The Cell Phone Clutch


The act of taking out a cell phone from one’s pocket or purse, resulting in other people in the vicinity taking out and checking their phones as well.

From Urban Dictionary

This would be even funnier were it not so true. There’s that awkward pause at a party or work event when suddenly someone starts checking their phone. Of course I feel compelled to pick up mine. I want to look important and busy too, even if all I’m doing is checking out Facebook.

Now the distraction of a mobile phone can be a glorious thing. It’s made me a much more amenable passenger in a car, particularly in traffic when I can pass the time or catching up on blog posts. Being able to respond to a time-sensitive email right away without having to worry about getting back to a computer to answer eliminates a lot of unnecessary stress. I like the security of knowing that if I lock my keys in my car or forget my wallet, I can call someone right away. (Not that I’ve ever locked my keys in the car. Or forgotten my wallet. Or both. Or both on multiple occasions. But I digress).

As much as I kid (kinda) about being surgically attached to my iPhone, I think it’s important for me to be aware of the flip side or shadow side of my smart phone. I’m noticing how whenever there’s waiting: waiting in line at the grocery store; waiting for an event to start; waiting for another person, my automatic impulse is to reach for my phone. Do I really need to anything that important? Am I really enhancing my life by whatever I cram in doing on my phone for five minutes?

So my relationship with my iPhone? “It’s complicated.” But here’s where I can draw on my yoga practice for relationship advice. Yoga is a process of paying attention and becoming aware of our habits and learning new ways to work in ways that are beneficial for ourselves. I can use this same approach to look at when my cell phone is beneficial and where it isn’t serving me well.

The point of being conscious of my cell phone habits is not to denounce technology (“Cell phones are making us an unfeeling, detached, self-absorbed society”), nor be judgmental (“If only I were more yogic and practiced greater non-attachment to object, I wouldn’t be so glued to my phone”). Rather, it’s a matter of paying attention and observing my behavior. Sometimes I notice grabbing my cell phone makes me happy, such as sending a funny text to a friend. It brings a burst of connection in my day. Other times I see that I use my cell phone as a way to procrastinate that task I’m avoiding. The constant checking (be it email, Facebook, Twitter, or the latest news) makes it hard for me to settle down. I will try to read a book and I’ll feel compelled to check something online or I remember an email I forgot to send, and then realize I haven’t followed anything on the page that I just read.

Striking a balance between making the most of the ever-increasing cool stuff you can do on a phone and taking time to be unplugged is a common juggling act most of us are negotiating these days. Being aware of the clutch is the first step in determining what kind of relationship you want to have with your cell phone. My iPhone and I are still working on ours.


I’m assisting Ana Forrest at the Yoga Journal conference

Photo credit: Forrest Yoga

Wow. I just found out that I will be assisting Ana Forrest at the upcoming Yoga Journal conference in San Diego.

Holy crap.

Ana is my main yoga teacher and phenomenally skilled teacher and healer. To be a part of the energy she weaves in her workshops is an amazing experience as a student and I am beyond excited to take part this time as an assistant.

Ana is also hardcore. I’m not quite sure when she sleeps or if she ever gets tired. Rare is the week that she is not traveling somewhere conducting workshops or teacher trainings. and trust me, both of these are intense.

So what business does a person like me have assisting her? Can I really do this? Will I be able to do a good job assisting students–even in an all-day intensive? Despite my excitement, these are the kinds of questions running through my head.

It occurred to me today that I actually have a choice about being nervous. Ok, maybe not about whether I feel nervous, but what I do with that feeling. I can be nervous and spin into self-doubt. Or I can acknowledge, “Yup, I’m scared and nervous” and choose differently. What if I tapped into my nervous energy and directed it towards dedicating myself to being 100% present to the best of my ability to the students, Ana, and the assistant team? What if I decided to believe, or at least act as if, I can be a great assistant? And what if, just maybe, I exceeded what I thought were the limitations of what I could accomplish?



Chade-Meng Tan: Create World Peace

Chade-Meng Tan, Google’s “Jolly Good Fellow”, got the nickname for a reason. He is a person who radiates happiness. Normally I’d be suspicious of someone who seemed that content. With Meng, you can just tell by his presence that this is a man who is extremely intelligent and passionate about his work, yet genuinely playful and peaceful.

