Monday, September 26, 2016

Our eighth nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize

Wow.  Our friend Shirin Ebadi has nominated One Billion Acts of Peace, the campaign I have the honor of co-chairing, for the Nobel Peace Prize.  I am honored and humbled.  Very humbled actually, because in my opinion, we have only just started.  We have now reached 11.8 million acts of peace, which sounds like a lot, but compared to our (very ambitious) goal of one billion acts of peace, we are only 1.18% successful so far.   Still, I am very touched and very grateful for this nomination.  The whole team is.  Thank you for your confidence in us, Shirin.  We will work hard to (retroactively) deserve your nomination.

This is our eighth nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.  Shirin joins seven other Nobel Peace Laureates who have also encouraged, inspired, honored and humbled us by nominating us for the Nobel Peace Prize last year.  Also nominated are my dear friends Dawn Engle and Ivan Suvanjieff, the wonderful co-chairs of One Billion Acts of Peace, and PeaceJam, the organization founded by Dawn and Ivan.  The main difference between Dawn+Ivan, and myself, is that they actually deserve to be honored.  They are genuinely good human beings with beautiful souls who have devoted decades of their lives to service to millions (in contrast, I'm just some guy who looks good in a suit, almost).  This is the 16th time both Dawn and Ivan have been personally nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, which is really cool because all my other friends have been nominated only 15 times or fewer, I kid you not.

The work of Dawn, Ivan, PeaceJam and One Billion Acts of Peace need your support, my friends.  They have reached millions of people on a tiny staff and a shoestring budget, and they can use a little more funding to reach many millions more.  Over the years, I have donated more than $500,000 to PeaceJam and One Billion Acts of Peace (and I have no plans to stop).  I know the team will continue to do amazing work to create the conditions for world peace.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Search Inside Yourself for Two Bucks (and Get Change)

My friends,

HarperOne just informed me that the ebook edition of Search Inside Yourself is currently on offer at $1.99 until 5/23/16 at all ebook retailers-,, iTunes, Google Play.  Please take advantage of me while you can!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

How the Dalai Lama Surprised Me Again

Near the end of my most recent audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, I put my palms together, bowed to him, and solemnly asked, "Your Holiness, what is the most important thing I can do for you and the Tibetan people?"

He replied with a huge smile, "When you meet Chinese people, you tell them you met the Dalai Lama a few times and he's very nice."

"That's it?" I ask.  "That's it," he replied.

And then he laughed out loud.

I so love that guy.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Donald Trump to be co-author of my upcoming book on Authentic Leadership

My friends,

We'll announce this officially soon, but I'm so excited about this I want you to hear it from me first: Donald Trump just asked to be the co-author of my upcoming book on Authentic Leadership, and I said yes!

It was a complete surprise.  Donald called me on my cell phone this morning while I was doing my morning yoga in my 42nd floor office in Trump Tower San Francisco.  Imagine getting a phone call from the Donald in the middle of doing downward-facing dog.  Hilarious, right?  Anyway, Donald said he heard from our mutual friend, Senator James Inhofe, that I was planning to write a book on Authentic Leadership, and he wants to be co-author.  I was like, "Wow.  Is it because of how much you like my first book, Search Inside Yourself?"  And the Donald said, "I hated it, I thought it was the worst shit in the world.  But I changed my mind.  Now I love it, I think it's the best shit in the world."  Classic Trump.  I love that guy.

I'm so excited to have Donald.  Donald is a model of Authentic Leadership.  He tells you exactly how he despises you.  He does not try to hide his racist or xenophobic thoughts.  He is honest to the extend of offending almost everybody belonging to an entire gender.  He never lets facts get in his way of expressing his authentic opinion of the moment, which may or may not be different from his authentic opinion on the same issue five minutes ago.  I can't think of anybody I'd rather co-author a book on Authentic Leadership.  Except the Dalai Lama, but he's kind of busy this weekend.

(April Fool, in case you have to ask.  I don't have an office on the 42nd floor in Trump Tower San Francisco.)

Friday, October 30, 2015

Officially Retired From Google

I am now officially a Google retiree.

At 3:30pm today, I surrendered my Google laptop and employee badge. I love my Google badge, it is a 2.5-D (two and a half dimensions) badge.  See.

Front of my badge Back of my badge 
Over the years, my Google badge has opened many doors for me (in more ways than one).  Thank you, badge.  Sad to leave you, old friend.

