Guest Scribe: The Tao of Code: the Paradox of a Holistic Workplace
I am a developer who works on many of the more complex features on the Wanderlust websites. But I’m not just a developer - Yoga and eastern philosophy has also had an impact on my life. My first yoga class was a requirement at my high school. My yoga teacher was named Willow Wonder and her boyfriend would come to our boarding school to chop wood for “sport,” something which I found to be hilarious at the time. In college, I became more interested in philosophy and meditation, and I often believed everything I read, but I struggled to find connections between my world of machines and the philosophies of these eastern traditions. I would spend hours (alone) working on a web app, and then spend my free time with hippies, discussing how technology isolates humankind and disconnects us from the earth.
Ultimately, I would have my beliefs in eastern traditions shattered when the Guru Bhagavan Dass visited my college and seduced a number of young girls, one of them being my girlfriend. As a result, I began to distrust yoga and ran in the opposite direction, throwing myself into my first “real” job in the corporate world. My ass was in a chair from 9-5, and my days became increasingly routine and bland. I worked on my music and my programming, but in truth, most of my life was spent waiting to die. I also experienced a terrible injury, which led to over a year of health struggles. My mental and physical state had deteriorated greatly, and thus I eventually sought refuge in returning to yoga. My teachers Michelle Barge and Joaquin De Teresa helped me rediscover what I had forgotten. Inspired, I began practicing regularly. My health began to return, and I had increased energy. I started going to the gym, and got in good shape for the first time in my life. Energized and invigorated, I quit my job and started my own agency, a decision I now consider to be one of the best of my life. I instantly picked up clients and began making more money than I had in the corporate world, and now with more flexible hours. I am not sure if it was the yoga, precisely, that healed me, or if it was the exercise, but I can say that yoga was the gateway that led me to this active and more balanced lifestyle.
Recently, I’ve begun questioning the current ideals of yoga, as I struggle with new problems. My work has led me to become more engrained in the corporate world once again, and even though the values of my clients are usually in line with my own ideals, I now see the business of coding as removed from compassion; though I do find hope when working with the hi-tech sector instead of institutions like finance. It is a challenge and almost paradoxical to attempt to weave values such as balance, compassion and calm into my busy, technological office culture, but since this is where I am, resolving that paradox is what I am working towards.
“The highest sounds are hardest to hear. Going forward is a way to retreat. Great talent shows itself late in life. Even a perfect program still has bugs. Accept imperfection” -Tao of Programming- Geoffrey James
~Alex Borsody operates Free Energy Media and plays bluegrass in NYC. He is grateful to his teachers Joaquin De Teresa and Michelle Barge for helping him evolve his yoga practice.