Tuesday, August 16, 2011



This is TURN OFF television week in our home temple. And along with that is a 21- Day meditation that my 13 year old and I are doing together. Joining us in the meditation challenge (from her own space) is a sistah with whom I shall speak with each day to discuss our meditation discoveries and personal challenges. It’s a meditation of a few minutes, if I abstract the voice of the facilitator, but the value and joy is found in having time together for a few golden minutes each morning. The goal is to create a soul profile and the three questions are: Who am I? What do I want to do? What is my dharma (life’s purpose)? We are on day 2 of being free of TV as well as the 21 Day mediation challenge and so far so good.

Silence has always been easier for me than most folks that I know because I am a natural retreater due to my 12th house Mars.  Though sometimes to my detriment I find myself attempting to retreat from all of life – particularly the harshness, the conflicts as well as the realities of life’s pain-filled & painstaking moments.  Yesterday, I let out a sigh to my son during those golden silent moments when the temple was so still you could hear a pin drop and the beating of a heart. And even our dog appreciating the silence didn't hesitate to join in.  I find silence to be very delicious and empowering. As a sensitive being, it helps to ground me, quiet my inner chatter, simmer down the internal volcanoes and the disturbances from the exterior noises. But the essence of Tantra (which my spirit validates) embraces the polarities of life – the light and the dark, the up and the down, the in and the out, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. This is what we earthlings have not quite understood nor are we fed this side of “oneness” at an early age in our journey. So we resist. We fight it. We struggle with it. We separate and divide ourselves.

I am a movie buff and like most kids my son loves to watch cartoons and sitcoms. On the scale of being television addicts, we are at the bottom of the barrel though I’d like to throw the damn thing out the window and actually did try to fling it across the room and kick it in the butt one time when I got sick and tired of telling him to turn it off.  It fell on its face and sat there for days. I was shocked to see the thing come back on when I picked it up to sweep and clean up. Damn what are they made of? I was secretly wishing it had died. LOL!! I do not allow news watching and do monitor what he watches.  Yet, I have struggled with him during the summer months, now that the camp activities are over - when it is so easy for him to rise up in the morning and prop himself before the television now that all the camp activities are over. I couldn’t do that as a child because I was not raised with TV. I was raised in Africa where we had black and white, limited television broadcast hours with cartoons only on Saturdays. As a parent raising a child in these times and in the wild wild west, I often reflect on my childhood and instinctively desire to apply some of my memories and upbringing. I see how technology can be so detrimental to the health and well being of our children and our selves. I am fully aware of the damage it does the mind and body alike. 

Guns have some usefulness!

When one sits before a television or computer screen for hours it literally drains the life force out of you. The eyes (besides the sexual organs) are a major channel in which energy is leaked and lost. When that happens we loose vitality in all our organs - kidneys, liver, spleen, etc. The electromagnetic energy from the television or computer screen draws the life energy out of us through our eyes. That’s why it is considered magnetic and we all know how magnets works.  We see life through our eyes and we loose life through our eyes.

Telling our children that they must not watch so much television or play video games or don’t do this or don’t do that is not sufficient. We need to make sure we understand the process and what happens first in order to be able to explain this to them intellectually. I remind my child of the consequences and repercussions and how he is shortening his life when he spends long hours in front of a video game.

Beat the TV

Now that our one little measly television is off in our home, he is naturally driven to find other creative things to engage he and his imagination. He’s reawakened his natural drawing talent and his interest in magic; he’s riding his bike and horsing around with and torturing his doggie.  He was silent for a while yesterday and when I checked in on him, he had fallen asleep on the bed with two pillows propped up like a tent, head in the middle with chin planted in the mattress as though he was reading or looking at something. Checked in and he was off to dreamland. I usually find myself trying to convince him to take a nap. Not yesterday! I personally like to wind down with a good movie in the evening. I replaced that with us all taking an hour long walk yesterday after agnihotra. I created a new recipe of my own – a Mango Apple Salad. Did I say that I've been singing out loud a lot too? And I was glued to a book as well as paper and pen, with even more time for self-reflection and engaging my inner ear. Talk about the things you hear when the TV is off and you are surrounded by silence. With the current mercury retrograde in progress, I am really seeing myself - dark, ugly, denied self, fears and all –while gaining greater clarity of “Who I am”.

On Friday we volunteer together at a Yoga ashram in Bethesda where we’ll be gardening and bagging up dry foods for the CSA and where we both began our yoga journey together with Mommy & Baby yoga 13 years ago. Now we are having more mommy and child time with the tube shut down.

So who wants to join us in changing your life for a week with a click?

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