The value of mindfulness and how it has arrived at Google

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Ralph Heinkel - The value of mindfulness and how it has arrived at Google Mindfulness has proven to be a foundational skill that started as a pure buddhist practice. Nowadays mindfulness serves as the core technique of several western programs ranging from curing stress- induced medical problems to curricula for teaching successful business leadership, such as the Search Inside Yourself program developed at Google. The aim of this seminar is to provide a practical experience of mindfulness with a short introduction to how it can be applied by digital workers. ----- Mindfulness has proven to be a foundational skill that started as a pure buddhist practice. Nowadays mindfulness serves as the core technique of several western programs ranging from curing stress- induced medical problems to curricula for teaching successful business leadership, such as the Search Inside Yourself (SIY) program developed at Google in 2002. Mind is the root of all things. Neuroscience shows that attention is a fundamental function of the mind. Being able to direct attention to the present moment - and keep it there while performing daily tasks - is a great tool to navigate through life and its challenges with more engagement, more happiness, and more resilience. Focusing attention in a relaxed way enables us to disconnect from the overall noise found in a high-speed environment and get things done without feeling too overwhelmed by them. But being effective is not only about checking off more tasks - it is about how we are in resonance with our environment, how we interact with others, and how we face the increasing complexity in our professional life. The aim of this seminar is to provide a practical experience of mindfulness with a short introduction to how it can be applied in a technology driven world as experience by digital workers.
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welcome you have allowed to talk about DOS about developmental and how it came to Google giving some crap so
every ever being so angry at someone at work sometimes that you really yelled at him or shouted that that person or have you ever enjoyed that slide nice experience in your body when you crashed the productive
pipeline of your company I certainly did have that experience when I still was a student and was hired my 1st in a
research lab to extend the image processing pipeline by new functionality and have to say I fucked up my 1st deployment completely the inter-image pipeline can complete halt all the bad shelves crashed and none of my colleagues on the scientists were indeed during working longer so when they came to see me at the end to see what was going on there must have seen something like that I was
completely devastated my stress level was an unintended person and was almost panicking
and make your system was basically upside down so what happened to me let's get meta let's look from the
outside what has happened initially there was just 1 single fact about about didn't have a really connotation with itself and something we tribute to the box so my fantasies I had what the consequences would be of this incident was the the worst case what I could get fired at that time I was a student my funding was almost over and I had no money was completely broke so that was my
for my worst case that could happen to me the 2nd bad 1 was to be embarrassed in front of all the others so this is
a real person things everybody has his own worst-case scenarios define your and put them here the new knowledge fields for you what happened in my brain at that
moment In our mammalian brain we have a little structure called and and then the function of the emitted light is to monitor everything
that we think on thoughts and everything that use perceived and gives them an emotionally colored that's the way how we feel something about what's going on if the amygdala amygdalin things
something poses a real threat to us physical threat for survival then you can send really strong signals in our body and fire up the sympathetic nervous system
and if it's really strong it can take a control over control over on and alone cortex and New Scientist amygdalar hijacked the way we perceive that is basically dangerous so everything fires in our body and we're really ready
to battle that situation and that leads us on that
restricts the sum the choice of reactions of interaction patterns to the famous 3 EFS the 1st 1
is find you trying to battle that situation if you see you have no chance to succeed there we turn to the 2nd 1 which is the try to escape from that situation and if neither fighting or fun as a chance then the 3rd 1 is to freeze that's what most us us when a cat is their analysis have no chance to fight the cat does have no chance to run away from that the only term that has not to move because the view of the cat can only see moving targets
so which 1 of these 3 is really optimal for fixing softer box non so let's
look let's look at all way that the of the workflow that happened in my mind there was a about interpretation and emotional reactions so where can interrupt this cascade the principle of a chance to interrupt that right
after the fact appeared and that you can do with of seniority new sources and decide x if you have more experience in software development you know OK had once in the past nothing happened nobody killed me I could fix that within 3 days that's maybe not possible when they're not Morris mission has 3 minutes before landing yourself crashes and usually address stroke and then you get a
2nd chance that's here when before when the amygdalar gets activated but before it fires and that is a very hot place to intervene because the amygdala's always much faster than the neocortex it's always much stronger than that so
usually we rushed through to the last 1 the emotion is expressed and then we
can see do we have any and trade enough gap between the emotion and the reaction and that's something we want to learn and the tool on the set we can
apply to that emotional intelligence which is actually
a a set of skills we can get familiar with and
emotional intelligence basically means that you're able to monitor your inner states and you're able to react in a proper way to them or respond to them then the old
man psychologist has written a book which has been really similar things in the vessel and I think in 2002 or 5 where he described what the 5 pillars of emotional intelligence is so 5 tools we should get more advanced or more trained in to
deal with these kind of situations and in that hard I will stress the 1st 2 ones basically mainly self awareness and self regulation
so now we're going to Congress
so I thought that the only we are in
the Python Congress so I
thought we should explain self-awareness and equation so let's program clustering
how would you start that so the
programmer class human and hold we implement awareness of awareness is we want to explore or in a state which is the best library module items which we have at hand well the expect module the aspect model we explore how the state is in a state of in the future and if
