It is easy enough to see the power of developing mindfulness through walking meditation, eating meditation, and any repeated task including cooking.

How does one develop mindfulness capacities when doing new things involving struggle like studying, reading, problem solving or programming without hindering one's progress in such a task?

2 Answers 2


With a simple action we layman do vipassana like this:

  1. feeling hunger
  2. decided to eat
  3. getting up (can be broken up into putting hands on desk, lifting butt, turning body, raising body, letting go of desk, etc.)
  4. walking towards fridge

...and so forth

A layman computer-user could do the same thing like this:

  1. thinking about project
  2. realizing idea
  3. moving (break apart the moving process step by step as in walking)
  4. bring computer from stand by (break this apart)
  5. typing password (this is not broken down into piece because it is automatic for most)
  6. deciding what to do (vicara)
  7. remembering goal (vitarka)
  8. opening program (can be broken down to pressing windows, typing name, clicking program)
  9. waiting for load
  10. feeling: impatience
  11. thought: wanting to check 9gag.com
  12. thought: don't check, try to be focused
  13. body awareness
  14. noticing program loaded
  15. deciding to continue project action

All of the above was less than a minute! *Making anything a meditation becomes a energy-creating, focused journey!* One can definitely build up one's mindfulness power through daily activity while actually increasing the activity's focus level too! If there is some interference it is outweighed by the level of calmness, clarity, and focus brought to the project itself. It's a win-win.

So a few points to making it not impede efficiency itself:

  1. notice your level of anxiety (and other hindrances) and use mindfulness to bring yourself back to present moment especially by breaking down automatic actions (break down the noticing to building blocks e.g. typing W-O-R-D, moving mouse left quickly, left-up slow, up slow)
  2. notice when switching from one thing to another but don't get in the way of that switching by interpreting this meditation itself... just observe yourself accomplishing such things effortlessly! practice self-awareness meditation for this (also called cessation-contemplation). This can decrease your overall panic-level while working on projects and also help you stay off sites like 9gag and other distractions.
  3. One should use a similar method as when one does mindfulness while eating and walking when it is noticed. Forcing oneself to notice everything is a type of anxiety and can be noted as well, vipassana style.

Turn everything off that does not need to be on.

Stay in the here and now. No past and no future. Your breath can be your guide as you do ONE task at a time. Focus on your breath as you do your activity and only think of the feeling of now. No past and no future. If you wonder off always bring it back to your breath. Make time for breaks when you become tired. Maybe open the window and drink some green tea. Then get back to your study and do the same thing as before. Be well.

  • 1
    This should be "the ten commandments", brother!
    – user2341
    Jan 1, 2016 at 18:13

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