Sunday, May 28, 2017

Chade-Meng Tan

Chade-Meng Tan is a Google software engineer who morphed into being Google's director of personal development.  He is the author of the book "Search Inside Yourself", based on the program for Google employees to learn and practice meditation.  He has a new book out called "Joy on Demand" ($1.99 for a download from Amazon).


If you read this blog very often, you know that I began it in 2008.  I had retired but I realized near the end of my teaching, that I had failed to emphasize the value of meditation.  It is all the rage in some places to teach quiet meditation to children and that may be a wonderful thing.  But I suspect that it is older people, young parents with many worries and responsibilities, older people facing many stressful problems and projects at work and at home and much older people bearing the loss of a partner, physical difficulties and aging that can benefit the most from meditation.  


Sitting quietly without moving for ten timed minutes, keeping your attention on your breathing or your eye on a particular spot will enable you to notice when you have gotten caught up in an internal story, maybe your back or watering your plants. Gently but firmly resetting your attention on the target over and over is mind training.  You develop greater sensitivity to what your mind is doing.  


Just a day or two before encountering "Joy on Demand", I found myself, as I woke up, getting into a grouchy mood.  I was able to see that I was doing that and to see that such a mood was an option but that I had others.  I chose something more cheerful.  As I did so, I could feel that I was deciding  how to feel, what mood to be in.  As Chade-Meng Tan says in this TED talk, meditation mind training can do a lot more than bring joy on demand.

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