An Act of Peace: Making a Stand Against Child Slavery

Last Sunday, on the International Day of Peace, my dearest friends and fellow Co-chairs of One Billion Acts of Peace, Dawn and Ivan (each of whom has been nominated 8 times for the Nobel Peace Prize), challenged me to perform or commit to performing a substantial act of peace within 7 days. I accept your challenge, Dawn and Ivan!  On 25th October 2014 (Make a Difference Day), Vivianne Harr and I will work together to launch a 30-day stand against child slavery.  We aim to raise US$25,000 to benefit Free the Slaves.  Watch out for our announcement. [Update: I...

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When I grow up, I want to be worthy of growing up in Buddha’s shadow

Prince Siddhartha left home to seek enlightenment shortly after his son, Rahula, was born.  After six years of intense struggle, Prince Siddhartha gained full enlightenment and became the Buddha.  By the time he came home to visit his family, Rahula was already seven years old. As the Buddha approached the palace, Rahula’s mother, Princess Yasodhara, pointed to the Buddha in the distance and instructed her son, “That man is your father, go to him and ask for your inheritance.” Rahula ran towards the Buddha and then walked alongside him.  According to one interpretation of the story, it was presumably...

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Seven Lotus 七朵莲花

This song is too beautiful to be left untranslated.  Translation is done by yours truly. Seven Lotus In a beautiful sea, lotus flowers blossom in seven colors The lovely Guru Rinpoche walks towards me He asks me whether there is true love in my heart I say that there is love in my heart like seven open lotus flowers I long for lotus flowers opening in everybody’s heart I long for love appearing everywhere between heaven and earth I long for fresh flowers of peace blooming everywhere in the human realm I long for no more suffering and no...

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Plastic currencies

Angel and I were talking about countries with plastic currencies. Me: Singapore has plastic bills. Angel: AND, Canada has plastic bills. Me: AND, plastic ducks have plastic bills.

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SIY wins Axiom Business Book Award

Search Inside Yourself has just been named a Gold Medal winner at the 7th Annual Axiom Business Book Awards honoring the year’s best business books and their authors and publishers. I am deeply honored and humbled.  Thank you for all your support, my friends. [Announcement at:...

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This calmness is our natural birthright

In his first sermon after his enlightenment, the Buddha identified the cause of suffering as tanha, which literally means “thirst” but is often inadequately translated as “craving” **.  Specifically, the Buddha identified 3 forms of tanha: the thirst for sense pleasure (kama-tanha), the thirst for existence (bhava-tanha), and the thirst for non-existence (vibhava-tanha). I chanced upon a beautiful commentary on tanha by Eknath Easwaranin his translation of The Dhammapada (he uses the Sanskrit equivalent of tanha, “trishna“): In Buddhist psychology, each desire is an isolated moment of mental activity – a dharma, in the Buddhist technical vocabulary – rising up in the mind.  It can be ignored, or one can choose to yield to it.  If one yields, the next wave of desire will have greater power to compel attention, and the mental agitation it causes will be more intense.  On the other hand, if one chooses to defy a strong desire, the pain can be considerable.  “Know me to be the power called Thirst,” Trishna demands of the Buddha on the eve of his enlightenment, “and give me my due of worship. Otherwise I will squeeze you with all my might and wring out the last of your life!”  However, if one succeeds in not giving in to selfish desires as they arise, the mind gradually quiets down, leaving a longer and longer interval between waves of desire...

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Search Inside Yourself in 13 Languages and Counting

As of January 2014, Search Inside Yourself is published in English and 12 other languages.  Here is the entire set, including the 5 English-language editions (the US hardcover edition, 2 UK editions and 2 international editions). Collect the whole set! Update (2014/01/27): Cathy from HarperCollins says, “SIY has been licensed to 24 foreign publishers so far – you should have a few more editions to add to the collection...

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Meeting Stan Lee

I love going on cruises.  You visit exotic places, you get to eat like a pig, and occasionally, you run into one of your heroes. I was on a holiday cruise in December 2013.  On day 10 of the 15 days cruise, I saw Stan Lee in the dining room just a few feet away from me.  My reaction was, “OMFG!  It’s Stan Lee!”  (OMFG stands for “Oh My God”, for those who are wondering).  I was holding boiling hot tea with one hand and a plate of chocolate-filled dessert of some kind with the other hand (see “eat...

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Search Inside Yourself is a best book two years in a row

Last year (2012), Search Inside Yourself was named by San Francisco Magazine as one of the Best Bay Area Books of 2012 (link). This year (2013), Search Inside Yourself was named by Bloomberg as one of the Best Books of 2013 (link). I don’t really know what to say, except I’m deeply honored and humbled.  Thank...

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Search Inside Yourself is #1 in Taiwan

I have just been informed that the Traditional Chinese edition of Search Inside Yourself was the #1 bestseller in Taiwan!  (It was #1 back in August, but I just found out today.) I am really grateful to my Taiwanese editor Juliette Ting (丁慧瑋).  I know she worked really hard on this book.  She read over the draft so many times that she can probably recite it by heart by now.  I’m also grateful to the translator Hsieh Yifei (謝儀霏) and my Chinese-language advisor Dr Yang Lei (楊蕾博士), both of whom spent many hours working with me on the translation. And,...

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The Art of Suffering is Love

Having spent 3 days with the great Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (known affectionately as “Thay”) this week, I realized there is a big blind spot in my practice: I haven’t really learned to suffer. My spiritual practice over the past 22 years has been the practice of peace, joy and kindness.  Over the years, I have learned to calm my mind and access joy on demand, in most situations.  I have become so skilled at doing this that it has become my main coping mechanism in the face of suffering.  Whenever I suffer, I calm my mind, I...

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Meng lies about his book

Dear Readers, Back in April, I told you that the release date of the paperback edition of my book has been postponed to 5 November 2013 (see post).  Well, my editor Gideon has just informed me that information has now become a lie: the release date has now been moved to 2 September 2014.  The reason continues to be strong sales.  Today, for example, the Amazon Best Sellers Rank of the hardcover is an amazing #496.  Because sales for the hardcover has been so strong, HarperCollins decided to move the paperback release date even later than originally planned. I...

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Radical Generosity

The board of the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI, pronounced “silly”) met this week and unanimously decided to adopt “Radical Generosity” as SIYLI’s Prime Directive.  It will guide our every action and decision.  Actually, we have been using “Radical Generosity” as a guiding principle for all decisions for a while, the board simply decided to make it official. I’m so proud of this board and this organization.  I’m honored to serve as its chairman. And to end this post, here is a beautiful short video on...

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Meng on CNBC

On Friday, 20 September 2013, I was invited to appear on CNBC’sPower Lunch on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (you can watch it at: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101051478). Near the end of the program, I guided almost 10 seconds of silent meditation.  Put that in context, my friends: Almost 10 seconds of silent air time, on live television, on CNBC, at the New York Stock Exchange.  I suspect I may be the only person ever to pull that off. I think this almost ranks among the coolest things I have ever done, almost up there with speaking at the...

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CNBC: Ommmm! How Silicon Valley values meditation

Google is going Zen.  Silicon Valley is well known for its lucrative employee perks, but now companies are offering meditation and mindfulness courses to employees and there’s a long waiting list to attend. Google’s “Search Inside Yourself” course has been taken by more than 1,000 employees and currently has more than 400 on the waiting list. It’s designed to teach people to manage their emotions, which could ultimately make them more productive and creative...

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