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...

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 ...