The Benefits of True Downtime “Evolved people know that downtime is one of the most valuable gifts they can give themselves. They have experienced that downtime is when their spiritual root system is strengthened by stopping outer activity and simply being. Downtime provides for fresh insights and revelations to occur because the discursive mind has slowed its endless stream of chatter. Perhaps there is no greater intrusion into our downtime than ourselves. We feel pressure to stay informed and on top of things in our rapidly changing world. Meditation, contemplation, and nonaction seem time-wasting, even selfish. They cause unnecessary guilt because the pressure to “do” is emphasized so much more than the value of “being”. Computers, Internet, e-mail, cell phones, Walkmans, iPods, updating YouTube and My Space sites, downloading to our MP3 players, all invade our downtime. It all seems so vitally necessary, so much so that we make downtime less and less of a priority in our lives. In our high-tech low-touch society, downtime equals boredom, while entertainment equals coolness. The truth is that constant entertainment permits us to escape from ourselves and keeps us from having to come face-to-face with the painful, messier aspects of our life. It also keeps us from being receptive to insights that would be the impetus for our growth and creativity. Authentic rest is power.” -Michael Bernard Beckwith, Spiritual Liberation