Conversation between Matthieu Ricard and Elizabeth Kolbert

By Matthieu Ricard on March 06, 2017

Journalist Elizabeth Kolbert and Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard each had big books in 2015. Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History—winner of the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction—takes an unflinching look at the history of extinction and the different ways that human beings are negatively impacting life on the planet. Ricard’s Altruism...

The Moral Obligation to Treat All Beings with Compassion. An Interview with Matthieu Ricard, by Garrison Institute.

By Matthieu Ricard on December 29, 2016

In his most recent book, A Plea for the Animals: The Moral, Philosophical, and Evolutionary Imperative to Treat All Beings with Compassion, Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard makes a case for ending our exploitation of non-human animals. If we stopped eating animal products, he says, we could start to alleviate global hunger, significantly reduce ou...

Why I am a Vegetarian

By Matthieu Ricard on October 17, 2016

“It just takes just one second to decide to stop. The main reason not to eat meat and fish is to spare others' life. This is not an extreme perspective. This is a most reasonable and compassionate point of view.” My first Buddhist teacher, Kangyur Rinpoche, was a very strict vegetarian. I was inspired by him and also by a deep inner reasonin...

A Plea for the Animals: Dolphins Are Not Toys

By Matthieu Ricard on September 14, 2016

The dolphinarium industry is a perfect example of institutionalized selfishness. Money is the driving force that creates and runs them. Their educational, recreational, and environmental facades are covers for the merciless enslavement of species gifted with rare intelligence and who enjoy a rich and complex social life. In the people who run...

Power and Care with His Holiness the Dalai Lama

By Matthieu Ricard on March 29, 2016

“One of the great problems of history is that the concepts of love and power have usually been contrasted as opposites, so that love is identified with a resignation of power, and power with a denial of love,” said Martin Luther King. “We’ve got to get this thing right, ” he added, emphasizing that power without care, without love and compass...

Sacred Dances, by Matthieu Ricard - 3

By Matthieu Ricard on February 02, 2016

Inside the main temple, the monks are getting ready to come out in the courtyard of Shechen monastery, in Nepal, to engage in the Tsechu Festival of Sacred dances. (March 29th, 2015)

Altruism Meets Effective Altruism: Thoughts on Conversations with Peter Singer

By Matthieu Ricard on January 12, 2016

In October, I had the honor of participating in a public discussion at Princeton University with philosopher Peter Singer, Professor of Ethics and author of The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically (Yale University Press). “Effective altruism," writes Peter Singer, "is based on a very simple id...

The Path from Personal Transformation to Societal Change - Part 2

By Matthieu Ricard on January 04, 2016

In line with Darwin's emphasis on the importance of cooperation in nature, new advances in evolutionary theory allow us to envision an extended altruism that transcends the ties of family and tribe, and emphasizes the fact that human beings are essentially "SuperCooperators," to use a term coined by Martin Nowak. Evaluating the capacities for...

Karuna-Shechen, our action to protect the environment

By Matthieu Ricard on November 30, 2015

With the COP 21 taking place in Paris, the tragic events that occurred in the French capital should give us even more determination to enhance our altruism and compassion and include the fate of future generations in our compassion. It has often been said that a politician thinks of the next election, while a Statesman of the next generation....

Escaping Hell Through Compassion

By Matthieu Ricard on November 18, 2015

"No matter who it is you meet, know that they have already walked several times through hell," writes French poet Christian Bobin. Our Parisian brothers and sisters, those who lost their lives, those who were seriously injured, their relatives and all those who were shocked by the tragedy in country that has been at peace for more than half a c...