I loved seeing Meng speak at the first and second annual Wisdom 2.0 Conference, so I was thrilled to see that he was in San Francisco giving a talk and book-signing through California Institue of Integral Studies (CIIS). Meng’s book: Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path for Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace) is a culmination of Meng’s experience of developing and teaching a successful course by the same name for Google employees.

You might think getting participants for a seven-week course on mindfulness in any company could be difficult, much less in a high-pressure, high-stress environment like Google, where taking time out for a mindfulness course might seem counterproductive to success. Yet Meng’s course is filled up weeks in advance. Being an engineer himself, Meng is particularly skilled in teaching in a way that speaks to even the most skeptical engineer or business person. “I am selling you better employees”, Meng says. “This course is a key to effective employees.”

The results speak for themselves. The success has been overwhelming, both in terms of employee productivity and anecdotal evidence. The feedback from employees has been overwhelmingly positive, with countless stories participants have shared about how the course has positively impacted both their professional and personal life. One such story in the book is a manager who discovered during the course that he was unhappy and was not taking care of himself. He chose to drop-down to working part-time hours. The result? He was promoted and became the first part-time manager at Google to receive a promotion. With the demonstrable changes in job performance from course participants, Meng has the evidence to show that ignoring the value of mindfulness is poor business sense. Recognizing this, other companies are starting to follow suit and realizing that the way to success isn’t pedaling faster.

Meng highlighted some important points on mindfulness practice:

You have to do it. Meng compared mindfulness to fitness. You can read about fitness all you want, but that doesn’t make you fit. It’s great to learn about mindfulness, but you have to practice it to get the benefits of it.

That said, it doesn’t take as long as you would think to make a difference. Meng cited studies that showed with just ten minutes a day, people begin showing positive effects of mindfulness in just a few weeks. Of course, just like fitness, if you train for longer, the benefits can be even greater. Still, regular repetitions even with a small hand weight help create strength.

It need not be complicated. One practice Meng teaches is loving-kindness meditation. To get started, you only need to look at any person and think, “I want this person to be happy.” It can be as simple this focused, intentional attention that creates profound effects.

It’s all about the ripple effects. Small actions have a way of multiplying. When you feel more loving towards another person, you start feeling more compassionate and loving towards people in general as well as yourself. When you feel better about yourself and others, this can’t help but spill over into other aspects of your life: work, relationships, health, etc.

There’s still a place for anger. Just because we’re practicing awareness and compassion doesn’t mean there are not times where anger is warranted. In the moment, we always have a choice about whether to react from a place of anger. Meng related a time he was at a rental car counter and the employee there was trying to rip him off. He was aware of his anger and chose to get angry. As a result, he was not taken advantage of and the situation was resolved.

So far, Google employees are the only ones to have road-tested Meng’s course. That’s about to change, as Meng has formed the nonprofit, Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI), which in keeping with Meng’s playful spirit, is pronounced, “silly”. SIYLI seeks to build upon the success of Meng’s program and train leaders to offer the course to others. Meng is donating all proceeds from his book to support SIYLI.

But to reduce SIYLI or Meng’s work to mere business performance would be a gross underestimation of Meng’s mission. Meng’s life purpose is to create world peace. Perhaps what makes him most inspiring is witnessing his commitment to his goal. He doesn’t scoff or get overwhelmed by the loftiness and scope of such a goal. Instead, he finds joy in the changes he works to to create and delights in the way peaceful actions have a way of spreading.

How do you stay connected to your purpose?

Jon Kabat-Zinn speaking benefit for Mindful Schools

This past Friday night, Jon Kabat-Zinn came to speak at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley. The event was a benefit for Mindful Schools, an organization seeking to integrate mindfulness education into schools. Although the Oakland-based Mindful Schools has only been around since 2007, its positive results thus far are impressive. What’s particularly cool is that a large percentage of their work has been with schools in low-income areas. Kabat-Zinn, founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reducation (MBSR), was an ideal speaker and his own experience and research with teaching mindfulness techniques as a means to help with coping with anxiety, stress, pain, and other life challenges.

