Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mingyur Rinpoche at Google

My friend and teacher, a wonderful man in every way, the Very Venerable Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche delivered an Authors@Google talk and guided a meditation session after that.  Here are the videos.

Authors@Google talk (YouTube link)

Meditation with Mingyur Rinpoche (YouTube link)

A candid shot of Meng annoying Mingyur while Mingyur was relaxing on a massage chair.

(Also see: Mingyur and Meng)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Google: The Movie

For the Google movie, Meng should be played by Jet Li or Jackie Chan. "Hey, you not take picture with me, I break your face! YA!!"

If played by Jackie Chan, add a funny scene where Chris Tucker (playing himself) keeps calling Meng "Jackie" for no reason, and Meng keeps saying, "Hey, I not Jackie, I Meng. You keep calling me Jackie, I break your face!"

There will be a kung-fu scene involving Meng and the Dalai Lama (played by Sammo Hung).  Natalie Portman plays herself.

But seriously, if a movie ever gets made about me, the person I want to play me is Keanu Reeves.  See, Keanu played Ted in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, he played the Buddha (badly), and he played Neo.  That sounds just like my life, a combination of Neo, Ted and a badly played Buddha.  Whoa.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wanted: One Million Bodhisattvas

All my best ideas come to me during my morning meditations.  I'm not sure if that makes me a really good or really bad meditator.  I think it's both, and neither, simultaneously.

During my morning meditation today, I figured out what I want for my 40th birthday.  What I want is ...

One .... Million .... Bodhisattvas.

My biggest goal in life is to create the conditions for world peace within my lifetime.  I know it's impossible.  I also know it becomes slightly less impossible if a lot of people also work towards the same goal in support of each other.  So one of my sub-goals in life is to "Awaken One Million Bodhisattvas" **.  There are very many good people in the world, if we can get a mere one million of them to regularly commit to actions that increases wisdom and compassion in the world, that may create an unstoppable momentum towards global enlightenment and world peace.

During my morning meditation today, it just hit me: Let's ask for one million Bodhisattvas for my birthday.  I'll start by inviting my friends (especially those who can't run away from me quickly enough) and anybody else I can annoy to commit to one act a month intended to increase wisdom and compassion in the world.  I'm only asking for this commitment from my friends for the rest of their lives, so I didn't think it was too much to ask.  I know most of my friends will say "yes" because they are enthralled by my good looks.

I hope that, eventually, this will become a movement that will extend far beyond my circle of friends and people enthralled by my good looks.  I hope to eventually reach one million people.

To get the ball rolling, I've created a "Bodhisattva Wannabes" group on Facebook.   (I think that if this catches on, we'll eventually need to create some sort of real support infrastructure, but for now, all we have is a lousy Facebook group.  Sorry).

If you are a Bodhisattva wannabe, or already an union-certified, card-carrying Bodhisattva, or you just want to give me something for my birthday, I'll love to invite you to join the group.  I promise you'll warm this old man's heart.

[** I know, I can also awaken one million Bodhisattvas with one million alarm clocks, or one very very loud alarm clock, but that won't be very compassionate, especially not towards me.]

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Birthday Bash for Boring Buddhist?

I need some suggestions from you, my friends.

You see, I have an embarrassing problem: I'm turning 40 in October.  I'm going to be, like, old.  Pretty soon, boy scouts will offer to help me to cross the street and people will give me senior citizen discounts without me even asking.  Ouch.

I would like your suggestion on how to mark this milestone in my life.  The easy solution would be a big birthday party of some sort.  But the problem is, I'm boring.  Like really boring.  I dislike parties, I dislike loud music, I dislike being in dancing crowds, and I dislike drinking alcohol.  Another easy solution for someone in my position would be to use that occasion to announce a major philanthropic gift, and have a group of people clapping and pretending to be interested (buffet provided, string quartet optional).  Yeah, I'm not THAT boring.

What to do?

What I'm hoping for is a way to have a "Birthday celebration with the Buddha".  I honestly have no idea what that means, but here are some features I'm wishing for:
  • Having a strong Buddhist theme (best if also involving Buddha Dharma).
  • Bringing meaningful and sustainable benefit to many people.
  • Involving one or more celebrities, such as the Dalai Lama or Natalie Portman.
  • Not boring.
Let me know if you have any ideas.

If not, that's fine too.  I'm happy to just blow a candle on a cake in the presence of my family and a cheap videocam, and then think about this problem again in 10 years.