The book turned out to be more Buddhist'y than I'd expected, but since the author is a Buddhist (as well as an engineer who was one of the first Google employees), that shouldn't have been a big surprise.
Still, Chade-Meng has a pleasingly non-religious, non-metaphysical, non-mystical approach to mindfulness. Which also isn't a big surprise, given that mindfulness is about paying attention to what is here and now, not there and then.
Like heaven, God, saintliness, or any other hypothesized, anticipated, or wished-for reality.
There's a lot to like about "it is what it is" attitude, notwithstanding the seeming bumper-sticker superficiality of this oft-heard phrase.
Chade-Meng says that given how smart and scientific people who work at Google are, when he offers his Search Inside Yourself workshops to employees he needs to convey traditional Buddhist descriptions of mindfulness in a modern fashion.
Thus he talks about "high resolution perception," since computer geeks are familiar with high definition monitors, televisions, and such. Nice.
If this is the only life we're going to live -- the most probable afterdeath eventuality, in my churchless opinion -- then it makes sense to experience our limited life moments with as much clarity as possible. Sinc what I'm experiencing now will never happen again, and my happenings are decidedly finite rather than everlasting, I should damn well pay rapt attention to my moments.
No price can be put on them. However, intuitively they seem priceless to me.
Here's some excerpts from what Chade-Meng says about high resolution perception. He focuses on perceiving emotional states within ourselves, but the same principles seem to apply (albeit a bit differently) to cognitive states, as well as sensations such as seeing, hearing, tasting, etc.
We can usually experience emotions more vividly in the body than in the mind. Therefore, when we are trying to perceive an emotion, we usually get more bang for the buck if we bring our attention to the body rather than the mind.
More importantly, bringing the attention to the body enables a high-resolution perception of emotions. HIgh-resolution perception means your perception becomes so refined across both time and space that you can watch an emotion the moment it is arising, you can perceive its subtle changes as it waxes and wanes, and you can watch it the moment it ceases.
This ability is important because the better we can perceive our emotions, the better we can manage them. When we are able to perceive emotions arising and changing in slow motion, we can become so skilful at managing them, it is almost like living that cool scene in the movie The Matrix, in which Keanu Reeves's character, Neo, dodges bullets after he become able to perceive the moments the bullets are fired and see their trajectory in slow motion.
Well, maybe we're not that cool, but you get the point. Unlike Neo, we're accomplishing our feat not by slowing down time, but by vastly upgrading our ability to perceive the experience of emotion.
Along with everything else we experience during the course of our lives. What isn't experienced isn't real for us. Might as well suck as much reality as possible out of this One and Only Drink of LIfe.