One of the first things Jon did was take the audience through a brief guided meditation. “We’re all born with the ability to be mindful to a certain degree,” he said. “It’s a matter of exercising the muscle of getting grounded in the present moment”. He pointed out that mindfulness really should be thought of as a verb: it’s all about intentionality. An essential part of living our lives as if they really mattered is how we live our lives. Are we present for each moment or are we somewhere else? A big part of the process is learning that we are not our thoughts. We are not our pain. It seems counter-intuitive, but when we hold pain in our awareness we can decrease its effect, whereas if we avoid it, we create an aversion to it which can cause more pain.

Jon asked the question of what we took away most from our education. What teachers can impart most is their passion and love–this is what can make any subject compelling. Kids tend to want to learn (whether they know it or not), so let’s not kill this love of learning. He brought up the point that you can teach mindfulness without ever using the word “mindfulness”. Get creative with ways that you can present mindfulness education in a way that kids will respond to. He reminded us that it’s hard to teach anything in a meaningful way if we aren’t practicing it ourselves. By cultivating a kinder, gentler relationship to ourselves, we can be attentive for each child as they are.

Numerous research studies continue to find positive effects of mindfulness in reducing stress, depression, anxiety, as well as other benefits. There’s a forthcoming paper by J. John Meikle on incorporating mindfulness in K-5 education that maps out the science behind why it might be important to integrate mindfulness into the curriculum.However, Jon points out that the practice of being present in our daily life would still be beneficial even if there wasn’t neuroscience behind it to back up the positive effects people have experienced.

Other efforts to integrate mindfulness into daily life are underway. Jon mentions the upcoming Wisdom 2.0 Conference (which I’ve attended in previous years and written about) that seeks to find a peaceful coexistence between mindfulness and technology. Chade-Meng Tan of Google has a forthcoming book on the subject, Search Inside Yourself, based on his program at Google to help with employee personal growth and emotional well-being. Even Congressman Tim Ryan has a book, A Mindful Nation coming out (“The real place that needs mindfulness is Congress”, Jon declared).

But mindfulness isn’t the answer to all of life’s problems. “You’re the same person you always were, only now you’re just more aware of it”, Jon joked. “You realize how mindless you are. The caveat is mindfulness itself is only the hardest work in the world”. Yet it is through this mindfulness that you can find new connections and creativity because you’re able to put aside distractions and keep your awareness on what’s going on moment to moment.

Perhaps the most powerful moment for me was during the Q & A session where a teacher in a rough area of Oakland posed a poignant question, “How can we teach children to be mindful when they are very often facing a turbulent family situation or the barrel of a gun on the way home? How can we ask them to be present in often tumultuous situations?” Jon commended this teacher and related that, “Mindfulness asks that we unroll the welcome mat and welcome in all that is. But this isn’t a selective welcome mat. We don’t get to decide what we welcome in; we have to take all of what is. The best thing we can offer kids is to stay grounded in what each child needs and then be that for them as much as you can.” It was this last story that truly brought home for me the importance of mindfulness for all of us.

This poem of Rumi’s comes to mind and seems fitting to Jon’s inspiring talk:

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ Rumi ~

( from The Essential Rumi)

Lessons from a Lounge Chair

I recently got back from back from an amazing trip to Bora Bora. The trip was a belated five year anniversary celebration. Thanks to Hilton points, we were able to stay at an a wonderful resort there with no end of spectacular views and tranquil settings for relaxing.

Relaxing: easier said than done.

Now don’t get me wrong–there’s few things I like more than reading a book in the sun for hours on end with a book if given the chance. But even on vacation I found myself waking up and thinking about things I “needed to do” that day. Let’s see, I need to maximize my activity options and take out the pedal boat, but also make sure to lay out to work on my tan. I should make sure that I plan our dinner out and research reviews to make sure we only spend money on a good place. Even sitting in my lawn chair with a book, my mind would start to wander, “Should I do yoga? Am I an undedicated yoga instructor if I don’t practice at all? Shouldn’t I make sure to have an epic natural experience doing yoga with a coral reef in the background just like you’d see in a yoga shoot?”

Did I mention this was vacation? I mean, really, what did I need to do? Other than getting to breakfast by a certain time that it was still open and getting to the ferry on the half hour if we wanted to go to town, there was little else that dictated us to be somewhere at a specific time doing something in particular. Scuba diving required the most pre-planning out of anything and even that was ridiculously simple since the resort arranged everything–I just had to show up in the morning for the boat.

