My long-term philanthropic priorities have always been to promote peace, liberty and enlightenment worldwide. That hasn't changed. Recently, however, I have clarified for myself my 3 shorter-term actionable priorities. They are:
1. Create the conditions for world peace by scaling inner peace, inner joy and compassion worldwide.
My upcoming book on Search Inside Yourself (SIY) and the establishment of an institute to make SIY available worldwide (planned for Spring 2012) will be my main trust in this effort.
2. Explore and develop technologies to accelerate progress in meditation.
It takes, for example, about 2 years of full-time meditative training to perfect a practice called Shamatha where the mind approaches and sustains very high degrees of both calmness and concentration. Can technology be invented to accelerate this and other forms of meditative training by a factor of 10 by, say, creating visibility into the neural correlates of each stage of the training process? I like to find out.
3. Facilitate a strong education in Early Buddhism for all Buddhist teachers.
Very few Buddhist teachers I've met have a strong foundation in Early Buddhism (specifically the Nikayas and Agamas, which are common to all 3 major branches of Buddhism). It is like having Christian teachers who have only a vague awareness of the Bible. Not optimal. It doesn't make them bad teachers, since the essence of Buddhism is in the practice, not in the knowledge. But still, having a strong theoretical foundation in addition to the practice makes for much more effective teaching.
Why am I sharing this? For two reasons.
First, I made a promise to myself to use all profits from my book solely to serve greater good, and not profit a single cent for myself (which is why I'm solidifying my near-term philanthropic now, before the book goes on sale). I'm making this public so I can be held accountable to my own promise.
Second, good people ask me all the time how they can help me. I don't usually have a good answer, but I hope this post is an useful first attempt. So, if you are eager to serve the world, and/or you have world-class expertise you want to contribute, and/or you have a million spare dollars you don't know what to do with, I hope it's helpful to you to know what I have in mind for myself.
Update (2014/11/23): The said non-profit institute was established in 2012 and going strong. It's called the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI, pronounced "silly"). In addition to that, I'm also co-chairing One Billion Act of Peace (www.1billionacts.org), working together with 13 Nobel Peace Laureates to inspire one billion peace projects worldwide in 5 years. As usual, your support is most appreciated. :)