Coding As A Substitute For Meditation?

December 2, 2012 5:43 am

Here is the Wikipedia definition for meditation:

“Meditation is a practice in which an individual trains the mind and/or induces a mode of consciousness to realize some benefit,[1] although it can be argued that meditation is a goal in and of itself.[2]”

It is definitely not a stretch to compare that explanation to coding, particularly when you are ‘in the zone’. Tools are involved, but so does meditation. It is about focusing on one thing. It is about bringing your mind’s various powers to help you in the now. It is about zoning out of everything else. It is about realizing how powerful your mind can really be.

So the real question is this: Is it possible for us to spend a chunk of time (say, one hour) coding, zone out of all interruptions / thought branches, and come out as refreshed as we would, if we had meditated in silence? If yes, then can we just substitute meditation with coding? If not, why not?

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8 Comments for “Coding As A Substitute For Meditation?”

  1. This is like saying “noise is a substitute for quiet”.

    From experience, in both, being in the zone coding means at that time communicating best by writing code. Even speaking becomes more difficult than coding. It isn’t restful; but it’s productive and satisfying.

    Meditation, on the other hand, quiets the mind (different brainwaves become active). The result for me has been increased emotional balance, creativity, and enhanced ability to code.

  2. Nice website, except for that idiotic quote by Einstein :]

    -k0nsl

  3. kalosi

    a lot more stupid is s jobs quote.

  4. Arnis

    AFAIK it’s not the same at all. In the end your mind is tired. Meditation in silence is opposite – you force yourself to be calm and free of thoughts.

    While programming – you have to switch between various ideas rapidly. When meditating, you have to avoid switching. Switching itself is what burdens mind.

  5. Some times programming is far away from relaxing activity. At least if you work with the HW with shitty specifications.

  6. Bob

    Coding = reification, meditation = reflection, they’re opposites. FTFY

  7. I agree with Bob and Coder. I spent a lot of hours programming and I need maditate at least 30min per day for control stress.

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