"By happiness I mean here a deep sense of flourishing that arises from an exceptionally healthy mind. This is not a mere pleasurable feeling, a fleeting emotion, or a mood, but an optimal state of being. Happiness is also a way of interpreting the world, since while it may be difficult to change the world, it is always possible to change the way we look at it" Matthieu Ricard
Matthieu Ricard was born in Paris in 1946, the son of the late Jean-Francois Revel, a well-know French philosopher and the painter of Yahne le Toumlin. In 1967 he traveled to India for the first time where he met great Tibetan spiritual masters. After completing his doctoral thesis in molecular genetics in 1972, Mattieu decided to forsake his scientific career at the Institut Pasteur and to concentrate on the practice of Tibetan Buddhism. Matthieu is deeply engaged in research on the effect of mind training on the brain. Since 1989 he is the French interpreter for HH the Dalai Lama. Matthieu is also a well-known photographer as well as the author of many books, amongst them, Happiness: A guide to developing life's most important skill (Atlantic Books, 2003). The royalties of his books are entirely donated to humanitarian projects in Asia, via Karuna-Shechen. Matthieu lives in Shechen Monastery in Nepal. www.matthieuricard.org
All the proceeds are donated to Karuna-Shechen, a charitable not for profit association founded by Matthieu Ricard. Karuna means compassion in Sanskrit and is the same name of an area in Eastern Tibet. In Tibet, Nepal and India, Karuna-Shechen has built and maintains sixteen medical clinics in which 100,000 patients are treated yearly, more than half of them for free. It has builty twelve schools, including one for one thousand six hundred children, three homes for the elderly and ten bridges. Karuna is run by a dedicated group of volunteers and has kept its overhead expenses to less than 2% of ...
©2009 Matthieu Ricard; (P)2009 No Mud No Lotus
Matthieu Ricard, a Tibetan Buddhist monk with a PhD. in the biological sciences, probably qualifies as a genius on many levels. His genius certainly shows in his creation of the most listenable audio meditation program I have ever encountered.
Most meditation audios I've listened to tend to start with long involved explanations, Ricard comes right to the point in plain English that is free of spiritual jargon. His guidance is broken up into segments that are less than five minutes long. You can listen to all 49.5 minutes in one go. Or you can listen to a segment and when the meditation chime sounds you can stop and reflect. This makes it ideal for someone who may only have a few minutes during a busy day. Take your iPod on a five minute walk and listen to Ricard tell you a little more about how a meditation practice may make you a happier person regardless of your outside circumstances.
As Ricard says: “It is the mind that translates good and bad circumstances into happiness or misery. So happiness comes with the purging of mental toxins, such as hatred, compulsive desire, arrogance and jealousy, which literally poison the mind. It also requires that one cease to distort reality and that one cultivate wisdom.”
He realizes this is not easy to do. You have to work to develop the practice of happiness. But when you consider that the alternative may be a miserable life, the practice is worth the effort.
Too simple for some - not simple enough for others, but for me a clear distilation of what Mathieu Ricard has learned and lost sitting at the feet of his teachers. Expressed in a way which sits comfortably between Tibetan and European thought, its short sections and simple teaching have been helpful to me.
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