There is also the aspect regarding the content of the media which is being created for our consumption. One of the big challenges in meditation is stilling the mind. In order for this to happen there is a lot of processing of the past experiences which needs to happen. Whenever we undergo an experience there is a groove that gets created in the mind. Events with high emotional spikes end up creating deeper grooves which then take over the thought process as they are the easiest neurological patterns to access.
Even now I can most vividly recall those events in my life where I had strong emotional reactions to the situations. In a way they have become recorded on speed dial in my psyche. I do not even have to make an effort and those thoughts and memories pop up on most unexpected of occasions. As I progress in my journey, I know that over time I have to deal with all of these things. I am sure that for most of us, there will be a lot of things which we need to resolve as we move forward on the path of yoga.
When simple day to day life experiences can cause such disturbances, it is frightening to imagine the impact of movies,tv and news on us which are designed for heightened emotional reactions. Everything leaves behind a groove in the mind, it may be small but over time it may cause repetitive thought patterns which end up strengthening it. They can also lead a susceptible mind towards depression. Studies have shown that modern entertainment and news also cause a general desensitization towards things like violence.
I have not yet stopped going to the theatre or watching movies. I have however, reduced my consumption of digital and electronic media to a large extent and am conscious about what I want to watch. I used to be a movie enthusiast and was fond of watching movies across genres. Once I started going deeper into meditation, I realized the havoc that these things were creating on my psyche. It was the equivalent of 2 steps forward and 1 step back. The path as itself is very difficult with a lot of things to be mindful of so as to ensure progress. Introducing new unknowns by way of a psychological imprint of last night’s horror movie will just lead to derailment. So for the aspiring yogi in the modern digital age, mitahara is not just about the digestive system.
To be continued…