Some facts: Gadgets occupy a large “space” in our daily life. We are just discovering them (20 years in History is very little), on the long run we don’t know yet what are their effects. They certainly have positive aspects, but they also have negative ones. Today one can easily say that they are shaping our life, our behaviour and our culture, minute after minute.
How much time does an average teenager or young adult spend with his Smartphone, while, the same generation, 30 years ago, would have spent the same time doing other things: socialising, speaking to others (and not staying with them silently playing with their own Smartphone), reading a book, or watching a good movie.
Hopefully it won’t be too late to counter the effect of the negative patterns these gadgets are introducing in our behaviour. The greedy market of smartphones (10 years ago it was “the greedy market of laptops and cell phones”) is offering us each day a newer gadget, with something better in it. The creators of these gadgets are “controlling” us, in the sense that their battle is to find something better, more efficient, with greater capacities in order to allure us and get hold of our money.
One important negative use and negative effect of the gadgets is right before “sleeping time”, and during it. You want it or not, “sleep” is of utmost importance for you and me. If we touch that fine balance and fine mechanism in us, the rest of our day is put upside down and our efficiency in work and daily tasks is seriously threatened. Even monks who are supposed to remain awake during part of the night and pray, know perfectly that you can’t touch the number of hours needed for our sleep. Otherwise you threaten the body’s balance. and with ill body you can’t do a great deal, not certainly be a monk.
The fact is that these gadgets are invading our sleeping time, in a very subtle but efficient way.
(Of course we are not speaking about “wave pollution”. This is another aspect as well that influences our body.)
Prayer of the heart before sleeping
It is highly advisable to shut your smartphone, and your computer much before sleeping, preserving, in your day, a legitimate and healthy space for yourself. It is of utmost importance to practise the Prayer of the heart before sleeping, and to fall asleep while practising it, in order to have a better quality of sleep (that helps you digest/process better the day you spent and all its events and sift them, getting a clearer vision of what happened), and to wake up in the same state as well, fresh and rejuvenated, ready to start a new day “in synergy” with God. This way we can dwell longer in Christ during the day. Your night commands your day.
Take your rosary in your hands (a good solid one that won’t brake while you are sleeping), and start practising the Prayer of the heart. Put the light off, put if you want a safe candle in front of the Icon of the Mother of God, so you can enter in a much easier way in God through the Prayer of the heart and enter better in the “deep sleep”.
Sleeping is a serious surrender, abandoning ourselves to the unknown. The is why, before sleeping we ask the Angels to protect us from the “forces of the night” , the subconscious, and our hidden mechanisms.
“Sleeping” is considered by the Monks as the “small death”, in the sense that you live your day as if it was the last day in your life, and “sleeping” is like the “judgement” of the day you spent (we examine our conscience before sleeping). We don’t know if we will wake up or not. “Pretty scary!” you might say, but when you think about it (holding for a second your emotions) you’ll find that it is not that wrong 🙂
Therefore, if surrendering is necessary in order to sleep, surrendering is much easier if done “in the Hands of God”.
Let us improve the quality of our energy during the day by improving the quality of our sleep. Sleeping “in God” is totally different from just mere “sleeping”. Let us remember these facts and work on “entering into sleep” in a much healthier and holier way: by practising the Prayer of the heart.
(* The pictures are courtesy of this study)