Marc Lesser joins Raghu to talk about bringing Zen Buddhism to Google, working with evolutionary fear, cultivating humor and courage, and reclaiming mindfulness as a warmhearted practice.
Marc Lesser is a speaker, facilitator, workshop leader, and executive coach, known for his engaging, experiential presentations that integrate mindfulness and emotional intelligence practices and training. He is the author of four books, including his 2019 release, Seven Practices of a Mindful Leader: Lessons from Google, and a Zen Monastery Kitchen. Marc was the co-founder and CEO of the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, featuring a mindfulness program he helped develop within Google. Before his business and coaching career, he was a resident of the San Francisco Zen Center for 10 years, and director of Tassajara, Zen Mountain Center.
Search Inside: Google meets Spirituality
Prompted by Raghu, Marc shares about his experience creating and developing the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, a mindfulness and meditation program initially birthed within the major tech company, Google. This fusion of business with his already established practice of Zen Buddhism, opened new doors for Marc, allowing him to forge a unique path teaching Dharma to what is generally a secular, rational, and analytic population. Through this lens, Marc and Raghu discuss the nuanced path of Zen.
“One of the things I love about Zen is that it has a sense of humor.” – Marc Lesser
For a merging of technology and the Dharma, check out this ‘Becoming Nobody’ interview panel at Google Empathy Labs, on Ep. 306 of Mindrolling
The Ubiquitous Umbrella: From Zen to McMindfulness (8:21)
How can we remain sane, engaged, and warmhearted given the current state of the world? Peering under the wide, ubiquitous umbrella of modern-day mindfulness, Marc and Raghu discuss the problems and traps of McMindfulness culture, before illuminating the true nectar of a deep, consistent spiritual practice.
“The point of mindfulness practice is to cultivate a more alive, responsive, effective, and warmhearted way of being within the world as it already exists, and within the life you already live.” – Marc Lesser
Join Raghu and David as they deliver a crash-course behind the sheen gloss of the modern-day business of McMindfulness, on Ep. 95 of Mindrolling
Warmhearted Courage: Working with Fear (21:31)
Evolutionarily, if the impulse to scan for environmental threats is embedded within our DNA, how can we work to undo our deeply rooted, overactive fear response? Marc and Raghu discuss how meditation practices and being part of a spiritual community can help us begin to work with our fear, over time cultivating an inner sense of warmhearted interconnection.
“That’s what mindfulness is about: You have a clearer picture of your motivations, habitual patterns, neurotic tendencies; and you don’t have to enjoin with them.” – Raghu Markus
Attune to another warmhearted conversation with Marc Lesser, as he joins Sharon Salzberg to discuss mindful leadership, on Ep. 106 of the Metta Hour
Images via @bunnynoir & @aleeenot on Twenty20