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MING: So I'm a jolly good fellow,
and I'm honored to introduce Ajahn Brahm, my fellow jolly
good fellow.
I'm a huge fan of Ajahn Brahm.
In the part of the world I came from,
which is Southeast Asia, and also in Australia,
Ajahn Brahm is a big deal.
He's like a celebrity.
He's like a movie star.
He has to wear shades when he goes to the mall.
He is a widely admired master, teacher of dharma,
and Buddhism, and meditation.
And he's known for his wisdom, his intelligence,
and great humor, and for telling great stories.
He's also very naughty.
Let me give you an example of naughty.
AJAHN BRAHM: Hey.
No.
MING: Yes, you.
The last time we were together, I
brought my father to see Ajahn Brahm.
And I wanted a book autographed for my father.
AJAHN BRAHM: Yes, yes, yes.
MING: And then I was busy.
So I give it to a friend, and say,
can you get Ajahn Brahm to autograph for Ming's father.
And then he put it to you.
And you wrote, "To Ming's father."
So which is why today, I had to say,
can you autograph to my wife, Cindy, Cindy.
Otherwise, he was going to write "To Ming's wife."
AJAHN BRAHM: "To my wife."
MING: Yeah. "To my wife," yeah.
He's also, among other things, known
for his leading role in advocating
for the rights of Buddhist nuns for full ordination.
Yay.
[APPLAUSE]
MING: And for that, he got expelled from his order.
AJAHN BRAHM: Yay.
[LAUGHTER]
MING: I know.
The last time we were talking about this,
we were in the audience and onstage, somebody
was talking about this.
And we high-fived each other.
AJAHN BRAHM: Yes, yeah, yeah.
MING: Remember?
We were like, let's do a high-five again.
High-five.
Yeah.
He said the best thing about being expelled from his order
is he can only be expelled once.
Ajahn Brahm is also the co-founder of Bodhinyana,
the first dedicated Buddhist monastery
in the Southern hemisphere, hemisphere, hemisphere.
AJAHN BRAHM: Yeah.
MING: Yes.
He's the coolest monk in at least the Southern hemisphere,
hemisphere, hemisphere.
AJAHN BRAHM: Yes.
It's very cold in Australia.
MING: Yes.
Which is today also the largest community
of Buddhist monks in Australia.
He is the author of multiple books.
And in 2004, he was awarded the John Curtain Medal
for Leadership, Vision, and Service
to the Australian community.
AJAHN BRAHM: Yes.
MING: And with that, my friends, please give
a warm welcome to Ajahn Brahm.
AJAHN BRAHM: Hi.
[APPLAUSE]
Very good.
First of all, when Shirley-- where is she?
She asked me for a title for the talk
or at least some way of getting people
to come in the old bums on the seats,
I did mention to everybody that I was over 750.
That's my age.
Now, there we go.
That's because you meditate a lot and you're very peaceful.
It means you look only in your 60s.
Well, last year, last year in Bhutan,
I celebrated my 750th birthday.
And I'm a monk.
I have to be honest.
I cannot tell a lie.
It really was 750 months.
[LAUGHS]
Now, if you're a monk, saying you're old
makes you have more cred.
People actually respect you more.
So if I just said I was 62 and 1/2 and 63, that's so ordinary.
But 750, that's awesome.
So I'm 750-- almost 762 now.
Wow.
But this is one example of learning
how to make some fun in life and learn
how to make some fun in your workplace,
learning how to do what Meg is trying to teach everybody,
to have a more happy, more powerful mind,
learning how to see things in a different way.
Obviously, in anywhere in our modern world,
we have to see things looking out of the box.
And one of the ways the Buddhist monks can actually
see things which other people can't see
is we literally live outside of the box.
We do things which are totally different than anybody else.
And because we live outside of the box,
we can actually innovate, and especially in what we're
teaching here, mindfulness.
Mindfulness is so last decade.
So we've made more advances since that time.
I was telling Bill a few moments ago at lunch, mindfulness, OK.
So there was this woman, a very wealthy woman,
who went to work one day.
And there was many burglaries in the neighborhood.
So she told the guard on the front of her mansion,
be mindful.
There are many burglars around.
And when she came home from work,
she found that her house had been ransacked.
Burglars had stolen everything.
