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From Multitasking to Unitasking

June 8, 2010

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This morning I came across an interesting post called Machine-minded man that starts off with a great quote about simplicity:

Where there are machines, there are bound to be machine worries; where there are machine worries, there are bound to be machine hearts. Within a machine heart in your breast, you’ve spoiled what was pure and simple; and without the pure and simple, the life of the spirit knows no rest. (from Zhuangzi, chapter 12, translated by Burton Watson)

Richard goes on to talk about the ways in which many of us have developed myriad bad habits through our use, overuse, and over-reliance on technology.

Although I very much agree with Richard that it is crucial that we maintain  time and space in which to reflect while ‘un-plugged,’ I disagree that technology itself is the source of distraction. A distracted mind will remain a distracted mind no matter what noise, gadgets, or even great teachers occupy the environment. A focused mind can USE the technology rather than be USED by it. Just as we can be distracted by our bodies we can also become masters of our own bodies.

Richard’s post reminded me very much of Swami Tyagananda-ji’s podcast From Multitasking to Unitasking. I am uploading here for anyone who is interested in these themes. Enjoy! You can right click on this link and save the podcast and listen: 01 From Multitasking to Unitasking. If you are interested in checking out other podcasts recorded at the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society in Boston, visit the website:, where you will find a link for the podcasts. You can also search for the podcasts on iTunes by doing a search for “Swami Tyagananda.” The podcasts are free.

Hari Om Tat Sat

I’d love to hear from you! Please share your ideas in the comment box and talk back to the blog. ;-)

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