Vipassana for Hackers
Submitted by Steven Deobald (@stevendeobald) on Tuesday, 19 January 2016
Technical level: Beginner
I will explain Vipassana meditation in the context of hacking with analogues of LISP (Clojure, in particular) and the hacker ethos. Attendees will come away with an understanding of the systematic methodology of Vipassana meditation, possibly/hopefully with their curiosity piqued.
The video and slides provided will be altered to target a more technical/FOSS audience.
Vipassana meditation has received a lot of press recently in new age spirituality and neuroscience circles. However, the mechanics of the meditation technique are rarely dissected. Books, articles, and presentations – particularly from modern neuroscience – usually focus on long term outcomes of meditation practice or high-level abstractions for describing human consciousness.
In this talk, I attempt to create relatable contexts and analogues to describe these mechanics with the objective of making the material accessible, even for those who have never tried meditating before.
The target audience is the broad categories of “hackers”: anyone who loves to satisfy their curiosity by taking things apart, applying active skepticism to processes, and trying things for themselves.
Steven has been a hacker for nearly two decades. His childhood was spent pulling apart electronics and learning to program on a loud and clunky 386. It was very much the hacker mentality – a sense of unsatisfied curiosity which spurs exploration – which caused him to begin experimenting with meditation 6 years ago. Practicing Vipassana meditation for 3 years (which albeit still means he’s a beginner) has been the most intriguing of these explorations of human consciousness.