And she told the guard at her house,
I asked you to be mindful.
Why weren't you mindful?
And the guard said, I was mindful, Madam.
I saw the burglars going in, and I was mindful,
burglar going in, burglar going in, burglar going in.
I saw them taking your jewelry out.
I was mindful.
I noted jewelry going out, jewelry going.
I saw them going in again with their truck.
I saw your safe going out.
I noted safe going out.
I was mindful all the time.
Would that be very helpful?
No.
Mindfulness is not enough.
So I seen at the lunch desk, Days of Mindfulness.
Mindfully putting food into mouth.
Food going in.
More food going in.
More food going in.
Well, that's being mindful.
But it's not sometimes being wise.
So if you want to stay ahead of the curve with mindfulness,
we add something more, which is kindness.
And if you add kindness to mindfulness,
you get the latest-- [LAUGHS] stop laughing.
Putting me off.
The latest buzzword in psychology, kindfulness.
So don't just be mindful.
Be kindful.
Now, what that really means is yes, you're aware.
But you got some responsibilities, some duties.
Be kind to what's going on.
Now, you live in the tech world.
I don't know if you heard this story.
It's a true story.
This was in NASA a few years ago in Houston.
And they had just installed a new mainframe computer,
big number cruncher.
And it cost millions and millions of dollars.
And after installing the big number cruncher
in the headquarters of NASA in Houston,
they tried to boot it up.
They could not get it working.
And because this was costing millions of dollars every hour,
they got every high tech guy in the whole-- and woman--
in the whole of the United States and Canada--
even Europe-- flying them in first class.
They needed them immediately to try and fix up the problem.
No one could fix up the problem.
There was one tech guy who was a Buddhist.
He was a Thai man.
And he said, well, if no IT guy can fix up the problem,
and if all the best experts have tried and failed,
perhaps it might be something supernatural.
And I know the guy to fix it, because there
was a Thai monk, a meditation monk who
just happened to be visiting the Thai temple in Houston.
The nice thing about monks is they're cheap.
I don't get anything out of this.
And what do they have to lose?
Nothing.
So they invited this Thai monk into the main computer
headquarters, the terminal of NASA.
And what did he do?
A little bit of meditation, kindfulness.
You check it out if you've got any friends in NASA.
After the monk had been in there,
that computer worked perfectly.
It started working again.
And we know that is true because he's
visited San Fran several times.
And one time when he came here, the person receiving him
decided to look at his passport to make
sure his visa was in order.
And this monk has got a diplomatic visa
with no expiry date so he can come into the US
from Thailand at a moment's notice in case NASA needs him.
Now this is the power off kindfulness.
And a similar story, which I also love-- and this is true.
This is one of my disciples-- having meditated
with me in Australia for a year, he went back to school
in Hamburg, Germany, at the University.
And the first day on campus, as he was walking past an ATM
machine, the ATM made a sound.
It was like a gurgle.
And he interpreted that this ATM was welcoming him onto campus.
Don't just think about artificial intelligence.
It already has arrived.
It made a gurgling sound.
And he though it's welcoming him onto campus.
So from that day on, he'd always say hello, guten Morgen,
to his favorite ATM.
He'd always use that and be kind to it.
And after three months of kindfulness to this ATM,
he happened to be having his lunch on a bench within sight
of the ATM machine.
No one had been close to it for at least 15 minutes
when it made the familiar gurgle sound once again.
And he looked at this machine, and a 20 euro note came out.
No one had been close to the machine.
No one had put any cards in or typed in any PIN numbers.
And a $20 note, or 20 euro note came out.
He went over to the ATM, picked up the euro note,
waved it around.
Does this belong to anybody?
No one claimed it.
So he took it away.
This is what happens with the power of kindfulness.
If you're short of cash, you don't need a card.
You don't even need an account.
Just go up to the ATM machine, stroke it, and say,
may you never run out of electricity.
May no one ever hit you when they find
they've got no credit balance.
May you always be happy and well.
And who knows?
You may get $20.
That's an absolutely true story.
Amazing, just the power of the mind just over machines.
So this is also true.
Your computer, if it's not working, if it crashes,
what should you do?
Please don't sear at it.
Please don't get angry at it.
Just take your hand and stroke it.
There, there, hard drive.
