Throughout his career as a software expert and technology executive, and now as an author and innovative meditation teacher, Erric has been helping people learn to meditate in a variety of contexts for more than 25 years. He has been an invited speaker leading seminars and retreats in corporate settings — such as the World Bank and in Silicon Valley — prisons, temples and Buddhist centers across the US and Europe.
An accomplished user experience expert, and Vice President of software engineering, Erric Solomon founded the Data Visualization Group in 1998 at Silicon Valley’s Synopsys Inc., the world’s leader in electronic design automation. During this time Erric presented papers, talks and tutorials at leading user interface and electronic design automation conferences throughout the world.
Erric’s interest in human computer interaction took shape when as a teenager he taught programming to children and school teachers. As a volunteer participant in the Logo Group at M.I.T.’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory he interacted with some of the world’s deepest thinkers on how to make intelligent machines. This experience inspired a lifelong passion to understand mind and how it functions and led Erric to the study of Buddhist theories of mind and the nature of consciousness.
Despite years of practicing meditation, Erric hit an emotional nadir in 2002 after losing a small fortune in a classic Silicon Valley downturn. At that time, Erric noticed that the only time he wasn’t overwhelmed with emotion and a sense of loss was while meditating. This experience, a wake up call, became the catalyst for Erric’s passion for learning how to integrate meditative awareness into every aspect of daily life — to be O.K. no matter the circumstance.
Starting in 2006, Erric participated in a three year Buddhist retreat at the Lerab Ling Monastery in France. Following the retreat, in 2009, he became an Executive Director of Sogyal Rinpoche’s Rigpa International, one of the largest Tibetan Buddhist organizations in the world. He directed the Department of Educational Resources and played a key role in curriculum development especially with regard to on-line study programs. Under Sogyal Rinpoche’s guidance, he led the development of “What Meditation Really Is”, a new dynamic approach to Buddhist meditation.
While developing the course, Erric attended meditation courses and talks given by many popular meditation teachers and organizations — secular, Hindu and Buddhist. He also, began teaching meditation classes in New York City mostly to young urban professionals. During this time Erric met many people who were hungering for a new orientation for their lives: a life based on kindness and caring while pursuing a demanding career and raising a family, yet free of the aggression, competition, and the compulsion to acquire lots of stuff that is all too common in every day life. He also saw that the traditional Buddhist ways of presenting these ideals were too big a jump for most people, yet secular presentations of the same material were so watered down that they offered the possibility to realize only a small fraction of the potential of meditation practice. Since early 2014, Erric has been collaborating with Phakchok Rinpoche to develop programs and explore ways of communicating the principals of Buddhism outside of a traditional Buddhist context.
Erric lives with his wife and a whole lot of feral cats in Bernis, a picturesque village near Nimes, France.