The Triumph of Selfishness

By Matthieu Ricard on July 09, 2019

Imagine a ship that is sinking and needs all the available power to run the pumps to drain out the rising waters. The first-class passengers refuse to cooperate because they feel hot and want to use the air-conditioner and other electrical appliances. The second-class passengers spend all their time trying to be upgraded to first-class statu...

Cooperation: an Answer to the Great Challenges of Our Time

By Matthieu Ricard on June 18, 2019

Choosing between cooperation and selfishness Cooperation is the creative force of evolution. Humans need cooperation in order to build increasingly complex levels of organization. It is also at the heart of humankind's unprecedented achievement; it allows society to implement things a single person could not. From an egotistical point...

Dolphins are not toys

By Matthieu Ricard on June 10, 2019

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 ...

Altruism in action

By Matthieu Ricard on May 31, 2019

Altruism is a natural manifestation of human goodness, of which we all have the potential, despite the many, often selfish, motivations that cross and sometimes dominate our minds. Choosing altruism over selfishness The search for selfish happiness is doomed to fail for several reasons. Being self-obsessed leads us to look at the world...

Environment & Altruism

By Matthieu Ricard on May 21, 2019

Recently during the course of only one day I heard these facts about the environment: 1) The Greenland glaciers are melting much faster than previously thought. This is because of the cumulated effects of the melting ice and the acceleration of the movement of the glaciers toward the sea. We know that the complete melting of the Greenland ...

The Bigger the Ego, the More Vulnerable We Are - Part 5

By Matthieu Ricard on April 23, 2019

You have lived several times in a hermitage. How was it? Great, beautiful! My longest retreat, initially planned for a year, lasted nine months; it was cut short in order to spend some time with my father who was at the end of his life. I received mail every two weeks and, because of minimal infrastructure at the hermitage, was fed by vi...

The Bigger the Ego, the More Vulnerable We Are - Part 4

By Matthieu Ricard on April 09, 2019

What is the best way to react to a "super-ego"? The only answer it is to develop a different culture, a different mindset. Is this realistic? Violence has been decreasing for five centuries. Life in Europe has never been as safe as it is today. On a global level too, torture, slavery, wars and human rights violations are declining....

The Bigger the Ego, the More Vulnerable We Are - Part 3

By Matthieu Ricard on March 26, 2019

What was your new life like when you became a disciple? Kangyur Rinpoche taught me various practices: meditations, visualizations, reflection exercises on eternity, death, the value of life. He advised me to learn Tibetan. I first focused on the exercises and then on the language. I stayed with him until his death. My second teacher, Dil...

The Bigger the Ego, the More Vulnerable We Are - Part 2

By Matthieu Ricard on March 11, 2019

Buddhism is a training of the mind. Can you explain what this means? It is about abolishing the origin of suffering. What is the point of teaching if it doesn't bring relief? A lot of suffering is "mind-made", created in the head, in our thoughts. In meditation, we learn to recognize the feelings that cause it such as anger, pride or jea...