Airplane Mode

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It’s my favorite setting on my phone.

I love it.

I put my phone in airplane mode every chance I get.

Whenever I put my phone in airplane mode, I imagine that I’m unplugging some long, invisible cable that keeps my phone (and, by extension, me and my brain) tethered to the rest of the world.

In airplane mode, there are no new text messages, no new emails, no notifications, no internet, no Facebook, no Instagram, no robo-calls, no real people calls…none of it.

It’s wonderful.

And, apparently, my phone charges faster when it’s in airplane mode.

I used to think that airplane mode was for, you know, when you’re on an airplane. But a few years ago I started using it when I meditate so I’d stop getting texts and chirps and dings and buzzes during my meditation.

And now I teach all my students about the wonders of airplane mode as a meditation aid. (Apparently there’s something called Do Not Disturb mode, but I don’t really understand how it works and it sounds way less fun than airplane mode.)

Recently it struck me that meditation itself is a form of airplane mode: I’m alert but temporarily disconnected — at least disconnected from all that external stuff that I spend most of the day managing.

And in this state of temporary disconnection from all that stuff, my mind and body recharge faster.

By disconnecting and allowing myself a deep recharge, I’m better able to put all that “important” stuff into perspective, sort through it all, and be a bit more objective (and patient and kind) when prioritizing it.

And that’s pretty empowering.

So give airplane mode a shot next time you’re meditating, or the next time you just want to disconnect for a few minutes. Don’t worry — all that stuff will still be there when you switch off airplane mode, but chances are the way you respond to it will change for the better.

If you haven’t yet learned to meditate, and want some expert instruction on how to make the best use of this built-in feature, drop me a line or come to a free intro talk at The Spring Meditation.

Airplane mode: it’s not just for airplanes anymore.