2017 / 5 March

Virtual Reality: The Ultimate Mindfulness Killer!

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Image of a woman wearing a virtual reality headset void of mindfulness

There was a time when we got to see one movie every week and it used to be a family affair. Everyone would sit together and watch it with rapt attention on Sunday evening. That was my very early childhood where mindfulness was predominant. Chances are that if you were born after 1985, you may not appreciate what I am talking about. Still, people till date go for movie outings as a family or even watch recorded movies on Tata Sky etc. Movies, plays, music performances, and dance shows are enjoyed by people together helping family bonding.


Last ten years have seen the smartphone industry and internet channels like Youtube. This has drastically curtailed the concept of family entertainment. Every person of the modern family tends to have a specific taste for entertainment. This has also to do with tailor made channels for every segment, individual devices in everyone’s hands and so on.


Got Introduced to Virtual Reality

But last week, I got introduced to the Virtual Reality Headset (VRH). My immediate reaction was that it is going to be the ultimate awareness killer. The awareness that I am talking about is not the news and current affair type, but the mindfulness of oneself, one’s fellow beings and the environment.


I read about a Chinese person who enjoyed being aware and in the moment. This gentleman used to walk for thirty minutes to reach his workplace. Then, one day, his expat colleague asked him to take the train with him, so he covered the distance to office in ten minutes. Instead of reaching the office twenty minutes earlier, this man sat in a garden for twenty minutes and enjoyed the blooming flowers. According to him, the purpose of life was not to reach somewhere faster but to be aware of what was around him. This is precisely the purpose of mindfulness. Why Live Mindfully?


Looking at people walking on the street with bent heads, passengers in a train, car or bus glued to the small screens, even people on a dinner table busy in cyberspace makes me believe that awareness is becoming extinct faster.


Say good bye to Mindfulness

Now, with the advent of Virtual Reality Headset, we may bid goodbye to whatever little mindfulness is left over in all of us. Just imagine a family sitting in a room and each having his or her own VRH! So exciting, right? The young boy is enjoying a formula one race, the girl watching a teenage romance movie, the mother crying over a classic tragedy and the father engaged in a super-action thriller!


It will be interesting to see what such a family talks about at the end of the entertainment time. If it happens in my family, I can see everybody trying to explain to each other the beauty of their own experience and not being able to appreciate others’ experience.


These gadgets will be flooding the market at a cheap price and will attempt to takeaway a large part of your well-being with them. This article is to warn you about this oncoming onslaught and not get sucked into them mindlessly. Try and adopt a few ways to Mindful Living. How to Live Mindfully?

Feel free to leave your comments or write to me at info@ashutoshm.com

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Ashutosh Mishra - YouthCoach & Author

A seeker and explorer in the quest for lasting happiness, health and well-being. An MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur and a Mechanical Engineer from IIT Delhi. Has been a senior banker with large global banks like Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and ANZ Bank. Working in these demanding global institutions with a gruelling schedule and plenty of business travel. Was fortunate to realise the importance of health and wellbeing early on. Learnt and practiced many wellbeing tools and techniques to focus on his own well-being while balancing the demands of a high-profile career and a lovely family.

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  • Very relevant thoughts… Technology does take away the charm of exploration, adventure and thril.. A balanced approach is most relevant… Thnx

  • Very relevant topic. I feel happiness go down if I surf for more than 20 min in one go. Digital space is very interesting but it doesn’t give satisfaction were I to do the same in physical space. A Satvic act becomes Rajasvic when in digital space. I don’t understand why but I definitely feel worse after a digital swim

  • Parul Sharma / March 6, 2017 AT 11:27 PM

    A really thought provoking article, that truly made me stop and think. Nowadays, we use technology for everything,even for baby sitting. I have seen parents who leave their kids with phones or at these virtual reality gaming centres in malls so that they can b free! To me,it is scary to see kids with their faces half covered with these devices. No doubt, we should utilise all technological advancements, but we do need to draw a line here.
    As a parent and an educator I believe it is very important for us to model the mindful ways of living,so tht our kids learn and follow them in their respective lives to become healthy adults.



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