Last week, I was chatting with an old friend who after I told her how busy and ragged I sometimes felt, she asked me, “Are you present?”
To which I immediately replied, “At work?”
And she laughed, and said, “I meant at home, but I have my answer!”
The conversation reminded me of a man at Google named Chade-Meng Tan. In Building 42 of the Mountain View Campus, which is the main building in the center of the headquarters, there used to be a poster on the wall of Chade-Meng with many world leaders including several presidents and the Dalai Lama among others.
Chade-Meng distinguished himself by developing a mindfulness class at Google that has become massively oversubscribed with an endless waiting list. The demand for his class proves two things. First Chade-Meng is a wonderful teacher. Second, many of us are searching for calmness and mindfulness.
The end of a year is a good time to reflect on being present. Chade-Meng has a wonderful video with an opening Buddhist parable about emotions:
A man rides on a horse, when he comes along a peasant. The peasant asks the rider, “Rider, where are you going?” And the rider says, “I don’t know. Ask the horse.”
I hope to be more mindful in 2016.