you look at the notation Inspector life objects wonderful so how would you use that 1 so
self-awareness is you know you started so much later in the good self-awareness
is basic an endless loop where is the inspect what's going on inside the inside function is will becoming in 2 . 8 million if it ever comes it's quite often so don't expect to read of the document on it and how they look to translate
that to our human situation and they're becoming to mindfulness but that's the tool which corresponds to suspect that inside and mindfulness as a practice where directed the intent of the attention of your mind inside your body away from your thoughts into the present moment so I
announced at this talk should be maybe a little bit practical so I would like to invite you to make short
experience with me mean 0 here during the talk let's practice mindfulness on the body so the way that works is most easily if you may be close your eyes for a maybe a minute because you have
less distractions but you can also do it with open eyes and then we imagine that being the attention that current focus to the outside listen you're hearing focusing it's
drifting down from that through neck like with an escalator into the center of your body doesn't matter where in the valley and when you have there in your body just let your attention float around and just see what you're are receiving another way of thinking about preceding what is going on you might feel whole but
also sits in the chair might feel how your breast
valley rises in growth and lost again at explaining so that what it that's what is meant by having the intention on the body that way and you feel what is your current the status of of current state so they
simply don't have that much time I would like to to come back but tried to continue on with that exercise that during the rest of the talk but you can maybe 5 or 10 % of the
attention in the body while you're listening to me and they come back to that later so back to the code
I what else is to do a little nothing self-awareness is just you notice what's going on
and continuing we nothing else to
do the problem is when challenges come up and the 2
main challenges of judgment and destructive and distraction
that's continuous destruction that it was judgment judgment is if you apply the evil function and you're in state the outcome of that this year better road so if it's bad usually try to deny was suppressed what your feeling that really usually takes a lot of the loop it's good that you're trying to attach to it and it works
like a top you get stuck in there so the advice I would like to give you this whatever bubbles up from the inside by watching it by by feeling it just watch it don't charge it and
be gracious and sometimes things come up that you don't like something doesn't matter where bubbles of the air above the surface the water just dissolves in itself now let's how do we address distractions that's a bit more
difficult you have to understand that mindfulness is not this staid is a continuous process of refocusing refocusing your attention so if you look at that
graph here you see we start with potential in the body on the breast and some point becomes a distraction would be a fault which carries you way usually that
takes time until you realize that by applying metal attention to waking up
and that's all who am I lost mutational my my my mindfulness and then you really focus your attention and go back to the present so that's a continuous process like that dude from minute or 2 or whatever and those in the
distractions actually the difficult part so mindfulness
can be summarized as simply as we saw in our little exercise but it's really not so easy to to sustain How would be
improvement this in Tibetan
there's a word called long and there's a rich literature station of that bridge to English which means to familiarize with the get trying to get used to something and in European languages in use language that's usually translated with the word meditation which has for manipulating strings side songs
media satirical very hard to do but meditation actually is just a
family of mental practices which you apply it to good used to a certain inner process so it's really is a mind training it's not believing something it's really applying real trying to your mind the other
connotation we have this we do meditation would have to sit still for or someone of and that's actually not
possible that destroys everything that a much better approach to meditation to
applied short moments that we repeat those was often my favorite training situation is a red light red traffic lights 3 sit this anything nothing you can do in terms of you know a lot of work to the use of mobile phones and really can take that 30 seconds keep your eyes open
receive enlightened stream and just few into your body you can do the same thing in an escalator me going up or when you read from the bus is an accident situations where to apply it and it's you don't need extra time this was later don't have to press release from your like me
or whatever so it's just nobody's see that there it's much
more difficult to apply mindfulness when you work on a computer at least I find that it's hard to find moments to remember that and a good technique to found a simple or so in principle you have a
norm flow um that you of such a thing 25 minutes and then we're going to task and then and after 25 minutes you've put a break of 5 minutes practice meditation practice mindfulness and then you go on for 5 times and then you have been in a natural way have moments of mindfulness where you trade also your system during your work you can see the details on the model page so short reminder who still
keeps present in his body and what I mean by a few of them will gain greater so what the heck is a
good for just to well without question
we come to the 2nd the list of them Goldman from self matter from self awareness to self regulation
and self-regulation is the outcome of being aware of what you want to proceed so if you don't know what's going on you can add regulated and self-regulation is extremely important in constant strong
emotions it's the strong emotions
have the uh but the problem that we think we
identify them we think it's really extended I'm hanging are I and said we don't get at any distance to what's happening and with some with
mindfulness and you will be able to see and emotion as a physiological events going on in your
body which you can watch action and that helps you create a little distance between what's going on and how you feel and that will allow you at the
end to regulate down from the neocortex the amygdalar which again regulates down the physical expression in your body and that's that's
that's the actually the way to really respond if something is going on in and your current situation so at the end that
leads to that you're going to respond to triggers stack
to react in reaction is 5 flight of freeze responding in that is to have a real domain to make a decision of what I want to
