Erric Solomon was born in Boston, USA and has been studying and practising Buddhism under the guidance of Sogyal Rinpoche since 1984. Under Rinpoche’s guidance Erric also studied under Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche and Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche in Nepal, and has received teachings from many of the most accomplished Tibetan teachers of the last 30 years.
Erric worked in Silicon Valley, California as vice president of software engineering in one of the world’s largest software companies, before he moved to France in 2006 to do the Three Year Retreat in Lerab Ling. Since the end of 2009 he has been an Executive Director of Rigpa International, where his management experience and his Dharma knowledge are brought to bear. Erric directs the department of Educational Resources and plays a key role in curriculum development. Under Sogyal Rinpoche’s guidance, he has been directing the devlopment What Meditation Really Is, a new dynamic approach which combines a blog, online access to teachings, courses given in Buddhist centres and an online course in order to offer meditation instruction to as broad an audience as possible. Erric is especially interested in developing Public Programmes and exploring ways of communicating the principals of Buddhism outside of a traditional Buddhist context.
Is meditation really for everybody? Aren’t there a lot of good reasons never to meditate? Seems like all we do on this blog is go on and on about how great meditation is. To remedy this one-sided approach and bring a bit of balance to the blog, I’ve painstakingly compiled a carefully researched list of the top ten reasons never to meditate. Please feel free to add your own reasons in the comments section.
Recently, I spent almost 90 minutes on skype speaking with Vincent Horn, co-founder of Buddhist Geeks. The Buddhist Geeks podcasts are wildly popular and all kinds of unusual topics are covered through interviews of Buddhist meditators, teachers, scholars and all kinds of other fascinating people. So, I asked Vincent if we could turn the tables and have him be the subject of an interview. He readily agreed.
Watch this WhatMeditationReallyIs.com interview with Arturo Behar, an Engineering Director at Facebook, on the opportunity for mindfulness, compassion and empathy in social media and the necessity for developing tools within Facebook for enabling it. This interview took place between sessions at Wisdom 2.0.
Roshi Joan Halifax kindly gave this interview to me from the floor of the Wisdom 2.0 conference. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Zen Center, a Buddhist monastery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and author. Roshi is also a great human being. Enjoy the video!
I attended Wisdom 2.0 a pretty unusual conference in Silicon Valley California. The conference founded by Soren Grodhamer brings together Spiritual Teachers (mostly Buddhist) with people working in the Tech industry and explores the possible intersection between the two. The conference, at a hotel in Redwood Shores, consisted of two days of presentations interspersed with a bit of meditation and then, for two more days, there was an “unconference”, which took place on the Google campus (really fun), where participants could get together in smaller groups and explore topics of their own choosing.
Overall, this was pretty cool. Bringing together key people from the mindfulness, meditation and compassion world like Roshi Joan Halifax, Eckhard Tolle, John Kabat-Zinn, Jim Doty and Thupten Jinba with scientists and technologists to discuss bringing together the best of the world’s ancient wisdom traditions and modern technology to help people is a great idea and something that most likely could only happen in this part of California.
Last November, I had coffee with Linda Lantieri, who has an amazing track record for bringing mindfulness and emotional intelligence to kids in really challenging inner city schools. She serves as the Director of The Inner Resilience Program whose mission is to cultivate the inner lives of students, teachers and schools by integrating social and emotional learning with contemplative practice.
In this video, Sogyal Rinpoche explains that we are usually lost in the appearance of mind, our thoughts and emotions, instead of recognizing the essence or nature of mind. Essentially, we are turned in the wrong direction. This is the root of suffering and dissatisfaction. But by turning our attention to the essence of mind itself and learning how to simply be, we can find true contentment.
It is an incredible privilege to be able to say that Kyabjé Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche was my teacher. In honor of the 16th anniversary of his passing, here are a few stories about some of the time I spent with him.
As many of us have experienced, it can be hard to speak with family and friends about our meditation practice. And yet it is so important to be able to speak about what we believe and to do it with courage.