This is where my yoga practice came in–and I don’t mean doing yoga poses. Indeed, I practiced very little actual asana (yoga poses) on my trip. Doing yoga in natural setting can be a little overrated. My few attempts were foiled by mosquitoes, scratchy lawn area, and tropical rain, which I took as a sign from the universe that the real yoga on my trip wasn’t on my yoga mat. In my yoga practice, I’ve learned to question why I do (or don’t do) certain poses. What do I really want from my practice today? Am I practicing in a way that addresses what my body needs? Am I pushing myself into an active practice because I need to get my energy moving or do I feel compelled to do a certain practice because it’s the “right” way and how can I ever be a proficient practitioner if I don’t always do a strong practice?

Forrest Yoga has really forced me to examine my intention and acknowledging and being with wherever my mental and physical state that day might be. Not that I can’t change it. Not that I still don’t fall into doing an advanced practice because I feel like I have to. The difference is being aware of it and that’s the first step to changing my approach to the practice. I’ve become much more relaxed in my practice–hey, I can chat with my practice buddy or pause in the middle of it. I can do a pose I didn’t plan. Or bust out into some dancing when a good song comes on before going back to the pose I was in. Relaxing hasn’t negatively impacted my ability to do poses, but it’s definitely enhanced my enjoyment of them.

So how did this translate to the lounge chair? Well, I became aware of mental planning and that perpetual feeling of “must do” and honestly look at how ridiculous it was, however real it feels in my brain. Does it really matter whether I go in the water for a long time or just a short dip? If I spend the whole afternoon laying out with my book, who cares? There’s not anyone keeping some imaginary score. When I did let go and just let myself do what I felt like doing, that’s when the real pleasure came in.

There was one day of solid rain on our trip and even though it was still warm, there wasn’t much to do in the downpour. My husband and I ended up spending most of the day making the most of our nice room at the resort and curled up together on the couch with our respective books. Every so often, we’d get up to get a drink or break for a little picnic dinner of food we’d gotten from the store in town. It was cozy with just the two of us enjoying each other’s company with the rain coming down in the background. Far from it being a bummer of a day with the rain ruining our plans, it was a wonderfully pleasant day of the trip.

Of course, I was ready to dive the next morning and will the rain to stop so I could be out and about. But the memory of those many moments I felt so at ease and connected to my husband throughout the trip have stuck. Now that I’m back to non-island life, I’m trying to keep the lessons from my lunge chair in my regular life.Times when I am thinking about what I should be doing or getting everything on my to-do list for the day accomplished are not the moments that stay lodged in my memory. Rather, it’s those goofy moments of letting go, sharing a joke with someone, or getting soaked in a tropical downpour that are the stuff that life–and contentment are made.

Top 10 Words of Wisdom from the Wisdom 2.0 Conference

BuddhaThere’s nothing like hearing Meng Tan (aka “Jolly Good Fellow“) speak at the Wisdom 2.0 Conference to remind a person that humor and mindfulness can absolutely go hand in hand. Here are some of the funny, often touching, always wise quotes that stuck with me from this terrific conference.

Top 10 Words of Wisdom from the Wisdom 2.0 Conference

10. “You’re afraid I’m going to control your mind–you can’t even control your mind” —Todd Pierce
9. “My bookshelf is full of shelf-help books” —Wendy Palmer
8. “Everyone is so present it’s disturbing” —Chris Sacca, on the level of audience attentiveness compared to other conferences.
7. “How many enlightened men do you know with six-packs?” —Meng Tan, commenting on a particularly ripped Buddha statue.
6. “All wisdom is plagiarism. Only stupidity is original.” —Soren Gordhamer
5. “I don’t really love technology–I love people.”–Eric Schiermeyer
4. “Know when to stop; know when to sprint.” —Rich Fernandez
3. “When will we make the same improvements in relating to each other as we’ve made with technology?”–David Rock
2. “It’s now again.” —Congressman, Tim Ryan
1.  “There’s no such thing as work-life balance. It’s all life. Be fully present in life.”  Jon Kabat Zinn
Photo credit: Petteri Sulonen

Top 10 Mindfulness Tips from the Wisdom 2.0 Conference

I was privileged to get to attend the second annual Wisdom 2.0 Conference this year. The founder and host, Soren Gordhamer, is an amazing example of what you can create with good intentions and hard work–the second year of the conference brought about 400 in-person attendees and over 130,000 visitors to the web stream!

