Staring at a candle for an hour

Added 2022-08-25, Modified 2022-08-31

It isn't as boring as it sounds, you should start meditating.

Among other things I did at espr I meditated by staring at a candle for an hour straight with some friends. It isn't as boring as it sounds.

If you stare at something without moving your eyes weird things start happening in your peripheral vision. Normally the brain fills out your peripheral vision from eyes darting around—but when you don't move your eyes you can see blurs, hallucinate, etc. It's quite fun.

I learned things about my mind and focusing. Things like the difference between trying to focus and just focusing. How even thinking about something other than the candle causes my eyes to move, etc.

Meditation is great and you should try it! Sufficiently advanced productivity hacking leads to the spiritual path ;)

I currently recommend reading Joy On Demand for the reference class of people reading this blog. A book on meditation, written by a google engineer—he speaks my language!

My meditation-sensei Dai (from espr) recommends Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha. I haven't read it yet but it's probably better for advanced meditators.