Imagine a situation where you experience loud shrieking sounds in your ears everywhere you go, whether at home, office or travel. And that continues to happen for a good part of your 16 waking hours. That does not seem to be very pleasant even as a test for a day.
But when it comes to eyes, this is exactly the approach we take. Instead of food or water, most people have a craving for their phone as soon as they wake up. And then different screens continue to be our companions throughout the day — in the form of phone, computer, TV and games.
Interestingly, when we become tired of doing something on the screen, say on the office computer, we again indulge in the same or another screen for the purpose of relaxation.
What we actually want is instant gratification in some form, in any form. If we treat our stomach — a simple machine — for this purpose by eating delicious foods every few minutes, it will react violently. Human mind, however, is an amazing machine. Just like an ocean compared with a pond. We achieve instant gratification by constantly indulging it into rounds of checking new emails, Facebook and Twitter feeds. And it apparently absorbs all its harmful effects.
Can we get relaxed through this work-break-work-break … sequence spent on a screen? I think we cannot.
The reason is that relaxation comes from a sense of peace spreading inside the body. And peace usually comes from stillness. However, screens are all about movement: fast flashy images and changing colors. Even in the case of text, we try to finish fast and get onto the next article or page, cramming too much activity into a short amount of time (resources are infinite on the Internet).
Maybe that is why most spiritual routines, whether meditation or something else, involve senses other than the eyes. The irony, however, is that you are reading this post on a screen as well.