Move humanity forward

By Matthieu Ricard on November 15, 2017

Maria Shriver :  How do you feel that compassion can change the world we live in today? Do we need compassion now more than ever? MR : One of the main problems in this current era is how to reconcile the demands of the economy, the search for happiness, and respecting the environment. These imperatives correspond to three time scales: the...

On the Nature of the Unconscious

By Matthieu Ricard on November 07, 2017

What is the unconscious? For the Buddhist, the most profound aspect of consciousness is alert presence. For him, what psychoanalysis calls the unconscious only represents the random mists of mental fabrications. For the neuroscientist, precise criteria distinguish between conscious and unconscious processes, and it is important to identify e...

Beyond Species-ism

By Matthieu Ricard on October 08, 2017

In the twentieth century, at the end of the 1960s and in the 1970s, a new animal movement arose, the effects of which have continued to grow down to the present day. This movement has set the stage for a major change in the attitude toward animals in Western societies. A half century after the publication of Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle...

Photographs of Patrul Rinpoche?

By Matthieu Ricard on September 22, 2017

Enlightened Vagabond is a book that I have had the good fortune to have worked on and translated. It contains over one hundred stories about the life and teachings of Dza Patrul Rinpoche (1808 – 1887). This perfect model of a genuine spiritual master spent most of his life as a wandering hermit, giving teachings wherever he went. Over the...

Matthieu Ricard On Photography

By Matthieu Ricard on September 05, 2017

On the occasion of the publication of my first photo book, Journey to Enlightenment (now reprinted as The Spirit of Tibet, Aperture, New York) Henri Cartier-Bresson most kindly sent me this note : “Matthieu's camera and his spiritual life make one, and from this spring these images, fleeting and eternal." (Henri-Cartier Bresson 12 Nov...

Ayn Rand : Is This the Right Model for a Great Nation?

By Matthieu Ricard on August 15, 2017

President Donald Trump proudly proclaims that Ayn Rand is his favorite writer and that he admires her ideas. What does it mean when the United States of America has a leader whose ideal is to promote selfishness in society? I am convinced that selfishness makes life miserable not only for all those around us, but for ourselves as well. Ayn...

A point of view

By Matthieu Ricard on July 29, 2017

Following the recent letter sent by some of Sogyal Rinpoche's students about his behavior, I have been contacted by several media outlets. I did not intend to intervene, considering that I have no qualification to be a judge in this matter. However, it has been insistently put to me that failure to respond meant a tacit approval of the act...

A Dog for Dinner?

By Matthieu Ricard on July 25, 2017

Imagine that you are at a dinner party with friends, and the meat dish is so delicious that you ask your host for the recipe. Your host replies: “Oh that was our dog. You remember Toby? Well, here he is.” Suddenly the meat sticks in your throat and you feel disgusted and deeply troubled. This situation occurs in South Korea, China, Vietna...

Thoughts on Happiness and the Mind

By Matthieu Ricard on July 11, 2017

Happiness is not the endless pursuit of pleasant experiences — that sounds more like a recipe for exhaustion — but a way of being that results from cultivating a benevolent mind, emotional balance, inner freedom, inner peace, and wisdom. Each of these qualities is a skill that can be enhanced through training the mind. We deal with our mi...

Why Should I Meditate ? (part 2)

By Matthieu Ricard on June 27, 2017

What is meditation ? Meditation is a practice that makes it possible to cultivate and develop certain basic positive human qualities in the same way as other forms of training make it possible to play a musical instrument or acquire any other skill. Among several Asian words that translate as “meditation” in English are bhavana from San...