Discussion on: I'm a software developer and a meditation teacher - ask me anything!

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Daragh Byrne Ask Me Anything

Hi Roberto, that's a great question. I've seen benefits in these main areas.

(1) The first is focus, concentration and distraction management. Mindfulness meditation teaches you the cognitive skill of re-focusing your attention when it wanders. A typical meditation session is really about learning how to do this multiple times (people think it's about staying focused; it isn't, it's more about learning that you're distracted and pulling yourself back - such a valuable skill in this distraction crazy world).

I still get distracted, but I'm MUCH more aware of my mind wandering, so I'm able to pull myself back on task quicker. And I tend to stay on task longer.

(2) Meditation helps you manage stress. An excessively stressed body and mind are (a) not sustainable (b) not the best condition to be in while trying to produce your best work. Meditation practices work directly to soothe your nervous system, helping you maintain a state of being that's efficient for doing your job.

(3) Meditation helps you tap into your inner creativity. Coding is a creative act - we pull systems out of the aether and turn them into reality - it's kind like magic! After I've meditated (frequently during!) ideas flow, problems seem to solve themselves.

(4) Meditation helps you better able to handle your emotions, meaning you'll be better inclined toward co-workers and those you love. You become more aware of how you're feeling on a moment-to-moment basis, and can use that information to both understand and moderate your behaviour.

I see meditation as a skill that allows you to debug yourself. It gives you the capacity to look at yourself closely, observe how you operate and figure out in more detail how you work, when you work well, when it's less straightforward. It's an information gathering exercise, as well as offering the capacity to change your state into something more useful.

I hope that helps!