We can truly understand the meaning of the famous metaphor of the blind man who has a healthy body and the disabled person who has good eyes. Both of them, alone, are limited. But when the disabled person climbs on the shoulders of the blind man, together they can travel and achieve their goals easily. The mind and body are like this. The body alone can do nothing for itself; it is like a log unable to move or do anything by itself except to become subject to impermanence, decay, and death. The mind can do nothing without the support of the body. When we mindfully watch both body and mind, we can see how many wonderful things they do together. By sitting in one place, we may gain some degree of mindfulness. Going to a retreat and spending several days or several months watching our feelings, perceptions, countless thoughts, and various states of consciousness may make us eventually calm and peaceful. But normally we do not have that much time to spend in one place, meditating all the time. Therefore, we should find a way to apply our mindfulness to our daily life in order for us to be able to handle daily unforeseeable eventualities. What we face every day is unpredictable. Things happen due to multiple causes and conditions, since we live in a conditional and impermanent world. Mindfulness is our emergency kit, readily available at any time. When we face a situation in which we feel indignation, if we mindfully investigate our own mind, we will discover bitter truths about ourselves: for example, that we are selfish; we are egocentric; we are attached to our ego; we hold on to our opinions; we think we are right and everybody else is wrong; we are prejudiced; we are biased; and at the bottom of all of this, we do not really love ourselves. This discovery, though bitter, is a most rewarding experience. And in the long run, this discovery delivers us from deeply rooted psychological and spiritual suffering. Mindfulness practice is the practice of being 100 percent honest with ourselves. When we watch our own mind and body, we notice certain things that are unpleasant to realize. Since we do not like them, we try to reject them.

What are the things we do not like? We do not like to detach ourselves from loved ones or to live with unloved ones. We include not only people, places, and material things into our likes and dislikes, but opinions, ideas, beliefs, and decisions as well. We do not like what naturally happens to us. We do not like, for instance, growing old, becoming sick, becoming weak, or showing our age, for we have a great desire to preserve our appearance. We do not like it when someone points out our faults, for we take great pride in ourselves. We do not like someone to be wiser than we are, for we are deluded about ourselves. These are but a few examples of our personal experience of greed, hatred, and ignorance. Social isolation and its tendency to enable behavioral extremes is a two-way street. It's damaging to indulge in those things yourself but also to be exposed to them coming from others. Cyberbullying, while normally thought of as a problem only among teens, can happen to anyone online. According to the Pew Research Center, 41 percent of US adults report they've been the target of online harassment, including 18 percent who say the incidents were "severe," such as sustained stalking or threats of violence.[5] Remove the filters and feedback that govern in-person communication, and you take away the standards of conduct they are meant to regulate as well. Here's the bottom line: the last thing a person suffering from depression needs is exposure to a stream of merciless judgments and condemnations masquerading as a chat or a comment. An unhealthy self-image is already a trip wire. Far from diffusing the danger, too much time on the Internet is an invitation to make matters worse. A big reason why human beings are drawn to technology is that it stimulates and activates our brains in a way few other things can. The riveting visual imagery, the fast-paced movement of flickering screens, the commotion and constant motion, and the cacophony of noises all get our brain synapses firing at a rapid pace. Overuse of technology often creates a need for more and more stimulation to keep our brains and emotions satisfied. And so we up the ante, seeking additional time with technology and greater intensity from our electronic interactions. All of this has an often overlooked consequence: a sense of discomfort and restlessness with solitude, stillness, and silence.

As a society, we have largely lost appreciation for quietness and introspection. It is in moments of tranquility that we allow our imaginations the freedom to conceive new ideas. It is in moments of contemplation that we listen for spiritual guidance. It is in moments of unhurried reflection that we come to understand who we are as unique individuals. Technology frequently creates in us a "need for speed," a hunger for nonstop activity and never-ending action. When this occurs, we forfeit the opportunity to grow and to help others grow. I agree with the words of renowned researcher and author Michael Gurian: "As our lives speed up more and more, so do our children's. We forget and thus they forget that there is nothing more important than the present moment. We forget and thus they forget to relax, to find spiritual solitude, to let go of the past, to quiet ambition, to fully enjoy the eating of a strawberry, the scent of a rose, the touch of a hand on a cheek."[6] It's long been recognized that "keeping up with the Joneses" is a big part of what keeps us all running the "rat race." Those may be outdated phrases these days, but the condition of unhealthy envy they describe is alive and well. It's admittedly difficult to avoid noticing the outward appearances of your neighbor's life--job, car, home, overachieving kids, and adventurous vacations--and comparing them to your own, concluding your neighbor must be better off and happier than you. This comparison game is rigged from the start. Media marketers work overtime to be sure you feel your life is lacking so they can sell you what's missing. Before the Internet, however, those we compared ourselves to were mostly flesh-and-blood people. They lived down the street or worked down the hall. It was at least possible to see them at their worst as well as at their best. And they numbered in the dozens at the very most. Unfortunately, some of these thoughts, emotions and attitudes are limiting and negative. A thought may be, "I can't ever lose this weight, so why even try?" It's these subconscious thoughts that guide our actions, and which dictate our behaviours. It can stop us from having more money, better opportunities, and a greater love. But, the good news is, that you can actually change your subconscious thoughts by re-programming your conscious mind.

