Over the past year or so, I have been given some messages from a person I met through a forum I post on regularly. She has some remarkable psi experiences in her life, interesting enough to warrant some trips out to some laboratories to see what is going on. For this reason and some others, I felt bound to take the messages seriously. In each, she said that a ghost or spirit guide had approached her to say that I was supposed to be meditating. In a recent conversation, she says that she knows now that if a spirit guide starts talking about meditation, it's a message for me.
I've had similar messages in my dreams, also from spirit guides, both before and after my friend starting giving me similar messages. At first I did try to meditate, but before long the daily grind took over and I wasn't doing it any more. Instead, I was going to work, giving feedback to students, and working on my PhD. Every month or so I might have a day to myself that I could use for meditation. Instead, I liked to play a game of Civilization V. That doesn't sound very spiritual, and the reasons are even less so. The urge to play would often come from seeing some bit of history in the news, like a story about the pyramids, and then I would want to build in Civ V. Other times I just wanted to conquer countries. The motive for this was usually that the French had beat me to the pyramids, or the Germans had attacked without provocation in the last game, so I would want to have another shot at them by playing again. This is where my meditation time was going.
One thing I'd like to think I've learned from my dreams is that we do shape our lives by our actions. If that is the case, what is the effect of shaping mine with these video games? It may be kind of relaxing, but it certainly doesn't come close to meditation. Is it useful? I've beaten the game so many times that there isn't much more to get out of it, though I still enjoy the game. How is entertainment quantified against utility? Don't I deserve some rest once a month?
I think I should get back to meditating. It is a good mental discipline, it won't keep me up until 6am (as happens in Civ V), and maybe those ghosts will stop bothering my friend.