The Environmental Challenge at the Heart of the Himalaya

By Matthieu Ricard on November 16, 2019

The ecological crisis that we have unleashed is the great challenge of the twenty-first century. It is vital to act with determination and discernment to implement solutions, both at the government level, following scientists’ recommendations, through our own actions in our everyday lives, and in support of those who are most impacted by the...

Protecting Children from Violence is Their Fundamental Right

By Matthieu Ricard on November 12, 2019

Some countries argue that the Declaration of Human Rights does not apply to their culture or political system. Fortunately, France is not one of them, and was in fact one of the first signatories of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The UN committee, which ensures that these fundamental rights are respected, has unequ...

About Creativity

By Matthieu Ricard on October 22, 2019

The Process of Creativity In order for creativity to develop, the mind needs to be free from the automatic and habitual thinking that runs around in circles. It should remain in a state of openness, lucidity, flexibility, clarity, and wisdom. This will allow it to stop superimposing its own projections on to reality. A new understandi...

Caring Mindfulness at the Service of Others

By Matthieu Ricard on October 08, 2019

As the world becomes increasingly busy and complex, the importance of developing and training our mind to become a better person becomes even more essential. Rushing about and striving to accomplish for the sake of “doing” does not serve the greater good or help to create a better world unless benevolent mindfulness is present. In fact, what...

Non-violence and Tolerance

By Matthieu Ricard on October 01, 2019

Tolerance goes hand in hand with courage, inner strength, and intelligence, the qualities that alleviate mental suffering and prevent us from falling into negative thinking. If we follow a path of retaliation - ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth' - then, in the words of Gandhi, "the world will soon be blind and toothless." Violence be...

What is reality ?

By Matthieu Ricard on September 17, 2019

In Buddhism the word reality connotes the true nature of things, unmodified by mental constructs superimposed upon them. Fabricated concepts open up a gap between our perception and reality, and create a never-ending conflict with the world. ‟We read the world wrong and say that it deceives us,” wrote Rabindranath Tagore. We take for perma...

Education as a Tool for Good

By Matthieu Ricard on September 03, 2019

As a social animal, even though we have the potential to commit atrocities, overall we have, since early childhood, a stronger propensity to cooperation and altruistic behavior. Research shows that even from the age of one, when children are just beginning to learn to walk and speak, they already spontaneously exhibit behavior of mutual aid ...

Stress and Anxiety

By Matthieu Ricard on August 20, 2019

Stress is a natural response that marshals all our energies to deal with an emergency — such as fleeing from a charging elephant for example. However, if you spend your entire day thinking that you are being charged by an elephant, it is very bad for your health. Chronic stress weakens the immune system, damages brain neurons, generates un...

A Conversation in the Mountain

By Matthieu Ricard on August 06, 2019

A few years ago I went on a hike in the mountains with an eighty-one year old friend who is a brisk walker. After an hour, we reached a 10,000 feet high pass with a view of a breathtaking landscape that stretched for a hundred miles in front of our enchanted eyes. As we sat on a log and gazed at this magnificent scene, he asked me: - Wha...

Meditation Has A Universal Value

By Matthieu Ricard on July 23, 2019

Meditation essentially means to train the mind. The purpose of meditation is to develop qualities such as loving-kindness and attention, as well as a correct understanding of reality. For 2,500 years, Buddhists have used meditation to eliminate ignorance and mental toxins, that is to say destructive emotions, which are the principal causes o...