[LAUGHS]
You may be laughing at me, but you try it.
At the very least, it'll soften you.
You won't get so angry.
So mindfulness and kindness together,
they're very, very helpful.
And they're very powerful.
And they make a lot of difference in our life.
So it's not just being aware of what you're doing.
It's being kind as well.
And when you're mindful and kind,
you see so many angles of this life where when you're kind,
you can actually use mindfulness,
and it makes far better life for yourself,
better health, mental health, and physical health as well.
Now, I don't know if you've got any back problems,
tummy problems, or whatever problems.
We all get problems after a while in our body.
Yeah.
Exercise is good, but, as I was telling people earlier,
sometimes people look at me and Bill and they think we're fat.
We're not fat.
No way.
I've been a monk for over 40 years now.
I'm being honest now.
Not 750.
40 actual years.
And every year you are monk, practicing kindfulness,
you get more and more compassion.
Every year, my heart gets a little bit bigger
and bigger and bigger.
Now, it's so big after 40 years as a monk,
it can't push out my rib cage anymore.
So it comes down here and pushes this out.
This is not a big tummy.
It's a big heart.
It has to go somewhere, and this is where it's gone.
So don't go criticizing me for being fat.
This is not fat.
This is just a big heart.
Isn't that the case, Phil?
Correct.
Yeah, big heart.
But-- I'm going to choke to death now.
But the happiness part of it is also important.
As I was telling over lunch, as I was eating my ice cream,
that when you're happy, when you laugh a lot, when you've
got a very positive attitude towards life,
actually your blood vessels do expand.
That's the basic sort of biology of the human body.
If you get negative, angry, upset,
your actual blood vessels contract.
That's been established many times.
So if you are a little bit overweight,
and you're miserable, you get what we call double whammy.
You've got lots of guck going through your blood vessels,
and your blood vessels are small.
They're going to clog up, and you're going to die.
But if you're happy and if you laugh a lot,
like me and like Bill-- our blood vessels are so big and so
wide, we can eat anything.
Anything can pass through.
Nothing ever gets clogged.
No heart attacks, no strokes because our blood vessels
are very wide.
And that really explains something
I always was concerned about, interested in,
when I was a young man.
A bit of a science.
Why is it that all the fat people are happy?
They are.
Look at Santa Claus.
Santa Claus is really fat.
He's very happy.
Ho, ho, ho.
And look how old he is.
He was an old man when I was born.
So it's the fat, happy people that are the only ones left.
The fat, miserable people, they died a long time ago.
Evolution.
That's true, isn't it?
All fat people are happy, because all
the fat miserable ones died.
So if you are overweight, don't worry.
Laugh more, and you compensate for your extra weight.
And you can eat much more.
So that happiness and that laughter is really important.
But sometimes, you know, we live in an age where being happy
is almost part of corporate culture.
You get people telling you to be happy.
And if you're not happy, there's something wrong with you.
And we get these big guilt trips about not
being a jolly good fellow.
You may get the sack in Google if you're not happy enough.
Now, that sucks.
And this is one of the reasons why at a retreat
I was teaching in Australia many years ago, this woman came up,
interview time, and she said, I'm
fed up with trying to be happy.
You're telling me to be happy.
Everyone else is smiling, and that really pisses me off.
I'm grumpy.
I don't feel like being happy.
So I understood her problem.
I said, just wait here for a moment.
And I got on the computer and very quickly printed out
on letterhead, which I signed by hand
underneath, a grumpy license.
The grumpy license on letterhead stated something
like, I hereby grant to the lady's name, Veronica,
permission to be grumpy at any time
for any reason or no reason in particular
for the rest of your life.
Signed, Ajahn Brahm, because she is my disciple,
so she respected me.
So I gave her permission to be grumpy.
And as soon as she got that form, she felt so relieved.
She didn't feel guilty anymore about being grumpy.
She started laughing, and then the grumpiness had gone.
Problem solved.
Why is it we have to be happy?
Why is it we even have to be healthy?
Sometimes if you're not healthy these days,
it's almost like a crime in California.
So I want human rights, human freedoms.
This is the United States.
Not just freedom for the pursuit of happiness,
freedom for the pursuit of misery as well.
If you want to be miserable, I will support you.