I do this by becoming a self-proclaimed `daydreamer at the expert level.' (My friend's used to laugh at this, until I began getting the career and financial opportunities they've only dreamed of getting!) The first key to doing this well is by coming up with one ideal image--something you want to have in your life--and imagine it over and over. Daydream about it (with intention, as though it's actually happening in reality) several times a day. Do more if you can. The second key to improving your confidence through daydreaming is visualizing it while believing it. In other words, don't just go through the motions and think, "Aw, it sure would be nice to have someone amazing in my life." Believe it is happening right now, as though you are the miracle worker in your own life who has a magic wand. You're the holder of your dreams, and you can either manifest them or block from appearing in your life right now. Daydream by focusing on the emotion. So, if you want to have the confidence to make a crowd of people laugh, daydream about speaking to others, and hearing their laughter echo the room. Teach traction. With so many potential distractions in kids' lives, teaching them how to make time for traction is critical. Just as with our own timeboxed schedules, kids can learn how to make time for what's important to them. If they don't learn to make their own plans in advance, kids will turn to distractions. It's OK to let your kids fail. Failure is how we learn. Show kids how to adjust their schedules to make time to live up to their values. After understanding the internal triggers driving kids to distraction and helping them create a schedule using the timeboxing technique, the next step is to examine the external triggers in their lives. In many ways, it's easy to blame the explosion of unwelcome cues tugging at our kids' attention. With their phones buzzing, the television flickering, and music blaring into their earbuds, it's difficult to understand how our kids are able to get anything done. Many kids (and adults) pass their days mentally swinging from one thing to the next. Constantly reacting to external triggers, children are left with few opportunities to think deeply and concentrate on anything for long.

According to a 2015 Pew Research Center study looking at youth and technology in the United States, "95 percent of teens now report they have a smartphone or access to one." Not surprisingly, 72 percent of parents whose kids' have a smartphone are concerned they "pose too much distraction." In many ways, it is parents and guardians who have enabled this situation. After all, we are the ones who gave permission and often provided the funds to purchase the distracting devices we've come to resent. We've bowed down to our kids' demands in ways that may not benefit them or our households. Many parents don't consider whether their children are ready for a device with potentially damaging consequences and give in to the protest that "everyone in my class has a smartphone and an Instagram account." As parents, we often forget that a kid wanting something "really, really badly" is not a good enough reason. Imagine a young child is standing at the edge of a swimming pool while their friends are all playing in the water and having a great time. The child desperately wants to jump in, but you're not sure they know how to swim. What would you do? We know swimming pools can be very dangerous, but despite the risks, we wouldn't keep our children from enjoying the water forever. Rather, once they are old enough, we'd make sure they learned to swim. Even after they had the basics down, we'd keep an eye on them until we were confident about their ability to enjoy the pool safely. In fact, we can easily think of a host of activities we wouldn't let our kids experience before they're ready: reading certain books, watching violent films, driving a car, having an alcoholic drink, and, of course, using digital devices--each comes in its own time, not whenever a kid says so. Exploring the world and navigating its risks are an important part of growing up, but giving a kid a smartphone or other gadgetry before they have the faculties to use it properly is just as irresponsible as letting them jump headfirst into a pool without knowing how to swim. Many parents justify handing over smartphones in exchange for the peace of mind of knowing they can contact their children at any time, but unfortunately, they often find they've given their child too much, too soon. The swimming pool analogy is useful here. When children learn to enjoy the water, they start in the shallow end. Perhaps they wear floaties or use a kick-board to help them get comfortable with the water. Only later, when they have demonstrated their competence, are they free to swim on their own. Instead of giving our kids a fully functional pinging and dinging smartphone, it's better to start with a feature phone that only makes calls and sends text messages. Such a phone can be purchased for less than twenty-five dollars and does not come with the apps that can distract a child with external triggers.