderstorm. Somehow that’s not the same kind of distraction as watching TV.

I thought tonight was going to be difficult. I kind of like this. 


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