At 4pm, my dear friend and teammate Steve Maxwell walked me out of the building.

Stopped for a photo op with the Hulk in the Google lobby.
For once, Steve is not the tallest guy in the picture.

And that's that.  The moment I walked out of that door, I could no longer go back in unescorted.  I was no longer a Google employee.  I no longer work in the best company in the world.  I no longer have the cool email address of  I also no longer hold the "world's best job title" (or at least the coolest job title in corporate America).  I now also have to practice exchanging money for food.

But all that is not important.  What is more important to me is how I serve in the world.  Giving up my (very comfortable) corporate life, at least temporarily, allows me the time and opportunity to master inner peace and work on world peace, thereby enabling me to serve more effectively in the long term.  At the end of the day, I am first and foremost a disciple of the Buddha.  My First Duty is to Buddha and Dharma, and by extension, the world.

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life.

The last major celebrities I met at Google

It's now official.  The last major celebrities I met at Google in my long Google career are Bill Murray ...

and Mitch Glazer.

As usual, thanks to Cliff Redeker and Kevin Vlk for making it happen.

(In case you ask, the very first major celebrity was Al Gore, back in March 2001.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Retiring from Google

"Knock, knock."
"Who's there?"
"Not me anymore."


I would like to let you know that I'm retiring from Google.

A few months ago, after I celebrated my 15th anniversary as a Googler (which is my version of the "Google 15", since I never gained 15 pounds as a Googler), and as I looked forward to an impending 45th birthday (yes, I am that old, dammit), it occurred to me that I don't have that many years left and I really need to focus on my two most important priorities: mastering inner peace, and creating the conditions for world peace in my lifetime.  Therefore, there are two things I urgently need to give more of my time to.  The first is my meditation practice; I need the practice (3 hours a day, at least) to work towards mastery of mind.  The second is to devote more of my time to the two charities I help lead, both of which have the potential to create the conditions for world peace in one lifetime.  One is the One Billion Acts of Peace campaign, which has the potential to spark a massive global movement to solve the biggest problems facing humanity.  The other is the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI, pronounced "silly"), which has the potential to massively scale inner peace, inner joy and compassion worldwide.  I can't think of any work more important for me to do, and given the finite time I have left, I want to devote most of my time to these two priorities.  In a sense, I'm following the example of one of my greatest heroes, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who meditates for 4 hours a day and spends most of the rest of his time benefiting humanity.  I feel like I can only do a small fraction of what he does, but he inspires me to take this path.  After a lot of careful consideration, I came to the conclusion that now is the time for me to make this major decision.

Of course, this decision is bitter-sweet for me.  I'm excited by the opportunity to spend my time and energy on my most important priorities, but at the same time, it is very hard to leave Google.  I absolutely love Google.  I love the company, I love the culture, I love being a Googler and, most of all, I love my fellow Googlers.  I'm tremendously grateful to Larry and Sergey for hiring me (and then forgetting to fire me for 15 whole years), to Eric for being a friend and role model, to the all wonderful people I've worked with (way too many to name individually), and to my string of great managers, especially my current manager, Karen May, the best manager I've ever had.  To all of you who had the misfortune of being my boss, so sorry, and thank you.  And to all my co-workers: you are all amazing, and I'm so going to miss you.

My last day at Google will be 31st October 2015, a few days after I turn 45.

Frequently Answered Questions

Q: Why do you need to meditate for 3 hours a day?

A: In a way, I see myself as the meditation equivalent of a full time musician, artist or athlete, who should primarily be practicing for hours a day.  I think the minimum practice time for a full time musician or artist or athlete or meditator should be 3 hours a day.  Specifically, I will be working towards mastering a meditation practice known as Jhana, which culminates in the perfection of serenity, concentration and joy.  In that sense, I'm going pro.

Q: Why are One Billion Acts of Peace and SIYLI so important to you?