So what that's actually doing, that's doing
something much more refined about when
you're aware and mindful.
You're aware and mindful of how you are.
And you're at peace with that, no matter how you feel.
If you feel in a bad mood today, you're in a bad mood.
Trying to get out of that bad mood makes it much worse.
So you give people permission to be grumpy,
to be upset, to have a bad day.
And even if you are someone like me, who's always supposed
to be the happy guy in Google.
I'm sure there are times you must go into the men's room
and go, argh.
I don't want to be happy today.
Because that becomes a persona, and we
get very stressed out trying to be something we're not,
which is the whole idea of mindfulness and kindness
to allow yourself to be whoever you are at this moment.
Unfortunately, wherever I go in the world,
and I go to many cities, I find it very,
very rare to see a human being.
There are very, very few human beings in California.
There are many human goings, many human doings,
but very few human beings.
Do you understand what I mean?
You're always going somewhere, doing something,
instead of just being here.
And learning how to be mindful and kindfully enough just
to be, without all these people telling you what you should be
and how you should be, is an enormous freedom.
Allowing yourself just to be who you are, even if you're sick.
Know what one of the problems is when you're sick?
All these people trying to make you better.
And you feel so guilty when you're sick.
Somebody comes and sees you in hospital.
What do they say?
How you feeling today?
And you feel really guilty.
They come all that way, and you disappoint them
by feeling terrible.
That's why people lie when they're in hospital.
You're like, I'm feeling a bit better today, when you're not.
So putting pressure on people, that is one of the problems.
Someone was telling me about an old friend I have.
And just when I saw him, he was a monk
in Thailand many, many years ago.
He got two types of typhoid all together.
There's three strains apparently.
And he got two all at the same time.
He came really close to dying.
And he was a Rhodes scholar, a champion wrestler,
very brilliant guy, and became a monk with me.
And he was sick for years after that.
Had Crohn's disease and all sorts
of other terrible diseases.
And he was in the attic of a monastery in England
for years, never been able even to get out of bed
and get to the door.
He felt terrible.
And one day, one the other monks,
he had what we call really understanding, insight.
He knew what the problem was.
He went to that monk's room and said to him,
I've come up here on behalf of all the people
who support this monastery and all
your friends and your family, too-- on behalf of everybody,
I come up here to give you permission to die.
Don't try so hard to get well.
You can die if you want to.
It's fine.
At which point this Rhodes scholar from Tennessee,
he burst out crying.
He wept.
Because for months, he'd been trying so hard to get better.
And now he could just be, and he could die.
And from that moment on, his health started improving.
And that was about 35 years ago.
And now he lives in South Africa.
And he comes over to California about once every few years
to do retreats.
That was brilliant emotional intelligence.
When you're sick, you're trying so hard to get better,
it can kill you.
And as soon as it was OK to be sick,
and there was no guilt, no stress attached to it--
you're sick?
Oh, just be sick.
And then he started to get better.
Do you understand how the kindfulness
and the mindfulness, it solves these huge problems
in our lives.
When we're always trying to be something we're not,
that's when we get into problems.
And when you understand these things,
you can actually see things in a different way.
And this seeing things in a different way,
seeing things out of the box is where we get innovation
and when we get sort of progress.
I was also telling Bill and Ming during the lunch
we had just how I was giving a keynote address
at a mental health conference in Singapore.
And when I was given the keynote,
I was telling some of the principles
I've discovered as a Buddhist monk
doing heaps and heaps of meditation.
And this guy came out to me afterwards
and introduced himself.
He was a professor of schizophrenia
for the whole of Singapore.
And I asked him, how do you treat schizophrenia
in Singapore.
And he told me, just as I'd been teaching in my presentation,
I don't treat schizophrenia in Singapore.
I treat the other part of the patient,
which is not schizophrenic.
And I realized that's what I'd just been talking about.
This guy had got it.
He'd understood about how to solve problems.
Sometimes you have a problem in your office, in your company,
in your health, in your life.
Why is it we always focus on the problem rather than
the other part of life?
Because by focusing on the schizophrenia,
that person is identifying with that disease.
They're literally becoming that disease, and it gets worse.
By focusing on the other part of that person, which was not
schizophrenic, that part of the person is being recognized,
is being embraced and celebrated.
And that part of the person is what's going to grow.
