• the file being erased was actually an entire folder of recordings,
• upon arriving home, the recorder is still in the back pocket of an airplane seat,
• after waking up, the recorder, instead of being on the bedside table, actually got put in the glass of water on the bedside table,
we can just feel the stomach sink with an “oh, no!” feeling.
In this practice, we have all most likely faced a moment when we “lost” recordings — or an entire recorder — through technical malfunction, user error, or plain old unconsciousness.
During a two month period, I purchased three new recorders, all in an effort to replace one that had the “best” recordings ever, including several “ah-ha” moments, like, I don’t want to date this fabulous person I read about, I want to BE that fabulous person; several recorded passages from “There Is Nothing Wrong With You” that would instantly bring me back to center; and of course, a folder of ancient (two to five year old) recordings of enlightening quotes from various retreats that I had no access to replicate.
Indeed, each recorder I’ve had has been the culmination of years of uploading tracks to my computer, sorting them into various files, grouping similar recordings around topics, processes, or length.
And yet, as I made more and more recordings, backing them up got less and less “important.” Until one day, driving home from the Monastery, I erased, with no backup in sight, an entire folder instead of just one file. I took a deep breath, accepted the loss, and began recording from a new place of expansion, lightness, letting go, unburdening.
What I saw in that moment of acceptance was that holding onto all those recordings was building up into a potential case of hoarding.
As it turns out, I found out when I got home I didn’t erase the entire folder. And yet, I didn’t want any of them back either, even the really, really good ones. Suddenly, I got it what practice has offered. The transformation from the insight happens with the insight. Losing recordings does not mean I lose the insight. Rather, I can make new recordings from a place of post-transformation about what I’m seeing now.
It is a wonderful practice of faith and trust that when I touch “record,” another new and wonderful recording that is perfect will be made and listened to at the right time, at the right place, for as long as it is around, until it too, gets “lost.”
Try this: While this is not a suggestion to start tossing away recorders or recordings, it is an encouragement to try a few different approaches.*
• Back up your recordings, then erase the entire recorder and start fresh! You can always go back and copy any favorite recordings back on.
• Buy a second (or even third) recorder! I have two active recorders, one for daytime use, and one that lives bedside, leaving lots of space for new recordings.
*These approaches are especially good if your recorder is full and conditioning has convinced you that you have to listen to all the recordings before deleting any to make room for new ones. Go happy!