Show #2: Zen of Being Digital Podcast: Are You Compulsive?

Hot off the press. Finally. It is here.

The Zen of Being Digital Podcast Show 2: Are you compulsive?

Breathe. Breathe. Breathing a sigh of relief as well.

Special thanks to Michael Sitarzewski of who is helping me troubleshoot the process of:

  1. adding my podcast feed to Feedburner;
  2. submitting my podcast to iTunes;
  3. listing my podcast on his site

All in the works, should happen this week. Wish me luck! 😉

And by the way, are you compulsive? How and how do you temper that?

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Getting More Zen

I’m traveling which is why this week’s podcast is not up yet. But the good news is that I’ll record, produce and upload it in the next 48 hours PLUS I’m setting up my Feedburner feed and submitting to iTunes once the second one is in the can.

Thank you again for all of your support, emails, and inquiries about this new project. I’ve been in talks with one publisher to publish this book, but today, met another major publisher who loved the idea.

Deal wars? No, I don’t want to make this a competition. I will know by gut instinct and in my heart which deal makes the most sense for this project. I’ve worked with 4 different publishers for my previous 7 books so have good ideas about what makes a good book publisher. And with the tectonic shifts in the publishing world, I really want to see who “gets it” and who is open to adventurous experimentation in the social mediasphere.

So breathe in, breathe out, and clear your minds. Open up to the possibilities. They are all around you.

You attract what you are.

What are you attracting?

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Show #1: Zen of Being Digital Podcast: Are You Tuned In?

The question I pose in this first podcast is Are You Tuned In?

The Zen of Being Digital Podcast Show 1

I wanted to set the stage for the type of information and the format for this new podcast. I promise to not just start with a question and end with the same question to get your creative juices flowing but to also give you some concrete actionable items to do since many of us are charged with getting things done, aren’t we?

The actions for this podcast – in case it wasn’t clear – were:

1. tune in

2. breathe

I promise to be more clear in future ones!

Shout Out to my friend and fellow podcaster C.C. Chapman! You inspire me.

Music by royalty free music. The track is Delicate Dreams 1.

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I Cried at Wisdom 2.0 Summit

Yes, I cried.

I didn’t mean to cry. I almost didn’t know why I was crying even as I was crying. But it all made sense somehow.

It was at the tail end of this panel on the second day:

10:35 – 11:35 – Wisdom Teachings in the Internet Age: Opportunities and Challenges

Mallika Chopra (Founder,
Alana Kornfeld (Living Editor, Huffington Post)
Susan Kaiser Greenland (The Mindful Child)
Mary Ann Brussat (

Moderated by Tami Simon (Sounds True)

This was a powerful, all-women panel and the women were speaking about the ebbs and flows of mindfulness in their lives. They spoke about sangha or spiritual community. They spoke about their work and their approach to business and the lessons they’ve learned over time. And they spoke often about the division of work and life, the duality of their tech selves and their non-tech selves.

And I had an epiphany. I was watching a panel of intelligent and spiritual women, some of whom were clearly mothers, and none of them mentioned how their children act or react in the more technical world we live in today.

I was excited about the notion that we – the panelists, myself, everyone in the room, even the world – could learn from watching how our children interact with technology. My mind was filled with images of my 3.5 year old daughter and her facility with tech gadgets, but more importantly, her compete lack of mentally separating the physical from the virtual realm or the offline from the online.

My daughter can use an iPhone as if it were an extension of herself so I gave her my refurbished iPod Touch. She also walks up to my laptop and touches the screen or walks up to our television set and touches the screen, trying to move things around.

“It’s not working, mommy,” she’ll tell me.

“We’re not smart enough yet to make it work, baby,” I tell her. Of course, this was months before the iPad appeared on the scene.

My daughter does not struggle with the separation of work and life, of Internet and face-to-face. She sees and knows no difference.

So can we not learn from our children?

Or are we going to plague our children with our own limitations, our fears, our uncomfortableness with moving seamlessly from online to off and back?

Will we squeeze out the joy and peace and fluidity of our children’s experience with and perception of technology and our world?

I was so excited about these ideas that I wanted to share them. Knowing that the sessions in the conference were being cut short, I quickly sought out the man who held the audience microphone. I stood up to be visible, and it wasn’t hard to be visible because I was wearing a pink tiara and boa as I have been wearing to conferences I’ve been attending.

The man didn’t see me. He walked to another part of the room. I sat down for a moment but was too excited to sit still so I stood again. Finally, the man looked my way and acknowledged that I was next as he made his way across the room. As he got to my side, the moderator said time was up, no more questions from the audience, then she posed one more question to the panel.