And I did ask him, what are your results.
And he said, far better than conventional treatments.
It's the same whenever I go into a prison, which
I go into a lot.
Whenever I go to do volunteer work in prison,
I always keep a log of how many hours
I spend in jail to be used as credit just in case something
goes wrong.
But when you go into prisons, all those prisons I've been in,
so I've never yet seen a murderer.
I've never seen a thief or a rapist.
I've never seen even a criminal inside jails.
I haven't been in jails in the US,
but in many other countries of the world.
All I've ever seen is a person who's murdered,
a person who's stolen, but never a thief.
And just that change of attitude, something so simple,
meant that I could see something inside of them which
they had been blind to for many months, many years,
depending on how long they'd been inside.
When I could see the other part of them,
they could see it themselves.
And I could talk to that other side of them,
not the person who'd murdered, but the other part of them,
which was very kind and very beautiful.
When I saw that, they saw that, and basically they recovered.
I don't mind praising myself from time to time.
I am a humble monk.
In fact, I'm the most humble monk in the world.
And I always tell people, if you are humble,
what's the point of being humble if you can't tell people
about it.
So I got this great praise from this prison officer.
He called me.
He wanted to speak to me.
He got through.
And I said, how can I help you?
He said, can you come back to my prison to teach?
I said, I'm too busy these days.
And he said, no.
I want you to come and teach.
And I said, why me?
And this prison officer then gave me
a very beautiful compliment.
He said, I've been a prison officer all my career.
I'm about to retire.
I've noticed something very unique.
Every prisoner who came to your class, once released from jail,
never came back again.
And that was a marvelous thing to achieve,
because many people who go to jail, they go in,
and a few months later, they go back again.
Why was that?
Because I had pointed out to them--
I'd seen in them the other side of them,
which was not a criminal.
They could see that themselves.
And that was the part which grew.
The same with faults.
With being mindful, you've got a choice of being mindful
to the dark side or to the light side of yourself,
of your partner, or even your career.
You've got that choice.
With kindfulness, you're mindful of the good part.
Let's say you have a relationship.
Why is it you make a mistake with your boyfriend,
girlfriend, and you think about that,
and she reminds you about that days and days and days.
Why do you always focus on faults?
Because we think that we learn from mistakes.
No way.
You learn from successes much more than you'll ever
learn from mistakes.
So you have a good day out together.
Reflect upon that.
Look over that.
Why was it a wonderful day we had together?
Learn from successes.
Because when you realize the secret of success,
you can repeat it and have a wonderful time together.
It's much more fun remembering what works
and what's successful.
And it's the same with whatever project
you are doing in this company.
Many of those projects will fail.
Forget about them.
When something works, think about it.
Reflect upon it.
Find out why it works.
You learn from successes much more than you ever
learn from mistakes.
That's why all the mistakes I've ever made,
I've totally forgotten about them.
That's why I'm happy.
All the times you did something right,
that's what you remember.
And you learn.
You learn from successes, not from mistakes.
Simple things, which, as a monk, you know are so powerful.
And it's, again, like kindfulness.
So it's not only just kindfulness at work
and kindfulness with relationships,
it's also kindness with your health and your energy levels.
What gets you lots of energy?
What gets you lots of strength?
Yeah.
It is mindfulness.
But one thing which I noticed is the more calm you are,
the stronger your mindfulness becomes.
Mindfulness is not some quality which is just there all
the time the same intensity.
Because you can train yourself to be super-mindful, really,
incredibly, powerfully mindful, which literally means
that what you see, what you feel, what you know,
it's like you've turned the lights up in your mind.
It's not twilight anymore.
It's the middle of the day, with a full sun shining over things.
Now this is just a simple training
we do with some meditation.
When you really get still and peaceful,
your mindfulness goes to other levels.
After you've meditated, you can go outside,
you can look at a leaf, and there's so much
going on in that leaf.
The colors stand out.
They're like fluorescent.
That's a sign, not that you've taken some illegal substances,
just that your mindfulness is now strong.
Your mind is getting some power.
I like to tell this story because somebody
asked made to repeat this story, which I told yesterday.
I was getting some really good meditation one day.
And after the meditation was finished,
I had to go to the toilet like every other human being
to do what we call a number two.