do next so some companies have seen that in emotional intelligence is the real value of the assets and so initiated a program and
about 2 thousand which is was
driven by tightening tongue and stuff engineering there from the early days on and he understood very quickly he was a Buddhist but he understood quickly that all of that doesn't make sense to people just have to believe something so they invited years scientists and psychologists to see what part of the buddhist
techniques can we take into an environment which is the science driven and so they've assembled a of Eritrea curriculum that you can go there and learn that and study with them and that ended up in this room and and it's
coming written up in that book search inside yourself it's a 10 durable it's absolutely worth reading it collects everything and it's much further what I have been knowledge explaining so I would really recommend getting a coffee you and if you go on
their website they have you know maybe due tutorials and the guy you see here that's that's Meng and he explained you I think 10 of 20 minutes sessions all different chapters of the book in
not a nicely view of the sections so that does not have a look at that was using that
industry public companies who have
applied for applying these kind of techniques in in their company in and wants special specifically stressed as a key because I personally know the to trainers they have they have been send a couple years ago to a few years ago to California really 2 will to run through this program to become a real official trainer and now they're running courses and this a in Heidelberg for 100 or even thousand people in a regular way so that's part of the business strategy in the meantime who
still remembers the exercise gradients
so the mantra I would like to give your home base short moments repeated often that's the easiest way to apply mindfulness during the normal undergo changes and it will possible to change your life
thank you very much so figure much
rather who last questions and
that's part of what ensemble
higher 1st the comment and I'm really really happy to see the stock here because it is like the employer always have an assumption that we are all grown up emotionally stable human beings so this is a great contribution I wanted to ask you in the practices of applying mindfulness at work and how it is that it is there like a dedicated indicated place for beginners or how does the company encourage it employers to be mindful that really depends on the the company you
working on I'm doing that right on my tests or I leave my desk and that's usually what I recommend what autistic don't just do the mindfulness moments in front of a computer because you have a tendency to be sucked back into your immediately so I would recommend stand out what a little bit around have of process the window and if your company doesn't provide real rules for that which most companies don't do that then you have to really find your own solution I don't know SAP advanced meditation rooms and I start a project on Monday for 2 months so I will definitely get in touch again these guys and see from inside of all they're doing that but I don't know today so thank you
thank you for the great talk and I'm wondering when you talk about getting distance from your emotions and so you don't you're not angry but you understand that you have and does that make you less happy because you can't be happy as a person and you know this make you does make it harder to experience happiness Happiness something really
special I didn't touch that here because it's not so is used to explain on the buddhist thought about there's something new which is called happiness without reason so if we get free of all of our fears and all our tensions all of sorrows and really settled down all mind there's an instance in which getting where where the happiness comes out from the inside without you doing anything and that's something you also can just realize all recognized but you don't there's nothing to do with it because it doesn't distract you from anything the there you don't have to apply this distinction between something that distracts me or harms me or what whatever because it's just a nice floating feeling about happiness with all of these thank you but I'm also thinking about
other policy feelings maybe excitement that which which maybe I'm just natural yet but because our positive there so
again I come back to the Buddhist point of view and they say everything I ever nothing has this persistent everything goes away so if you attach too much true excitement and at the end you will be disappointed Minister along with their so they say OK feel excitement see that it's but don't attached to much to and that was 1 of the loops are programmed so detection is a problem to it you can feel and you can have it but you don't think it in
a person's meanwhile could you please put the slide for the video which I didn't catch the server for the medication I have 2 questions as well as the first one is these when you are meditating about what you
were going to produce the working on fixing some back and the rest
of the new during good meditation you have an idea how you could fix it and then so what you do this is this question and the 2nd 1 because the fact is the solution to all the regions of origin have you had any issues in the company I mean if you were somehow you criticize the solution that you were going to reduce the propaganda it's so
this the 1st question was I will have a group of great idea while you're meditating I think that happens quite a lot because when you're meditating your mind settled somehow you know this no Wallace became you can shaking there's no over there and and and thinking is called a constant shaking of the snowball so the the snowflakes their inhibitor clear view if you let the snowball settle then suddenly your mind it's clear and then you can see solutions would you haven't seen because they were blocked by conceptual thinking so that happens quite a lot usually I trust that I remember that after my meditation and of itself and if it's really necessary put up a piece of paper next to you and just write down quickly and then let it go again and continue medication that I would I would recommend that the 2nd 1 is
to be written called religious when you start with the mindfulness or something like that I am I mean that 1st has also been
here for me on that conference I think it's depending on the way how you presented to your employer and the search inside a self-correcting is a perfect way to uh suggest how that would work for people who were really rational thinking more and more of what we all are about and don't really like any having a religious colleges so by reading that book you I think you will find a lot of arguments to go for this subject without touching the region of the religious part so that's what I would merely suggested you the center of the question of firstly we have no more
time for questions be mindful of lightning talks thank you Rolf