Manjushri Retreat - Where Compassion and Technology Connect

Last weekend I attended my first Buddhist retreat in the Lake District. It's always been "home" to me, if ever there was one, even though I've never lived there long term. So it was perfect surroundings to switch off and disconnect for some real world life affirming stuff.

In the meditation sessions that weekend, I realised a lot of things - not everyone is ever going to like me, that the work I do makes a difference to people's lives and some are jealous they don't have that opportunity, and more importantly that the love around my networks (or as I learnt Karmic Circle) has faltered for a while, due to taking other people's opinions to heart. Silly me hey.

So how does the technology and compassion thing link, I hear you ask with a very puzzled face...
Well the teacher for the weekend retreat, was an amazing Canadian guy called Gen Kelsang Thekchen and he talked of many things linking to compassion for others, which I've always tried to have, but of late I have to admit I'd turned it mainly into anger and frustration.
But one example, I wanted to share with you all, that geeks alike might love as much as me, is the compassion for technology, and how you can learn to be compassionate about anyone, in any situation. (Yes, we ever went through an example of world evil dictators.)

So compassion can be found in anything, but lets take the technology of a laptop for example.
We should have compassion and thanks to the person who...
sold the laptop to you/or bought it for you if it was a gift
transported the phone from the manufacturer to the shop
put the components together
bought the components
shipping the components to the manufacturing plant
designed the ideas, concepts and final plans for the laptop to be made
You're getting the idea aren't you?

And then thinking deeper...
The person who paid the wages of the member of staff in the shop you bought the laptop from, the person who trained them, the education team that taught them languages, maths and life skills
The person who wrote a review to the manufacturer of the last version, that the new version now has incorporate the suggestions into
The list is monumentally endless.

You can also do this with something as basic as making a cup of tea.
This was majorly profound to me. As I never thought my geek world and spiritual world would ever collide. But it goes to show, you should appreciate all the lessons you learn, from all the people who are in your life (even if only for a short while).

So the next time you use a bit of tech, think how amazing it is, that it even exists at all, and all the compassion that was involved in making it happen, then appreciate it! <3
If it seems hard to do, try disconnecting for a while, it did me wonders! :)