And as I went to the toilet and did my business,
I made a big mistake.
My mistake was after you got some really
powerful mindfulness running, was
to look inside the toilet bowl.
And what I saw floating in that water blew my mind.
I'd never, ever in my whole life seen
such a beautiful piece of shit.
[LAUGHTER]
Now you may laugh, but the way those balls and globules were
arranged together, it was like they were put together
by a Michelangelo or a Rodin.
Just the way, the shape of them, and the way
that they interacted with each other
was actually a matter of genius.
And the colors.
It wasn't just brown.
It was hundreds of different shades of brown.
And the way they were all distributed
over this beautiful sort of shape
was actually incredible, how they could do this.
And because there is always a little bit of mucus on shit,
it meant that it sparkled like diamonds
in the bottom of the bowl.
And now we go on to the fragrance.
The fragrance was rich.
It filled your nostrils and filled your whole mind
with an explosion of these different scents.
Not just one.
It was full.
It was amazing.
And I was just so taken by this turd
in the bottom of the toilet bowl that I was there for about five
or ten minutes saying, wow.
Look at that.
That's incredible.
That is amazing.
I've never seen anything like it.
And I really thought of taking it out to show my friends.
But you know that I'm a monk, and monks know
how to let go and renounce.
It was a very, very-- one of the toughest things I've ever done.
Giving up sex, that's easy.
Giving up drink, giving up-- that was easy.
Giving up the most beautiful piece of shit in the world,
that was tough.
But I did it.
I did it.
I pressed the button, and looked the other way.
Ah, that was so hard.
But I tell that story because it's fun.
But it's also true.
It actually shows you just how powerful mindfulness can be.
When you're very still, it gets powerful.
And then you can see things which other people can't see.
You can taste flavors, which are so rich,
and fragrances which have always been there,
but you've been too dull to really pick up.
And knowledge, which has always been in front of you,
but which you've been too dark, too dull, too much in twilight
to really see.
So enhancing mindfulness with stillness and giving it power
is an incredible ability.
And any wisdom which I get always
comes from that stillness, empowering mindfulness
and getting your mental faculties up
to a different level, a higher level.
And if you want to achieve in life, of course
you realize you have a brain.
But how well are you using it?
Yeah, you're mindful up to a point.
But how much are you being mindful?
There's an old little simile, which
has worked its way from me to Harvard Business School.
How heavy is a cup of water?
I haven't got a cup of water now.
Can I borrow.
Oh I have.
This'll do.
How heavy is this cup of tea?
The longer I hold it, the heavier it feels.
After one minute, my arm is aching.
After a minute and a half, I'm in pain.
After two minutes, I'm in agony and a very stupid monk.
What should I do when it starts to get too heavy to hold?
Put it down and rest.
If you don't believe me, you can try this at home.
Just rest for 30 seconds.
And after 30 seconds, you pick up the cup of water,
and it feels lighter.
I've taught this at the-- I think
it was the International Computer Conference of Brisbane
about two or three years ago.
You get to do some great gigs as a Buddhist monk.
You manage to get to places where even men can't go.
I saw your wall.
You haven't got a picture of Queen Elizabeth.
Yeah, I have.
(Teasing) Da da da da da.
Because a couple of years ago, Queen Elizabeth
was visiting Australia.
And as a leader of the Buddhist community,
I got an invitation for a state dinner
with the prime minister of Australia
and Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
Wow.
But there was a problem.
There was a problem, big problem.
Because when I got the invitation,
they had something called dress code.
And the first item on the dress code was black tie.
Now I'm a monk.
I don't know these things.
I thought, is that all you wear for a state dinner.
Black-- it didn't say anything else.
And they said, no.
Actually you need trousers as well,
and a shirt, and a jacket, and shoes.
So anyway, we don't have a tie in a monastery.
So what was the second option?
The second option was worse, military uniform.
Imagine a monk, a pacifist, going in a military--
I can't do that.
I looked at the third option.
And when I looked at it, my eyes widened.
Yeah, I can do that.
The third option was long dress.
So I went in long dress.
Soon as I got in there, security stopped me.
But I flashed my invitation card,
so I got in, which was really good.
So you get to do interesting things as a monk.
And so at the National Computer Conference, I taught this.
Actually, International.
