Mindfulness and Computing: Living Bravely with Uncertainty

Poster for Mindfulness and Computing Workshop.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 7:00pm

Led by:

Emily Schleiner

Rez Khan


On this 3rd night of the workshop, we will talk about how to navigate feelings that arise from perceiving a project to be overwhelming. By acknowledging fears at the outset of a technical project we might later be able to see that living in a world of uncertainty can be a potentially a fruitful state of mind. Uncertainty can unleash all kinds of feelings, but just on the other side of those difficult feelings can be a fountain of potential strategies and solutions. Learn to remap anxiety by understanding the human fight, flight, or freeze impulse and to cultivate compassion for the self when you need it the most.


Programming or other computing work can be fantastically interesting and rewarding. However, at the same time it can be daunting, stressful, and lonely. Senior engineers at Google and other top tech companies have recognized these difficulties and, in response, built mindfulness programs to help remedy stress and other ills that challenge their employees. Secular mindful practices like these are based on scientifically tested methods and have been used in stress clinics for over thirty years. In the context of programming or other computing work, these practices can transform difficult situations into joyful, creative opportunities by increasing mental and emotional plasticity.


Emily Schleiner and Rez Khan have created a 6 night workshop to address these issues that go 1 night per week from the beginning of October through mid-November of 2017. Each workshop session starts with a 15 minute lecture. They then will walk people through a meditation for another 15 minutes. They follow this up with a programming or other technical activity wherein students can practice putting some mindfulness skills/tools into practice.


Tue 7pm Oct 3rd: Introduction to mindfulness

Tue 7pm Oct 10th: Encountering Computers With a Fresh Perspective

Tue 7pm: Oct 17th: Living Bravely with Uncertainty

Tue 7pm Oct 24th: Competition and Interdependence

Tue 7pm Nov 7th: Physical Awareness and Care

Tue 7pm Nov 14th: Vision and Big Picture


You don't need to have a specific level of computer literacy to attend, however some beginner folks may choose not to participate in the Intermediate or Advanced practice time if they feel it is detrimental to their growth. You may skip some sessions and attend others. However, Schleiner and Khan recommend attending all the sessions to get the most benefit. (This is the kind of skill set that builds from the ground up.)


This workshop series is geared for people who would like to overcome problems that arise when they work on computers for long periods, improve their quality of life, and ultimately connect the creative sides of their personality with the technical and analytical sides. This series may even help people grow to a new level of skill and enjoyment in their careers.

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