A: One Billion Acts of Peace is a campaign designed to solve the biggest problems facing humanity, such as hunger, poverty, oppression, injustice, and environmental destruction.  Those problems are so big that the only way to solve them is to galvanize all the citizens of the world to work together.  One Billion Acts of Peace has the potential to spark that massive global movement.  We already have the active involvement of 14 Nobel Peace laureates and hundreds of volunteers, inspired 6.6 million acts of peace from more than a million people, gained the support of some giants in the corporate world such as Google and Wells Fargo, and 7 Nobel Peace laureates (led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu) have nominated us for the Nobel Peace Prize.  AND, we are only just getting started!  While Billion Acts focuses on action for the world, SIYLI takes a complimentary approach of spreading inner peace, inner joy and compassion worldwide.  SIYLI's vision is, "Every leader in the world is wise and compassionate, thus creating the conditions for world peace."  It does so, for example, by delivering the Search Inside Yourself course worldwide, including in organizations such as Google and the United Nations.  Search Inside Yourself has been endorsed by the Dalai Lama, former President Jimmy Carter, and many other top global leaders.  In its short existence, SIYLI has already deeply touched the lives of many thousands of people.  Either one of the two approaches has the potential to create the conditions for world peace in one lifetime.  Combined, boom!  I really can't think of anything more important I should be doing, besides meditating for 3 hours a day.

Q: What do you do for those charities?

A: I'm Chairman of SIYLI and Co-Chair of One Billion Acts of Peace.  In both roles, I expect to continue to live this famous Gandhi quote: "There they go. I must run and catch up with them, because I am their leader!"

Q: Shall I donate lots of money to those charities?

A: Yes.

Q: Are you sad to leave Google?

A: Yes, very much so.  When I made the decision to retire, it felt like the most logical thing in the world to do.  But after I informed my manager Karen May of the decision (she is sad, but very understanding and supportive) and started putting things in motion, I started becoming very sad.  Being a Googler has been an integral part of me for 15 years, and I feel that part of me is dying.  While struggling with that sadness, I made another important decision: I decided not to die as a Googler.  If I do not die as a Googler, then my leaving Google is absolutely unavoidable, it is just a matter of time, and therefore, this sadness that I experience is also totally unavoidable, it is just a matter of time.  Since it is entirely a matter of time, I decided it should be at the most logical time, which is now.

Q: Does turning 45 have anything to do with it?

A: Actually, yes.  There is a part of me who thinks that retiring on or a few days after my 45th birthday is kinda cool.  :)  Plus, the older I get, the more keenly aware I am of my mortality and the importance of fulfilling my mission while I'm still alive (because after I die, it gets harder for me to do stuff).

Q: What are you going to do with all that free time?

A: I don't expect to have very much free time at all.  Between 3 hours a day of meditation, One Billion Acts of Peace, SIYLI, working on my next book (currently planned for publication in May 2016), plus my other responsibilities (including being Adjunct Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and advisor to various startups), there's not going to be a lot of free time left.  I plan for most or all of my free time to go to my family.  I hope someday to have lots of actual free time, before I die.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Idea for Preservation of Tibetan culture: Seven Billion Tibetans

I have an idea for the preservation of Tibetan culture, but I've kept it mostly to myself because it's even crazier than my usual ideas.  Last week, I shared it with Bob ThurmanTsewang Namgyal, and a few other friends, and they were inspired and they encouraged me to blog about it.  So here it is.

I call my idea for the preservation of Tibetan culture "Seven Billion Tibetans".  I sometimes also call it the "Greek Model".  This idea came from witnessing the preservation of the Greek culture.  The Greek Empire of Alexander the Great has been destroyed for more than 2000 years, yet ancient Greek culture did not just survive, it flourished for 2000+ years, even up to today.  Greek philosophies, beliefs, literature, political thoughts, architecture, mythology, language and art have been thoroughly integrated into Western culture, and Western culture is the dominant component of modern world culture.  In that sense, Greek culture became Western culture, and Western culture became world culture, therefore, all of us have Greek cultural DNA.  And that's really a good thing because Greek culture gave us such valuable things as democracy, logic and geometry.

My idea is to replicate the "Greek Model" for Tibetan culture.  I hope to see that 100 years from now, Tibetan culture will become so integrated into global culture and thinking that everybody will take it completely for granted.   And I think it'll be an extremely valuable outcome for the world.  There are very many things in Tibetan culture that would be a huge boon for the modern world if adopted globally, such as Tibet's national obsession with Compassion, the culture of inner development, and the central importance of peace and sustainability.  Even Tibetan art and fashion alone would be a boon for the world.

I think the effort should start now.  This is a very special time, with Tibet being forced into the modern world only a few decades ago and having a highly enlightened Dalai Lama, the Tibetan people is at a juncture where they are still connected deeply to their cultural roots, and at the same time, connected to the modern world.  And there are still great spiritual teachers alive and a few young ones emerging into greatness, such as Mingyur Rinpoche and the Karmapa.  This is a valuable opportunity, for the Tibetan people, for Dharma, and for the world.

