I’m on unpaid leave from Google until November 16, 2010.  For details, see FAQ below (which is an edited version of the “out of office message” from my google.com account).

Frequently Answered Questions (some occasionally asked) about Meng’s leave

Q:  Meng, how do I become as good-looking as you are?
A:  Just attend Engineering school for a few years.  Everybody who goes through Engineering school becomes physically attractive, I don’t know why.  But, hey, this FAQ is about my time away, not about my stunning good looks, so stop distracting me.

Q:  Why are you going on leave?
A:  To write my book (actually, the book is going to write itself, but somehow my presence is needed, I’m not sure why).  I’ll also take short vacations and speak every now and then.

Q:  When are you coming back to work?
A:  On November 16, 2010.  Unless I die, or get fired, whichever comes first.

Q:  What’s your book about?  Why are you writing it?
A:  The book will be about happiness and compassion for fun and profit.  Specifically, I plan to write on the content we cover in Search Inside Yourself (SIY).  The book will explain how to develop Emotional Intelligence using contemplative practices, the science behind it, how to apply it in business settings in ways that help everybody become more successful, and how this helps build world peace.  This book is part of my plan to create the conditions for world peace in my lifetime (details).  I also plan to open-source all SIY teaching materials with the release of the book, so that everybody in the world who wants to develop EI will have an additional resource, hopefully a very useful one that is also fun to read.

Q:  What is the title of the book?
A:  I don’t know yet.  The title I really want is, “Buddhas Just Want to Have Fun“.  I told that to Mingyur Rinpoche, he did NOT try to hit my head with a heavy object.  I interpret that as an enlightened master’s silence implying consent.  (Actually, he laughed).

Q:  Being a first-time author, will you be able to complete a draft of your book by November 15, 2010?
A:  I honestly have no idea, but I know one way to find out.

Q:  Are you trying to take over the world?
A:  No.

Q:  Will we see you during your leave?
A:  I hope so.  I’m not going away, this is a working leave.  Outside of short vacations and a few speaking engagements, I’ll most likely be hiding somewhere in or near Google HQ to write.  Maybe Stanford Library, maybe even Building 40.  So, yeah, if you have something fun lined up, I’m likely to be available.

Q:  During your leave, can we have you meet and greet visiting world leaders and megastars?
A:  Yes.  Especially Celine Dion.

Q:  Will you reply to my emails during your leave?
A:  I may.  Especially if you’re Celine Dion.

Q:  I noticed you’re taking unpaid leave.  Don’t you like money?
A:  I like money.  Thank you for asking.

Q:  Wise One, what is the meaning of life?
A:  Simple.  The meaning of life is not.