Is There A Place For #Hashtag Meditation In The Twittersphere?

#Hashtag Meditation! Even those two juxtaposed words sound like an oxymoron. How does one hashtag a meditative state, when one activity underscores action and the latter centers on reflection. Well, for one, if Twitter has taught us anything, it’s made us rethink how we express ourselves. It’s caused us to distill big ideas down to 140 characters. That action in and of itself puts us in a contemplative mode of thinking.

Dumbing-Down. . .

However has that process also numbed us into becoming automatons of sorts, conditioned to ramdonmly releasing tweets and retweets mindlessly? Has our attack on social media simply become an unconscious pattern of behavior? And in so doing, have we simply become a modern-day version of Pavlov’s dog?

Mind Hacking. . .

Vincent HornVincent HornSelf-proclaimed “mind hacker and Buddhist Geek,” Vincent Horn believes that for some of us this is definitely the case. But he’s also has a solution for this condition and a unique approach as to how to get back into the “the now” of tweeting. Instead of just being a conduit for the transfer of information, Horn’s practice of #Hashtag Meditation demonstrates to the Twitterati how to maintain a clear awareness of being in the moment, when tweeting.

To Thine Own Self Engage. . .

While Web 2.0 has taught us all the importance of engaging with one’s followers, it’s placed less emphasis on the tweet initiator being actively engaged in the process. Instead of being motivated by ‘self-aggrandizement’ and/or ‘opinionated frustration' -- which so often are our reasons for tweeting -- Horn suggests “one maintain a clear awareness of what’s happening in the present moment” while they are formulating ideas to telegraph out to one's followers.

Good for Body & Soul . . .

Meditation, like any other practice takes conditioning. Like learning to eat vegetables or appreciating a fine scotch, some may might view it as an acquired taste. But for many, once learned, the practice itself becomes the motivation for us to continue.

In this video, ABC news anchor Dan Harris lays down a fairly convincing argument how the most skeptical can embrace meditation. While many proponents of meditation focus on its spiritual and metaphysical benefits, Harris points to the biological advantages of including the practice into one’s everyday life.

How to #Hashtag Meditate. . .

Horn offers some easy how-to steps as to how to best #Hashtag Meditate.
  • Instead of using a #hashtag to denote a topic, add humor, reemphasize a thought or claim or location, tag what you’re noticing in your experience as you post tweet.
  • Be cognizant of those emotions that are arising when you construct your tweet.
  • Bring awareness to what is fueling or motivating your social media sharing.
  • Consider whether it's #frustration, #anger, #love, #compassion, #gratitude, a #judgingthought or a #reflectingthought?
  • When you discern that your tweet  is simply a form of self-aggrandizement, you now have the opportunity to consider whether to proceed or discard that particular tweet.

Here’s an example of some of Horn’s tweets using his #Hashtag Meditation process:

“When I note #awe or #longing with a post, what I’m doing is giving others information into my internal state of mind as I share. I’m giving you context that you can relate to, to better understand what’s motivating me,” asserts Horn.

#Hashtag-along. . .

Every since I returned from a Himalayan trek several years back where I was taught meditation by the TibetanThiksey Monastery in Ladakh, IndiaThiksey Monastery in Ladakh, India Buddhist monks at the Thiksey Monastery, I’ve been an on-again, off-again meditator.

Today, after being reminded by Horn and Harris as to how this ancient practice could apply in today's social media space, it’s give me reason to rethink how I will use Twitter and my other social networks going forward. Is this an epiphany? Maybe not as life-altering as that - but certainly an opportunity to pause and reflect - and after all, isn’t that what’s at the core of meditation to begin with? Your #hashtag meditative thoughts, dear readers?