I have a vision where every Tibetan person is a precious ambassador for the Tibetan culture.  Every Tibetan person takes it upon himself or herself to live the Dharma and personify the best of Tibetan culture to the fullest that he/she can, and then share it with the whole world.  In that world, no Tibetan is a victim, every Tibetan is a teacher, a living example of peace and Dharma, and a guide towards greater good for humanity.  Every Tibetan becomes a rinpoche (a precious gem) for others, and humanity learns from Tibetans.  And eventually, in a very good way, everybody holds Tibetan cultural DNA, in the same way everybody now holds Greek cultural DNA.

That, I think, would be an amazing solution to the "Tibetan problem".

The biggest question is "how?"

In addressing that question, I first like to share my thoughts on Unlikely Great Success, such as creating a world-changing product or company, or earning a huge amount of money, or creating Seven Billion Tibetans.  It is like growing flowers, you cannot force flowers to grow, all you can do is to create the conditions for flowers to bloom, and then you sit back and allow the process to unfold, if it wants to.  There is simultaneously effort and letting go.  I feel that all huge undertakings in life are like that, we cannot really control the outcome, all we can do is to create the conditions conducive to the outcome, and then let it happen if it wants to.  Thinking that you can control outcome is a mistake, but at the same time, not trying just because you cannot control the outcome is also a mistake.

So what conditions should we create for this?  I take my inspiration from 7 of the 10 paramitas (paramitas are "perfections" practiced by Buddhists).

1. Dana (Generosity)

First and foremost, there has to be a strong inner faith and a willingness in the Tibetan community to try this.  The Tibetan culture is a gem for the world, a gift to the world from the Tibetan people that will make the world a much better place, an act of national dana.

Tibetan leaders must feel that the goal of Seven Billion Tibetans is actionable and beneficial for the world, and they can and should do this, galvanize the Tibetan people, and create a critical mass of ordinary Tibetans willing to try.  I think even merely arising the desire to save the world changes everything.  If most Tibetans simply think, "I want to change the world for the better, and my culture is the key", just that mere thought will create massive change.  (My personal experience: the mere aspiration to create the conditions for world peace in my lifetime changed my life.).

This faith and willingness, this aspiration for national dana, is the first condition, and one that only the Tibetan leaders can create.  I feel that the Tibetan race is a Bodhisattva race, an entire people destined to preserve Dharma and then, at the right time, bring Dharma to the whole world.  An entire people being a great Bodhisattva, suffering for the salvation of humanity.  So I encourage you, my Tibetan friends, to fulfill your sacred destiny.  And for the rest of us, let's help our Tibetan friends do that.

2, 3 and 4. Sila (Virtue), Dhyana (Meditation) and Prajna (Wisdom)

Closely related to the first condition, the second condition is for all or most Tibetans to become diligent and inspiring practitioners of Dharma, and embodiment of wisdom.  At the very least, everybody should practice some form of Shamatha (calmness meditation) everyday, and make some form of daily commitment to Sila and non-violence.  In my opinion, the Tibetan culture is, at its core, a culture of heart and mind, and a culture of great peace.  Hence, as long as most Tibetans practice Dharma, the culture will never die and it will eventually spread.  If not enough Tibetans practice Dharma, the culture will wither away over time.

5.  Upaya (Skillful Means)

The next condition is the full compatibility with and integration into world culture.  We need to arrive at the understanding that Tibetan culture is not mutually exclusive with modern culture.  For example, a young Tibetan American doesn't have to choose between his Tibetan roots or the American life, he can choose both at the same time and let each identity enrich the other.  This is important because to achieve the Seven Billion Tibetans dream, it means that the heart of Tibetan culture must be perfectly compatible with modern culture, which I think it is, but all stakeholders need to arrive at that understanding themselves.  I think this is already happening.  For example, both Mingyur Rinpoche and the Karmapa are comfortable with Western culture and thoughts despite their own deep and authentic traditional training, and I'm sure there are many lay people (like Tsewang) living modern lives comfortable with Tibetan values and daily Tibetan practices.

This condition also means we have to focus primarily on bringing benefit to the world, and then think of the preservation of the Tibetan culture as a beneficial side-effect, not the other way round.  (A.k.a "customer focus").  This is a lesson I learned with my own work in Google.  I realized that I need to focus primarily on helping ordinary people and organizations fulfill their own self interests, with creating the conditions for world peace be a necessary and unavoidable side-effect, not the other way round, because if it was the other way round, it would never take off.  This is Upaya.