As each one answered, I was too caught up in wanting to share my epiphany. I asked the man quietly and politely for the microphone.

“She’s not going to call on you,” he said.

“She might,” I replied.

So he handed me the mic. And I stood with the mic in my hand, looking up at the stage. I actually found myself saying internally “Oh no, she’s not going to call on me” and then I realized how my thinking negative thoughts could make it so and changed my internal voice to “she’ll call on me, she’ll call on me.”

“I’m so excited!” I said to my husband who was sitting next to me.

“I know you are. I can feel you vibrating,” he replied.

As the moderator was wrapping up the session, I was now pleading inside “please call on me, please call on me.”

And then the session was over. The man reached over to take the microphone out of my hands. I sat down. And I cried.

Looking back I know that I “did it to myself,” that I was so caught up in my own excitement, in my own ideas, in my own need to share, that I created an emotional vortex that ended in disappointment. I chastised myself for being a poor example of Zen practices. I didn’t feel embarrassed, though, especially because the people around me seemed to be rooting for me to be called on as well. It was just a weird and awkward moment, and I accepted that.

Afterward, I walked over to speak with Malika Chopra who said on the panel that she is a mother. I waited my turn and finally was able to speak with her. I said I had been crying because I had built up so much energy and excitement around sharing my one idea that had not been touched on by the panel. I mustered up my words and shared it with her: that we can learn from watching our children and how they use technology and don’t see a separateness between online and offline.

She agreed with my point and offered that she sees it in her own children.

I asked her something about writing for her site She said anyone can write for it.

And then other people wanted to speak with her so she drifted into a different conversation.

That was it. I think crying like that was a much-needed release, and I was able to sit through the rest of the conference sessions without that tension and frustration I was feeling each time a session was cut short.

And it opened me up to meeting and being with some amazing people that day. And to new possibilities.

How have you handled disappointment? What lessons have you learned?

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Wisdom 2.0 Summit: The Tension

The Wisdom 2.0 Summit was an incredible experience bringing together many incredible minds from technology and from the spiritual practices. The organizer, Soren Gordhamer, did a phenomenal job pulling this event together on so many levels. I was grateful to be there.

And yet, there was tension.

I have been looking at everything that happens in my life and the things that I feel as lessons. I try to step back, examine them as compact units of energy, and then either absorb and own them or dispense with them. There was a tension at the conference, and I immediately thought “this is my issue, my problem.” But as others began to grumble as well, I realized it was a shared experience of frustration.

What happened was this: There was a timetable, a schedule. The importance of this timetable was reinforced verbally on numerous occasions. Then physically as certain sessions were cut short. Speakers began to rush and nervously watch the time and cut large swaths out of their presentations because they were told to keep it short. Questions and answer sessions promised at the start of sessions did not always materialize because of the time constraints.

Many of us were on edge. There were audible groans when yet another session was cut short. And then a session was cut short followed by an announcement that the next session was going to be converted to an open session. Why wasn’t the previous speaker allowed a Q&A session if the organizer knew that the following hour would be open?

This is not meant as criticism in a non-constructive form. It is meant as a stream of consciousness exploration of why there was tension at the Wisdom 2.0 Summit. And I’m sure the irony that this rigid adherence to time schedules at a conference infused with Zen principles is not missed.

I have to make a confession: I was guilty of this same kind of iron-fisted time clock when I ran my first conference. It was back in 1998 in NYC and was called the Webgrrls Expo. I was so eager for everything to go well and mistakenly perceived that going well and going “like clockwork” were one and the same. So get this: I actually told Esther Dyson she had 10 minutes when she was scheduled to keynote for 30+. I actually gave her the “cut” sign – the finger across the throat sign – when her 10 minutes were up. What the he was I thinking?!?

I was nervous. I was slave to the clock instead of going with the wonderful flow of the moment where everyone was oohing and ahhing over the fact that Esther Dyson was in the room, barely arms-length away, sharing bon mots with us that only Esther can share. I was so fixated on sticking to a time schedule that I snuffed the life out of that moment.

There are so many lessons to be learned every single day. I think the biggest lesson to learn about a conference that blends technology and Zen themes is that there is a hunger and a generosity of spirit that will accommodate a session running over. People in this type of conference are like water, flowing into the next crevice naturally. Why? Because this was a zeitgeist moment, a bringing together of like-minded people talking about things we only thought about before.

We are willing to just go with the flow next time. Where there is value, there is willingness to eschew “normal” time constraints.

And there was value here.

Were you at the Summit? What were/are your thoughts on the issue of time?

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Got Zen?

I am at the Wisdom 2.0 Summit in Mountain View. Please return Monday when I will be sharing what I heard, inside and out.

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