Meeting an Ordinary Saint

By Matthieu Ricard on February 08, 2018

Every evening, for 25 years, Gurmit Singh, shuts his clothing store in the sprawling city of Patna for the night, gets on his scooter, and visits the neediest people. These are the people who are left behind by the two main hospitals in the capital of Bihar, the poorest state in India. They are called "lawaris," the "abandoned," because they...

The Fear Factor

By Matthieu Ricard on January 15, 2018

Abigail Marsh’s new book, The Fear Factor: How One Emotion Connects Altruists, Psychopaths and Everyone in Between , reads like a thriller: it is entertaining, easy to read, and page after page, throws light on two of the most fundamental traits of human beings: extreme selfishness and extreme altruism. While doing research for my book Altru...

Buddhism Always Condemns Violence, Without Exception

By Matthieu Ricard on December 18, 2017

Copyright @ Sébastien SORIANO/Le Figaro The world is appalled by the unspeakable violence perpetrated by the Burmese army against the Rohingyas, seemingly with the blessing of members of the Buddhist clergy. The humanitarian organization, Doctors Without Borders, estimates that over 6,000 people have been killed, all civilians, including c...

Changing Human Behavior

By Matthieu Ricard on December 12, 2017

Matthieu Ricard's A Plea for the Animals: The Moral, Philosophical and Evolutionary Imperative to Treat All Beings with Compassion (2016, Shambhala Books) was recently released in paperback. The book underscores a commitment to heightened awareness of human impacts on the lives of animals worldwide: We live in an essentially interdependent...

On Consciousness

By Matthieu Ricard on November 28, 2017

Buddhism speaks of six, seven, or eight aspects of consciousness. It speaks first of the ground or basic consciousness, which has a global, general knowledge that the world is there and that I exist. Then there are five aspects related to the five sensory experiences: seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching. The seventh aspect is me...

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...