Think of what value we can offer to the rest of the world.  The obvious examples are stress relief and brain sciences, which are already happening.  But can we do more?  What can we do to benefit the workplace?  (Development of Emotional Intelligence, which I'm working on).  What can we do to help people become better negotiators or mediators?  How do we help people become better leaders?  What can we contribute to world art, music, literature and fashion?  What can the culture do for environmental sustainability?  What is our role in the Charter for Compassion?  There are many things we can do to benefit the world.  Let's all think about how we can benefit others, and then from that effort, help the Tibetan culture thrive.

6 and 7. Virya (Noble Effort) and Ksanti (Noble Patience) 

Once we identify what great things we can do for the world, let's put in great effort to do world-class work.  I think this is already happening.  For example, the Dalai Lama's and Mingyur Rinpoche's books are world-class and immensely popular.  But a lot more of us can do much more, on multiple fronts, and every success creates the conditions for more future successes.  A Tibetan-inspired music video worthy of a Grammy, for example.  This is not just ordinary effort, this is effort to create a better world and, in the process, help the Tibetan culture to thrive.  This is effort of generosity and compassion.  And because it is effort arising from dana (generosity) and karuna (compassion), this is Virya, noble effort.

Finally, I think it's important to remember again that in huge efforts such as this, we cannot control outcomes.  All we can do is to have our hearts in the right place (always having compassion), diligently create conditions for good outcomes, and let it happen the way it wants to happen.  This is Ksanti, noble patience.

I think this is it.  Seven paramitas, for creating Seven Billion Tibetans.  I think that if the above conditions are created, the "how" question will eventually solve itself.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

They burned her father alive and raped her mother, and she taught me something amazing

I had had the great fortune of meeting some of the greatest human beings alive in the world, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.  I have been moved by every one of them, but none of them had moved me to tears.  This week, someone I met almost did.  Her name is Rigoberta MenchĂș Tum.

Rigoberta was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 for her life's work in promoting human rights.  When I met her, I found her to be exactly what you'd expect of a stereotypical Nobel Peace Prize winner: she was wise, kind and joyful.  She was friendly to everyone and treated all with kindness.  She gave people a huge smile and warm hugs.  She was bursting with joy.  And if you asked her a question about life, she'd reward you with words of wisdom delivered with lightness and humor.

Right beneath the surface, however, there is a huge reservoir of pain.  Her father was burned alive.  Her mother was raped and tortured before she died.  Her brother was murdered.  She lost her youngest son.  She watched many thousands of her people oppressed, tortured and murdered.

When I realized the amount of pain she had to hold, and is still holding, I was almost moved to tears.  One of the signs of true greatness is the ability to hold a huge amount of pain, not just with courage and equanimity, but more importantly, with kindness, compassion and joy.  Rigoberta has shown me, and the world, what greatness looks like.  I was deeply moved.

I asked her on stage where that greatness comes from.  Is it something she was born with, or is it something she grew into?  She said it comes from deep spiritual practice, and in her case, practices from her own Mayan tradition.  Off stage, while we were taking a walk, she said to me, "You know, my Mayan spirituality, not so different from your Buddhist spirituality."  We both laughed.

The meeting with Rigoberta had led me to two important insights relating to my own practice.  The first insight concerns the relationship between joy and pain.  I realized that joy and pain are mutually insoluble.  In other words, joy and pain do not dissolve each other, they can exist solidly side-by-side.  There had been periods in my life where I had suffered tremendous emotional pain, and at the same time, thanks to my meditative practice, I had been able to bring up genuine joy intermittently in the midst of the pain.  Sometimes, those two things, the pain that was so unbearable that I wanted to die, and the elated joy that filled up my entire mind, appeared just minutes apart from each other.  It made no sense to me at all.  The question I had for myself was, if I was so accomplished at bringing up joy, why did the joy not dissolve away the pain?  Conversely, if the pain was so bad, why did it not dissolve away the joy?  I thought I was going crazy (more than usual, I mean).

Rigoberta's example had answered my question.  She showed me that joy does not dissolve away the pain, instead, it is a skillful container for the pain.  Her immense pain is still there, but she holds it gently with her joy.  Ultimately, the only true solution with regards to pain is to develop the ability to experience pain without suffering, and the only way to do that is with the combination of (mental) stillness, wisdom and compassion.  Joy and kindness form the skillful container for the pain to allow that process to unfold.

