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Lions Roar : January 2015
the difference between inspiration—what seems to just arise—and the things that are more analytical. The willingness to use both gives you the freedom to cre- ate and then manifest that creation in the real world. A great idea comes from somewhere magic. I can’t say where. But the execution of that idea is nuts and bolts—it’s just hard work. So, in relation to your work, it’s not so much that meditation helps you access creativity, but rather that it helps you to clarity? To be honest, I don’t feel like I need to be more creative. [Laughter.] I’ll put it this way: I used to sit because I wanted to become enlightened—I thought that was some great, glamorous thing. Also, sitting calms me. And it does make life better. But at this point, it’s just something that I do. Sometimes, like anyone, I have a crap day and I’ve found that if I sit at night, I sleep better, so sitting is just practical and smart, but I don’t do it for any reason that has to do with my work. Meditation is part of my life now, embedded in who IamandhowIact. What led you to start meditating? The same discontent that everyone else has. There was this terror that life is meaningless, that we’re exposed and vul- nerable. I was looking for an escape from that sense of helplessness. If there were a meaning to life that could be named, people would have found it by now. If life were totally mean- ingless, that would have been discovered, too. I live in Vermont, and today life feels completely full of meaning because it’s so beautiful—the leaves changing and all that. On other days, things seem totally bleak. We have to deal with those two opposing things, and I’m somewhere along the way to realizing that that’s okay. You’ve been sitting for years. Would you identify yourself as Buddhist? I wouldn’t. I identify as a human being. That’s partially because I read Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s What Makes You Not a Buddhist. Such a great book! The Vermont Zen Center is a few blocks from our house so—until I got really busy recently—I was biking up there and sit- ting often. I also sit some at home with my wife, and read a lot of Zen. I haven’t found myself attracted to the teacher thing lately, though. Let’s talk about what’s keeping you so busy these days: Ello.co. It started as a private social network among you and some artist friends. But soon enough, all kinds of people were clamoring to join. Someone just told us we’re the fastest growing site in history. I don’t know if that’s true. We’re trying not to count! [Laughter.] Our goal is not to become as big as possible, but to build a great com- munity to whatever size it should be and then make a business out of it. Why Ello and not Facebook or another social media network? We don’t consider Facebook a competi- tor, or even a social network. Facebook is an advertising platform. It’s the same for all the ad-based social networks; the advertiser is the customer and the user shambhala sun january 2015 19