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A Very Rough Transcript of the Dalai Lama's Advice for Silicon Valley
Scott Lucas | Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons | February 25, 2014
Om mani padme hum, bros.
"The Dalai Lama proffered a simple message for the hard-driving innovators, disrupters and profit-drunk business titans of Silicon Valley on Monday during an appearance at Santa Clara University: 'If you forget about others' happiness, you will suffer more.'" —San Francisco Chronicle, 2/25/14
Dalai Lama: Assembled dignitaries, students, professors, makers. I come in the simple spirit of compassion and understanding with a message of peace. My message is this: You're killing it, bros. Absolutely killing it.
Metaphorically, of course. The teachings of the Buddha and the sages of India and Tibet forbid the taking of life. But you're still killing it. I humbly salute you, makers. Keep it up. So much disruption. So much value creation. Wow.
Now, I can imagine what many of you in this audience are thinking. How can I praise your businesses? Is not the world of high technology the antithesis of the ancient teaching to which I have dedicated my life? Did I not tell the American version of me, Oprah, that "material facilities cannot provide you with peace of mind?" Does not this simple Tibetan monk arise each morning at 4 am to spend an hour in prayer and meditation? This is a paradox, no?
Let me drop some straight-up satori on you. That was all before I got my iPhone 5. Thanks to its Apple 6 system-on-chip with blazing fast 1.3 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and a tri-core PowerVR SGX543MP4 running at 266 MHz, I'm up at four in the morning now just to play Flappy Birds. Who has time for the Eightfold Path when you've got some Tinder to swipe?
Let me get back on my point. As I was telling Dave [ed: Morin] at the Battery Club last night, us Buddhists and you tech folks—we're simpatico. You know about the Four Noble Truths, right? That's like our mission statement. The truth of suffering, the truth of desire as the cause of suffering, the truth of the liberation from desire, and the truth of the path to get there. It's like some Sean Parker shit, is what it is. Suffering comes from desire. Extinguish desire, and you'll extinguish suffering.
Straight up: Nobody has ever extinguished desire better than you all are right now. Want a car to pick you up? Uber. Find a restaurant? Yelp. Condom delivery service? Hell yeah. You people are disrupting desire. I commend you. I'm getting all the monasteries back home to upgrade their wifi.
I often say that we were all put on this earth to serve others—and what's a better way to serve others than to delivery pizza to my door with a flying drone? Get on that already. But until you get that drone pizza thing working, you can serve others the best by keeping you LinkedIn bio up to date. Frictionless social is now.
Not long ago, I said that in order to overcome ignorance, which is the root of all suffering, we need to understand reality. That's true. And who is overcoming ignorance faster than WhatsApp? Keep it up, bros. Don't worry about the haters. As the Gautama Buddha first recognized as he meditated under the Bodhi tree—haters gonna hate.
Which, by the way, leads me to another point. It took him 49 days of meditation to search for enlightenment? What kind of crazy lag is that? You're kidding me. Move fast and break things. So, in conclusion, we are all social animals. So get out there and disrupt social. Tear down the veil of maya and replace it wit the infinite bliss of lolcats. I can haz Nirvana?