I'm back from the conference of my religious group. I must admit that at least for me, this year's version of our retreat was not as successful or enjoyable as previous years' conferences have been. There were many reasons for this, some personal and not to be mentioned here. Another problem which is currently endemic to our society is that everyone at the conference (including me, I'm just as guilty) had their smartphones and/or computers with them all the time even during program discussions, so no one paid complete attention to what was actually going on. I would like to see a ban on gadgets during at least part of the conference, so people could cultivate gadget-free mindfulness. I spent a lot of time wandering the lovely forested grounds of the retreat house, watching birds with my binoculars, but no iPhone. I drew sketches of some of the participants listening without electronics. But is a sketchbook just as distracting as an iPad? I'm not sure.
Pitt brown technical pen on sketchbook page, 7" x 4 1/2", June 29, 2013.