Here's a wonderful little TED talk by Bob Thurman, a professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies at Columbia University. Dr. Thurman became a Tibetan monk at age 24. In this video, you can see him in a very short amount of time — sitting front and center on stage — engage the TED audience and give a little peak at the essence of Buddhism. All the while, of course, he can't help but make the audience laugh from time to time. Indeed laughter is very much apart of Buddhism. When you really become aware you can not help but laugh. Not the laugher that comes at another's expense, but the kind of laughter that comes from silence. Naturally it comes to you. That's the best kind of all. As Buddha said, "When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky."
You may find the talk starts slowly for you, but stick with it, Bob gets very interesting. I've watched it now 4-5 times. I love his quirky, natural, casual style. And what he says is spot on, of course. I love this line:
"I think the key to saving the world, the key to compassion is that, it is more fun. It should be done by fun. Generosity is more fun, that's the key."
As far as the book goes, all text (first draft) will be ready tomorrow for the editors. There is still a ton of work and a mountain of design work to do. I am doing the design myself in InDesign and have made one sample chapter galley all ready so that it can be tested for printing. According to Amazon (shocked that the book is up there all ready; cover is not exactly right) the book will be ready for sale by November 17. I probably have way too much text. There will be lots of images and sample slides and lots of white space too, so I really have to scale the text back. This is the hardest thing.
Hope you enjoy the TED presentation.