Here’s a taste of some of the tremendous teachings of the impressive array of speakers:

Top 10 Mindfulness Tips  from the Wisdom 2.0 Conference

Wisdom 2.0 panel

10. 1 Breath, 1 minute every day. Gopi Kallayil suggests this simple practice every day. Everyone has time to do one minute of breathing every day. And when you just take a minute, it’s easy to string a lot of days in a row. You find a sense of accomplishment–hey, you’ve practiced every day. From there, sometimes that minute might become five. So take that minute and who knows where it can lead.

9. Be intentional about what you’re doing. When you whip out that cell phone mid-conversation, announce what you’re doing, “I need to just text this person that I am running late” or “I need to send this email so I don’t leave this project hanging.” That let’s the person you’re with know that you are being conscious and not dismissive of their company and it also keeps you accountable for putting that phone away after you do that thing you needed to do–and not finding six other emails to address or getting sidetracked with another tweet. Or as Chris Sacca puts it, “I’m intentionally not doing the dishes when I’m not doing the dishes.”

8. Use moments of waiting as opportunities for mindfulness. Gopi Kallayil has transformed his relationship with traffic lights by using them as moments for meditation. Sharon Salzberg proposes doing at least one thing a day that isn’t multi-tasking and at least one thing that is fun. Practice letting that phone ring three times before picking it up and experience not having to jump to answer it immediately.

7. “Just live.” Seane Corn related a moving story and the advice of her father who recently passed away. “Just live”, Seane advises. When you dedicate your actions to the benefit of something greater than yourself, your every action becomes an embodied prayer and the length of time you spend on the yoga mat or meditation cushion becomes irrelevant.

6. “Don’t call it mindfulness.” Translate mindfulness into a language that your audience will be receptive to and be motivated by”, says Rich Fernandez. Todd Pierce agrees. “Focus on business results and document how individual mindfulness translates into organizational improvement. Those who get a taste of the experience will end up being your biggest advocates.”

5. “Take tea time”, says Kevin Rose. Have a break from the computer, let the tea leaves seep, enjoy the aroma, and take a deep breath or two.

4. Pause What is your best intention before entering conflict? Bradley Horowitz has staff take a moment at the beginning of meetings to pause and acknowledge everyone there to set intention for the meeting. Gopi Kallayil has his team take a moment of gratitude before beginning a meeting. Once a week, he purchases a bouquet of flowers and the team decides which member to award the flowers based on their efforts.

3. See the shades of grey. “It’s important to acknowledge the difference between judgement and discernment”, Jon Kabat Zinn counsels. When you practice mindfulness, you can see beyond the black and white of your own judgements. This unlocks creativity and insight which leads to innovation in ways you can’t push by thinking alone.

2. Re-examine what makes you happy. Study after study shows that most of us are terrible judges of what makes us happy. As David Rock reports, “What makes us happy is the impact we have and the connections we make.”

1. Go back to your intention and let this dictate your actions in everything you do. “Don’t let strong emotion betray everything you care about”, advises Jack KornfieldMeng Tan lets his intention of creating conditions for inner and world peace drive everything he does. “Anything else is just a detail.”

Photo courtesy of @rjenbarr

Wisdom 2.0 for Nonprofits

Cross-posted on TechSoup Blog

The first of its kind, the Wisdom 2.0 Conference brought together people from a variety of different disciplines to explore the concept of how we can live mindfully amidst fast-paced streams of information and technologies that are becoming the daily reality for many people. Speakers ranged from Google executives to Zen priests to Twitter VCs to small business owners to nonprofit consultants. The conference organizer and founder, Soren Gordhamer, framed the weekend’s speakers by exploring the challenge and possibilities of whether it is possible to be mindful while being highly connected and having constant multiple demands on our attention. Over the past few years, the growth social media and other connective technologies has exploded. Now that these tools have been around awhile, we seem to at the next stage of “post-modern mindfulness”, if you will, of figuring out how we can make the most of these technologies, yet still live meaningful, productive lives.

