March 22, 2017 :: DAVID ZUIDEMA

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Some Insights from this session:

  • Maximize practice at the moments of waking up and falling asleep.

  • Using social meals as a life practice strategy.
  • Revving up your commute practice period.


28-year-old David lives in the Greater Detroit Metropolitan area and works as a software engineering consultant. He found Shinzen’s work in 2009 by stumbling across The Science of Enlightenment audio series. A self-described unicorn for being both highly skilled as a programmer and having people skills and emotional intelligence, he credits a lot of that to the tools he’s garnered from his mindfulness practice. 

Here are some of his thoughts on using mindfulness practice during his daily commute:

In Detroit, people behind the wheel are the worst versions of themselves. People get really angry. Once I was driving and a person cut me off on the highway. In the next moment it occurred to me to ask the question, “is that the same car that cut me off? Is that the same person? And am I the same person? 

And then with each moment that passed: “Am I the same person? Are they the same person?” If they’re not, that has huge direct and immediate implications for the outrage that I feel for them having done this.

I think it’s a clever take on forgiveness. It’s not so much about “this person did this thing to you, and that’s okay” but more like, “they’re not the same person, and you’re not the same person, so what’s all this anger for anyway?”

I use Focus Out while driving (and Feel In if traffic is bad). I like Focus Out because when you’re driving 75 miles per hour, everything is changing. In putting the emphasis on that, I try to let go of the “me.” I don’t need a me right now for doing this. I need the automated part of turning the wheel but that’s pretty much it. I observe me coming back when things start to happen--people start moving around or if traffic stops. I try to come back for just long enough to negotiate a lane change, and then just let that go again. 
It’s a lot of fun.


  • Often the first of his friends to jump when cliff jumping in remote areas of Upper Peninsula, Michigan.

  • Hacked Google in order to optimize the workings of a start up company.

  • Enjoys cooking in his spare time. Best dish: a homemade sausage gravy that will ruin you for anything store bought.

Every year of my life since I started meditating has been better since the previous year. So far I’ve managed to sustain practice for the better part of a decade, and it really doesn’t show signs of slowing down. I’m not worried about looking for something else now; I feel like I’ve found it. I just need to see it through.
— David Zuidema
Emily Barrett3 Comments