The Zen Master of Google

by Maureen Fiedler

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Who knew that Google, the computer giant, had its very own Zen Master? Well, it's true. His name is Chade-Meng Tan, and he's just published a new book called Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace).

As you might imagine, he's a Buddhist. He teaches mindfulness meditation at the "Googleplex" in California to over-stressed computer engineers who clamor for his course. And he has a great sense of humor to boot.

He started his work, he says, not because he cared about Google, but because he wanted to dedicate his life to world peace. He does it one person, one class, at a time.

How do I know this? I interviewed him on "Interfaith Voices" this week.

But it was that theme of peace that caught my ear, since I am a Catholic who has always long yearned for and worked for peace in the world. Then he told a story about peace that could resonate across all faith traditions.

When I asked him who or what inspired him in that direction, he talked about meeting the Dalai Lama at Stanford University.

"I was prepared to be disappointed," he said. "But he exceeded my wildest expectations. As he was talking about China, I was standing near him and was able to look into his eyes. I saw not one trace of bitterness or anger in his eyes as he spoke about my people -- the Chinese. Wow."

China, of course, has long repressed the Tibetan people, of which the Dalai Lama is a part. Meng expected to see anger and did not.

It was a truly moving story. You can hear that, and more, by clicking here.

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