They had the Computer Society's conferences in Brisbane
that year.
And when I actually did this, they were so impressed.
This is what stress is.
Stress has got nothing to do with how
much work, responsibility, duties you have in life.
It doesn't matter how heavy the cup is.
It's when it gets heavy, do you know
how to put it down and rest?
You don't have to rest for very long, 30 seconds, a minute.
If you're stressed in life, maybe 15 minutes, half an hour
at most.
If you can just put the job down for a few minutes,
and you're rested.
When you go back to work, when you go back to the computer
screen, you have ideas.
Now you can write.
You can do the code, whatever you're up to.
Ideas come to you because your brain has rested.
And half an hour, or a quarter of an hour of just rest, you
make that up afterwards with greater productivity,
less stress.
That is a problem with stress in our lives.
That's why Harvard Business School took it on board.
And they call that an investment in the afternoon.
Half an hour of doing nothing means in the afternoon,
you get four hours' work done in three.
And when you go home, you're not so angry and tired.
Simple things which a monk can see.
So this to how we learn how to-- when you're tired,
you know your brain is not working very well, then let
go, have a rest, and go back to it afterwards.
If you don't know how to meditate,
what I have been asking people to do
and suggesting in Google-- remember
when you were at school, had a playground, swings,
'round abouts?
Do you have that in Google campus?
Yeah, you do have a playground.
[LAUGHTER]
Adult-sized.
Yeah, you got that because I saw this great photograph
in Montreal, Canada.
When you're waiting for a bus, instead
of actually sitting on benches, they have the swings.
So if people want to wait, they've
got these swings like in the playgrounds of recess
at school.
So they swing backwards and forwards,
have all these executives and all these secretaries
on the swings, waiting for the bus,
having a wonderful time chilling out.
What a wonderful thing to do.
So have that time when you can rest, because if you do rest
and you give yourself that time, your efficiency grows up.
You're more productive.
Ideas come.
But sometimes we need, number one,
to see the importance of relaxing, and then, number two,
find out how to relax.
And that's where we can learn how to realize its importance
and let go of all the past and future,
because now is the only time you have.
And now is the place your future is being made.
Now is the only time you can't do anything about your future,
right now.
So if you're mindful enough, and let go, put down the cup--
I'm being a hypocrite because I'm still holding the cup--
then you can have a nice, peaceful time.
Very good.
So I've been talking for 40 minutes,
and that's the amount of time I was given.
So now we have questions, answers, comments,
and complaints.
MING: Yes.
By the way, round of applause.
[APPLAUSE]
Ajahn Brahm's official title is Mahathera.
Thera means elder.
Maha means big, because he has a big heart.
Questions?
Yes, Bill?
AUDIENCE: So recently, Google released its diversity numbers
about who works here.
AJAHN BRAHM: Yeah.
AUDIENCE: And they're different than what we want them to be.
AJAHN BRAHM: Yeah.
AUDIENCE: And they're different than the story
we tell ourselves about who we want to be.
With your experience in fighting for ordination for women,
what advice do you have for us on two levels,
as individuals in our practice about what
we can do in our practice and our non-practice life,
and then also as part of an organization?
What have you found that's been successful
for you as you've done this very easy task that you've
been doing.
AJAHN BRAHM: Yeah, yeah.
AUDIENCE: You're done, right?
AJAHN BRAHM: Yeah.
Done it.
Yeah.
But look.
This is the case in many religions in our world.
There is no equity.
You see the priests.
You see the imams.
You see the gurus, and they're all male.
Does that mean that females are suddenly
spiritually inadequate?
That you can't have them as our teachers and leaders?
We have the Dalai Lama, a male, the pope, a male,
the ayatollah's male.
They're all male.
Where are the females?
And one other thing about Buddhism.
In the earliest time, when the Buddha was alive,
there was equity.
We did have bhikkunis.
They're the female monks.
And we have the male monks.
We had equality there from 2,500 years ago.
We lost it somehow.
And so now we sort of start it up again.
So to start it up again, you have
to go against the hierarchy, against the bosses.
If anyone has the opportunity to hire,
you just hire, no matter what they say.
That's what I had to do, to stand up and say, look.
I don't care what my bosses say.
This needs to be done.
I'm going to do it.
So you just go ahead and do it for the state of equity.
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