The mutual insolubility of joy and pain has another important consequence, which my dear friend and 15-times Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Dawn Engle, puts very nicely, "Just because you're in pain doesn't mean you cannot be joyful."

The second insight I have gained from Rigoberta concerns forgiveness.  I realized that forgiveness is not just about the past, but involves all three timescales: the past, the present and the future.  People think that forgiveness is just about letting go of the past, but no, it's much more than that.  Letting go of the past is hard, but I think what makes forgiveness even harder are two things: continued aggravation in the present, and fear of more suffering in the future.  For example, if somebody does something horrible to you, it's hard to forgive, but if she also continues to aggravate you and cause you pain in the present, and it appears likely that she will continue to cause you pain in the future, then it is even harder to forgive, much harder.  Therefore, successful forgiveness must work on all three timescales, and in doing that, Rigoberta demonstrates great skillfulness.  Despite of her still-present pain, she is willing to let go of the past.  In addition, she deals with the present by making sure that those who perpetrated great evil atone for their sins.  And she deals with the future by creating the conditions so that those evil things do not happen in the future.

I am profoundly grateful that great souls like Rigoberta exist in this world.

Rigoberta with all three co-chairs of One Billion Acts of Peace,
Dawn, Ivan and Meng.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

His Holiness the Karmapa at Google

On 16 March 2015, I had the great honor of hosting His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa at Google.  It was the first day of the Karmapa's 2-month official visit to the US, and he chose to spend it visiting Google.  We spent a few hours together, much of it in private conversation.

I found His Holiness to be very authentic.  He is the same person in private as he is in public.  He is shy, but very kind and sincere.  He carries a huge burden of responsibility at a very young age, but he carries it with calmness, faith and dignity.  He has a deep spiritual practice, but outwardly, wears his mastery lightly and humbly.  I predict that many many years from now, history will regard His Holiness as one of the great historical figures of our time, and I have no doubt he is worthy of his role.

Here is a video of the fireside chat (minus the fire) between His Holiness and yours truly.  To me, the most memorable part of the conversation happened right after 34:20 when I slipped and referred to him as "my friend" instead of "Your Holiness", as I was supposed to do in public per protocol.  He then joked about himself and called himself "Your Loneliness".  He touched me with his authenticity, humility and humor.

Shakespeare said, "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them."  His Holiness the 17th Karmapa is all three.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Powerful testimonial

Earlier today, I received this testimonial from Omar, a 17-year-old who lives in Cairo, Egypt, on how Search Inside Yourself changed his life.  He came across the book in a store when he was going through a rough time.  This one is so powerful it makes me want to cry.  It brings home to me the profound gravity of our work.  My friends, thank you so much for all the support you have given to me.  And, thank you, Omar, for sharing this.
"This book drastically changed my life and helped me get over the stubborn problem of anger management. It made me realize that anger and negative energy are pretty much just feelings that rise inside of one's mind or body.

I still use meditation to this very day. Whenever I feel something that I don't really understand in my body I just go by myself into a room, put on some calm music and just meditate for 15-20 minutes and it really makes the difference.

It is such a powerful exercise. Back then [before I read the book] I was standing on the right side of the spectrum of religion and ideology. Reading this book made me think of people from other religions as other people who are fully deserving to live and are just like me.  Now I can fully accept everyone regardless of their religion or sexuality or color and that makes me feel good every day."

[Also thanks to Kelly Vicars and Harry Spitzer for collecting these testimonials.]

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Ajahn Brahm at Google

My dear friend and honored teacher, Ajahn Brahm, spoke at Google a few weeks ago.  He is so funny there is no better day to post this than April Fools' Day.  For the best shit, literally **, watch the story starting around 31:00.

(** He actually said, "I've never ever in my whole life seen such a beautiful piece of shit.")

Help, my Internet access is too fast

Your Internet access is too fast, you need help.  I hear you.  I'm honored to be part of the team in Google to bring you the solution.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

We're nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize!

What better way to start the new year than to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize?  :)

I have exciting news to share with you, my friends.  One Billion Acts of Peace (, a campaign which I have the honor of co-chairing with Dawn Engle and Ivan Suvanjieff, has just been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by 6 Nobel Peace Laureates, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu.  One Billion Acts of Peace is a global campaign that works together with 13 Nobel Peace Laureates to try to inspire one billion acts of peace worldwide, in 5 years.

