ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

Digital Dharma

A User's Guide to Expanding Consciousness in the Infosphere

Foreword Review

Rejecting Luddite anguish about the negative effects of the digital age, Digital Dharma is not just another guidebook for turning off the Internet or tossing the television out the window. Vedro has written an intellectually rigorous instructional guide to help readers realize and expand the possibilities for spiritual and technological understanding.

Vedro begins with a self-explanatory narrative, describing his technological background as well as his personal spiritual journey and training. His organizational principle for the book vividly represents the fusion between the two: each chapter deals with one of the seven chakra centers of the body and is organized around dharma levels from traditional meditative and healing practices. Vedro’s writing is researched with references to spiritual, philosophical, and sociological writers and thinkers, as well as contemporary technology experts including academics, bloggers, and industry sources. He concludes the chakra-focused chapters with visualization exercises, making good on the “User’s Guide” subtitle of the book.

Fascinated since childhood with technology, he currently serves as a consultant for projects such as helping PBS stations make the transition to digital broadcasting. Digital Dharma is Vedro’s first book. Parallel to his digital life, he has studied Sufism, esoteric healing techniques, and energy yoga. Portions of the book have previously appeared in distinctly different and highly representative publications such as the Technos Quarterly and The Beacon: A Journal of Esoteric Philosophy.

The author’s writing is accessible as well as cleverly amusing. Chapter Four is titled “The Broken Heart of Television.” He neatly relates the spiritual with television, describing the chapter as the “discovery that every wave we send out ripples across other waves, creating a hologram of interfering and interrelating life stories.” The chapter concludes with “Suggestions for ‘TV Yoga,’” including his comment, “Watch commercials as tales of longing. Ask yourself, ‘What unfulfilled need is this message appealing?’”

Readers generally interested in spirituality, meditation and yoga will find Vedro’s work original, but it is the technologically-minded who will be the most challenged to scrutinize their inner lives. Digital Dharma’s fresh take on the digital age tests mundane ways of thinking and being in the information age.

Chris Arvidson