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The Vispassana of Programming (or Writing) - Elf M. Sternberg
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The Vispassana of Programming (or Writing)
In Buddhist meditation, there are two forms of meditation: samatha, which is the kind of meditation where you focus on your breathing and calm yourself, considering only your capacity for compassion. The other form of meditation is vispassana, where you learn to appreciate the impermanence of your mind, you let the thoughts from your brain storm past and watch them go, letting them go without reacting to them. Through samatha you learn to make peace with the many modules of your mind, the skanhda, to their clamor and negotiation as they try to coerce you into action. With vispassana, you don't make peace with them. You just acknowledge them for what they are, let them rail without touching your inner peace, and go on with what you were doing before they rose to your attention.

In his recent TED talk on happiness and accomplishment, Shawn Archor shows that meditating only two minutes a day for twenty-one days will change your brain for the better.

And this morning, Zen guru Leo Babuta has posted the most succint guide to getting things done ever written, and it is a form of meditation. It has three parts:

Just start. This is the basis of all GTD. Just start.

Commit to working for two minutes. If at the end of two minutes you've made progress, don't stop. If not, stop. But that's it. Just two minutes.

Vispassana. As temptations to browse Facebook or Twitter or whatever arose, be mindful of them, acknowledge them, maybe even write them down. The urge will pass. Let it pass.

That's it.

Tags:
Current Mood: meditative
Current Music: The Church, Lost My Touch

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Comments
_candide_ From: _candide_ Date: September 5th, 2011 02:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Elf.

I've needed to hear something like this during the 2 years that I've been out of work now.
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