I received the news on Monday evening, my first workday of the year.  At first, I was a little shell-shocked (in a good way).  Then I was over the moon.  After that, the weight of the responsibility sunk in.  Wow.  I work with a wonderful team of more than 100 committed individuals doing amazing, Nobel-Prize-worthy work, and I get to pretend to be their leader.  I'm immensely humbled by the team.  I will try my best not to mess this one up (more than usual, I mean).

One Billion Acts of Peace needs you, my friends.  At this time, our biggest need is for corporate partners.  If you would like to consider being one of our corporate partners, we'll so love to hear from you.  You may email my fellow co-chair Dawn (who has been personally nominated 14 times for the Nobel Peace Prize, probably a world record of some sort) at dawn @

And here is the nomination letter signed by 6 Nobel Peace Laureates.  I'm told that this counts as being nominated 6 times for the Nobel Peace Prize, which I'm guessing is 6 times cooler than being nominated only once, assuming that coolness scales linearly.

(Update 2014/01/13: I've just been informed that Nobel peace laureate Jody Williams joined in the nomination, so that makes 7!)


Norwegian Nobel Committee            
December 30, 2014
Oslo, Norway

"Dear Members of the Committee;

I am very happy to be writing to you today, to nominate PeaceJam Foundation Co-Founders Dawn Engle and Ivan Suvanjieff, and their "One Billion Acts of Peace" Campaign, for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize.  And I am very pleased that five of my sister and brother Nobel Peace Laureates are joining me in making this nomination.

When I first met Dawn Engle and Ivan Suvanjieff, they had what seemed to be a crazy idea.  They wanted to create a program called PeaceJam, and they wanted to ask only Nobel Peace Laureates to serve as members of their board. Everyone must have told them that they were completely crazy to try to attempt something so unprecedented.

But here we are, twenty years later, and the PeaceJam Foundation now has 13 Nobel Peace Prize winners who are members of its Board, and PeaceJam has truly become our international educational outreach program to the youth of the world -- Nobels mentoring youth to change the world.  More than one million young people, from 39 different countries, have participated in the PeaceJam program, and these young people have created over two million projects designed to solve the most pressing problems in their own communities.  PeaceJam has carried out more than 200 Peace Congresses for Youth, where budding young leaders work side by side with Nobel Peace Laureates, and it is one of the most transformational programs for young people that I have ever seen.

Now Dawn Engle and Ivan Suvanjeff have come up with an even more ambitious idea -- a campaign to inspire people all over the world to work together to create One Billion Acts of Peace by the end of the year 2019.  They want to inspire global citizens to create high quality projects which are designed to tackle the toughest issues facing humanity.  There are ten core focus areas for this campaign:  Advancing Women and Children; Access to Water and Natural Resources;  Education and Community Development; Global Health and Wellness; Environmental Sustainability; Conflict Resolution; Ending Racism and Hate; Human Rights for All; Alleviating Extreme Poverty; and Controlling Weapons Access and Proliferation.

They have worked with leaders in the technology industry to create a cutting edge campaign that will empower average people all over the world to become effective agents of change.  People will be able to use the latest in technology to collaborate together to solve the world's toughest problems, under the leadership and guidance of Nobel Peace Laureates.  Non profit organizations, businesses, and institutions around the world are already joining in to become a part of the campaign.  PeaceJam launched its audaciously ambitious "One Billion Acts of Peace" campaign at the Social Innovation Summit at the United Nations last summer, and they are working on such a grand scale in order to be able to truly change the course of the future for all of humanity.  Their goal is to create one of the most powerful global citizen's campaigns that the world has ever seen.

In the thirty years that have transpired since I was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, I have found that it is this sort of big thinking and courageous craziness that can truly make things happen.  I am nominating them and their "One Billion Acts of Peace" campaign for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize, because I want to encourage this kind of audacity, and to support this effort to unleash the goodness and greatness of the people of the world.  Together, we truly can create a world where everyone has access to clean water, a decent place to live, enough to eat, a good education; and social justice and human rights -- the kind world that God wants to see for all of us.  We do indeed have the power to create this world, in our own hands.  The "One Billion Acts of Peace" campaign will bring so very many of us together, to dream this dream together, and to begin to make it so.


Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Rigoberta Menchu Tum

President Oscar Arias

Leymah Gbowee

Adolfo Perez Esquivel

Betty Williams