“First Google your mind,” Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche told Google staff in a talk on “Searching for the Searcher” that he gave at the company’s global headquarters on August 26, 2016. The celebrated Buddhist teacher and author of “Emotional Rescue” was invited to spend the day on the Googleplex campus in Mountain View, California.
Chade-Meng Tan, Google’s champion of personal growth and author of the book “Search Inside Yourself,” welcomed Rinpoche before they toured the company’s sprawling grounds. First stop: a facility featuring a wrap-around, multi-screen display of Google Earth, where Chade-Meng took Rinpoche on a virtual tour of sacred places and monasteries in India and Tibet. Next up: lunch with key Google staff who shared the many initiatives seen throughout the Googleplex facilities — the yoga halls, fitness centers and meditation rooms, which employees are welcome to use at any time. This year Google topped Facebook on Business Insider’s list of the 50 best companies to work for in America, encouraging mindfulness practice as well as technology education among its employees, free healthy meals, fitness facilities, generous paid parental leave and onsite childcare. Rinpoche was intrigued and delighted to learn about the company’s commitment to promote wellbeing among its staff.
After lunch, Rinpoche gave his talk on “Searching for the Searcher,” which was streamed live to Google offices around the world. In his opening comments, senior program manager Tom Van Waardhuizen welcomed the webcast audience and introduced Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, asking him to teach the staff how to Google the Googler.
Mind as our most precious resource
Rinpoche explained that the key to achieving happiness, to being kind and generous, focused, creative and productive depends upon the state of our mind. We need a healthy mind, he said, yet we don’t take care of it. We don’t investigate or understand our mind’s patterns, which keep us stuck in negative thinking. So how do we work with our mind? With a laugh, Rinpoche answered, “First, Google your mind.”
Rinpoche suggested that if we could chart our browsing history over time, organizing it by categories and trends, we would have a good idea of who we are. He explained that meditation is a process by which one becomes familiar with one’s mind — like Googling the mind. But, he added, “Once we have a good idea what that mind is, it is very helpful to look directly at the one who is looking, to ‘Google the Googler.’” At the end of his talk, after taking a few questions from the audience, Rinpoche signed copies of his new book, Emotional Rescue.
The full recording of Rinpoche’s talk is now available at Talks at Google on YouTube and via links posted through Google’s many social media outlets.