Greetings friends, my name is Silas Rose and this is Awake in Relationship. So you might have noticed it’s been a while since I last published an episode, I started to Awake in Relationship right at the beginning of the pandemic, back in March 2020. I think that 2022 was really kind of a bookend to the whole Covid experience, filled with lots of pent up energy and unexpected sudden shocks. I know a lot of people personally that experienced the ground fall out from beneith their feet. We came out of the harshest on the Covid restrictions and into a kind of weird liminal state, where things haven’t really returned to normal. But still, there was more freedom. For me, it was an opportunity to kind of made a big move.
For a long time, I really wanted to live in the country and start a retreat center. I was really craving some peace and solitude after two years of real high stress, I found my dream home. The problem was when I got there, and this sudden realization that it was the wrong dream. As someone that’s practiced mindfulness, and personal inquiry for a long time, it was somewhat of a shock, actually a big shock, that I could miss the mark so profoundly.
Moving to a new home is really one of the biggest decisions you can make. I really thought I was following my heart. But actually, in retrospect, it really seems the opposite was true. I ignored the warning signs, and got myself into a bit of a pickle, which turned into a dark night, at the time and really felt like I had blown up my life for no good reason. But looking back on this experience, now I’m really seeing that and brought a lot of clarity to 2 sometimes polar opposite archetypes inside me, which I identify as the Monk and the Lover. The Monk really ran the show for a long time in my life. Actually, it was not a bad thing, especially my youth. The Monk really helped me to cultivate discipline, and focus. The Lover has always been there. In the background. It’s kind of an enigma. But more recently, Id say, the last five years, its found more expression of my life and this podcast is definitely part of that. It is certainly my growth edge. And as it turns out, moving to the country really doesn’t nurture that part of me. After two years of social distancing, and disconnection, the lover in me was really freaking out. So I did something quite radical, I’m pulling up stakes and moved back to the city, which turned out to be a really good decision
The last few months have really been about reconnecting to the people in place I love Is a God relam in all the best ways, a city of Gandharvas, I feel a renewed sense of inspiration for Awake In Relationship. So it seems like a really good time to start season 2, of the podcast, which unofficially might be called The Art of Reconnecting. I’ve said a few times on the show that I really feel that our society has been social distancing for a while, long before COVID. As the pandemic recedes into the background, I think what’s really become clear over the past two or three years, is that there really is an epidemic of loneliness and disconnection, and I fear of might get worse, before things get better. It’s a complex and really kind of fundamental problem. That’s at the core of many of the existential challenges of our time, one might see the climate crisis, or the rise of authoritarianism and political polarization, as the end result of a series of broken relationships.
There’s no single cause from this kind of breakdown. But I really do feel that how we engage with our technology is kind of an accelerant that enables and even rewards, antisocial behavior, and in general makes us lazy when it comes to attending to the relationships that matter most. I don’t know about you, but I feel my own social fitness has suffered last three years, in part due to screen time. In the current economy attention is our greatest asset. As a meditator I find it kind of odd to speak about attention as a form of value. But I think it’s helpful to explain what’s really driving the loneliness epedemic. The pandemic really jacked our screentime on average, up to about 11 hours a day, which seems outrageous, but if you actually take a look at your own use of devices, you might be a little bit shocked. That’s a lot of attention credits spent in virtual spaces. If you’re a parent or running business, you know that really, attention is a finite resource. There’s really less of it available at the end of the day, for the embodied relationships and activities that really fill in your heart. If you’re listening this podcast, I’m sure you know that any healthy relationship really requires our full presence. So how we engage with technology really matters. And I really feel mindfulness and the ART of reconnecting. is a big part of that, which I’ll be exploring more in season two COVID-19, in some sense of it’s kind of a dystopian dress rehearsal, a sneak peek into a possible future where life can be lived, almost exclusively online. It was an interesting experiment. But anyone can make people very happy.
Humans are essentially herd animals, we thrive in social groups. It’s through connection that we discover something fundamental in ourselves, what makes us human, which in the Buddhist tradition we talk about as awakened, heart, or basic goodness, it takes a lot of bravery these days to turn towards connection, how often we avoid the eyes of a stranger, by turning towards a device, or to staying home for Netflix and chill instead of going out and connecting with friends. These are choices we make in the moment, that actually have big consequences. If we want more sane and compassionate society, we’re gonna have to build that one relationship at a time. So showing up with our full presence really matters.
So I want to thank you, dear listener, for showing up for this episode. And I hope you’ll stay tuned. I’m really excited to see how Season Two unfolds. I also have a new course set to launch this spring. With Awake In Relationship favorite Susan Gills Chapman. It’s called Rude Awakenings, navigating the Bardos of everyday life. It seems like so many people I know right now are in some kind of big transition in their life. And speaking personally, I know how ungrounding that can feel it’s in these gaps, and we really meet our mind and meet the demons of fear and doubt. So if you’re going through some kind of major life event right now, that could be an illness or a loss of a job or a partner. Or maybe you’re just trying to orientate to a post Covid world. This course is really a Buddhist guide to meeting those big tectonic life transitions with bravery, and compassion. If you read the 5 keys of Mindful Communication, or perhaps tuned into some of the previous episodes with Susan, you know that she brings a lot of depth of practice and heart to her teaching. If you want to learn more and sign up, you can head over to awakeinrelationship.com .
I always really love hearing from my audience. So if you have any suggestions or feedback regarding the show, or perhaps a suggestion for a future guest, you can reach me through the contact page on the website or through Instagram or LinkedIn. So again, thank you, dear listener for tuning in. Till next time, stay connected.