Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My philanthropic priorities

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 (, working together with 13 Nobel Peace Laureates to inspire one billion peace projects worldwide in 5 years.  As usual, your support is most appreciated.  :)


  1. Meng, I love what you are doing and who you are. Thank you for being so inspiring. I'm one of those people excited to help you however I can. : )

  2. I want to be of help, but I don't even have a millionth part of million dollars.But instead, I have a billion dollar smile and I can give 1/7 to everyone on this planet, would that help????

    I am based in India, and am omnipresent on social media.kindly advice.


    Shyamsunder Panchavati

  3. I love billion-dollar smiles! Thank you. :)

  4. I have sent you a personal email, not sure if you have received it. I am very interested in what you are doing, and wish to be able to participate. What is the best way to proceed ?

  5. How can I become involved in the Institute (especially in a teaching/facilitation capacity)?!!! I am committed to bringing mindfulness to the world, especially through organizations/systems. I've taking the MBSR Teacher Training and am currently enrolled in UCLA's Certification in Mindfulness Facilitation. Other tidbits: I've been studying the dharma and practicing meditation for 20 years; I have an MBA from Stanford and was in management consulting; I have been studying and training in numerous personal- and leadership-development modalities that take a contemplative and systemic approach, and weave in the latest findings in neuroscience, developmental psychology, etc.; and I have worked on several projects with management author Jim Collins since 1990.

    Deborah Knox