Many of the conference themes resonated for not just the technology world, but for any sector you happen to work with. My notebook (yes, an old-fashioned one with paper, not the electronic kind) was jammed packed with notes and insights I got from the terrific speakers there, but here were some of the key points that resonated for me:

  • Be selective: It’s easy to get sucked into the small tasks of the day and lose track of the big picture. In the same way a nonprofit organization drafts a mission statement, you must decide what your purpose and values are. From there you can focus on what key tasks will make the most impact and move you further towards your goals. asks users, “What is my intent today?” This is a terrific way to re-affirm your larger values and acts as an anchor for your day. When you find yourself veering off-track, you can re-connect to this intention to guide you back to your purpose. Remember your presence and focus is the greatest gift you can give. Gopi Kallayil tries to approach each conversation, even if it’s just a coworker coming by his desk to ask a question, as a moment of spirtiual connection and a way to practice being in service to others.
  • Get out of email: Email is the great time suck. Time and again speakers focused on the importance of limiting email time and having scheduled time away to work without distraction as the cost of context-switching is huge. For some jobs like customer service where prompt email response is crucial, this can be more challenging. Tami Simon examines her motivations for wanting to impulsively check that email or pull up her mobile phone and acknowledging when and why she is using it as a distraction or procrastination. Instead, Simon reminds us of how we can make the most of the value of giving and receiving communication through email. Ever had that thoughtful email from a friend or colleague that really makes your day? You have the ability to do the same for another person. Even if it’s just a short or routine email, a thank you or personal touch goes a long way. Leah Pearlman of Facebook takes it a step further with sending “Friday haiku emails” that bring not only a sense of humor, but good reminders of the importance of brevity and purposefulness to email correspondence.
  • Schedule uninterrupted time to focus on important projects: Besides getting out of email, it’s important to schedule in time on our calendar where we focus on the projects that will bring us the most value. Beth Kanter uses her son’s time-out timer to track her email and social media time to help her stay on track. Sometimes that means getting very clear to others about what you are and are not going to be paying attention to. Often times it means making hard decisions about what isn’t getting read or getting done. As counter-intuitive as it seems, doing one thing at a time really is more effective.
  • Integrate mindfulness in the flow of your day: While it’s important to carve out “unplugged” time away, be it vacation or a walk in nature, we can find ways of bringing mindfulness into the flow of activities in our day. “Don’t lose yourself in the rest of your life,” said Zen Abbot, Roshi Joan Halifax. She gave the example in meditation of focusing on the flame of a candle but then shifting that focus to a larger flow. When we learn how to focus on one thing at a time, we can then learn to deal with many demands on our attention. Several speakers used the example of Twitter as a flow. It’s a constant stream of information that can be diverting but we pop in and find moments that create meaning that couldn’t exist before. Other times we let it flow by and there will be thinks we will miss, but if it’s important enough news, it will resurface again.
  • Small things do make a difference: Kallayil keeps mindfulness manageable and doable by asking folks to do one yoga pose and one minute of breathing a day. Most people can find time to do that–and that often leads to further yoga poses and longer periods of conscious breathing. Maybe you don’t have time for that 90 minute yoga class, but you can take a short stroll outside around the office to rechargeLeah Pearlman advocates small ways of injecting mindfulness into the day. She and her coworkers send gratitude texts every day where they say one thing they’re grateful for that day. Get creative with finding little ways to infuse even the busiest times with doses of joy.
  • “Don’t give up even when it all falls apart.”:This advice from Meng Tan (aka “Jolly Good Fellow”) of Google, for what to do when despite your best intentions, you find yourself sucked into the craziness of everyday life. In the nonprofit arena, the challenge is always trying do more with less time and resources and often the first thing to go off the list is self-care. Just as compassion is key in our work to make a difference in the world, that same compassion is crucial for our own effectiveness in making a difference. The Wisdom 2.0 Conference showed me that none of us are alone in the struggle. Whether you’re a high-level CEO, a Zen priest, or just your average joe, we’re all in this challenge together of using and living with technology to its fullest mindfulness, as well as productivity, potential.