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Compassion – Mindfulness – Happiness – Technology Meets Spirituality in the Silicon Valley

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As technology feeds on itself and grows at a blistering pace, the human toll is felt no where more dramatically than at the heart of it all – the Silicon Valley in California. Articles such as these (Use-illicit-drugs-becomes-part-silicon-valleys-work) in the local paper high-light the growing addiction to drugs.  Many resort to these addictive stimulants so that they can continue to keep up with the demands.  Ofcourse this is not sustainable in the long-run and by then it is too late.  The drug takes over the body.  This is the dark under-current of living and trying to live at the top of the tech pyramid.

Silicon Valley & Mindfulness

Silicon Valley & Mindfulness

At the same time, there have been great efforts to help bring work-life balance in the Bay Area.  From Google’s visit by Thich Nhat Hanh (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pd5Ndg0oJA), to Stanford University’s mindfulness program

(http://med.stanford.edu/elspap/education/mindfulness.html), both profit and non-profit sectors are getting involved to experiment and conduct research that can help not only the Bay Area but the world itself.

Through their program : Search Inside Yourself, Google has not only helped its own employees achieve higher level of achievement in their work but also seek professional and personal happiness.  This nexus of corporate need for higher productivity and an individuals quest for personal happiness – is where the meeting is taking place.  Google considers mindfulness such a major part of their future that they have assigned Google employee # 107 – a high level programmer to lead this effort.  His name is Chade-Men Tan – and his title is “Jolly Good Fellow”.  The contemplative practices that is taught at Google does not only stem from a deep spiritual background but also has the underpinnings of sound scientific support.

Chade-Meng with Thick Nhat Hanh at Google

Chade-Meng with Thick Nhat Hanh at Google

People like Matthieu Ricard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthieu_Ricard), a French scientist (PhD in molecular genetics) who came to Nepal in 1972 and became a Buddhist monk, stand between science and spirituality.  He has been helping conduct many experiments to understand the impact of spiritual practices on the human mind and body.  Matthieu works closely with James Dooty (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Doty_%28physician%29), head of the neuro-science department at Stanford University.  He is the founder and directory of The Center for Compassion And Altruism Research And Education – http://ccare.stanford.edu.

Silicon Valley Mindful movement

Matthieu Ricard – Happiest Person in the World

Some in the corporate world may still consider the idea of “happiness and mindfulness” at work a “fluff” – that has no economic value.  Zappos who believes in delivering happiness to customers and not just products, is at the fore-front of companies who have dispelled this notion.  Now the corporate world is looking at “happiness” in a different light.  Why would they not? Zappos got bought out by Amazon for US $1.2 billion.  This proves that something that was considered “fluff” has a definite ROI.

With the Zappos success, Tony Hsieh (CEO Zappos) and Jenn Lim started a consulting company to share their learnings at Zappos.  The new company is called – http://deliveringhappiness.com/.  Jenn is the CEO of this organization and is passionate about bringing happiness to the work environment.

Tony Hsieh Zappos

Tony Hsieh – Delivering Happiness

Join the movement.  Be part of the group. Spread Happiness – not only at work but in your lives..

Connect & Grow.

Interesting Mindfulness Articles:

http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_26660225/meditation-mindfulness-gaining-popularity-silicon-valley

Join the ‘mindful revolution’

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/02/will-2014-be-the-year-of-_0_n_4523975.html

 

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