Archive for 2011

How can meditation help us to learn resilience in times of crisis?

By Matthieu Ricard on May 07, 2011

Meditation, or more accurately mind training, helps to cultivate the inner resources that give us confidence to deal with the ups and downs of life. These inner resources include inner freedom that makes us less vulnerable to ever-changing outer conditions. Here, inner freedom means being free from the influence of automatic mental processes ...

Himalayan sights

By Matthieu Ricard on April 30, 2011

Himalayan Hills late afternoon Stars at dawn above the Himalayas

True Examples of Altruism

By Matthieu Ricard on April 23, 2011

We would be very happy to receive personal accounts, anecdotes, or stories concerning actions that clearly point to manifestations of genuine altruism. These could be examples that you witnessed or heard about, or facts that belong to our time or to a distant past: heroic acts or expressions of kinship and altruistic concern in daily life...

Rajgir and the Vulture Peak

By Matthieu Ricard on April 14, 2011

Rajgir is the place where the Buddha taught the Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom (Prajna paramita), at the Vulture Peak, sixteen years after his enlightenment, to an assembly of 5,000 monks, nuns and laity, as well as innumerable bodhisattvas. This teaching is known as the second turning of the Wheel of Dharma and if focus on understanding t...

Nalanda University

By Matthieu Ricard on April 01, 2011

After Kusinagar and Kesaria, our pilgrimage took us the great University of Nalanda, about 90 kms south east of Patna and a few kms away from Rajgir. Nalanda was one of the world's first universities and the largest Buddhist University in history. It was established during the reign of the Gupta emperor Kumaragupta. The complex was built ...

Kusinagar, where the Buddha passed into Parinirvana

By Matthieu Ricard on March 12, 2011

Kushinagar is the place where Buddha Shakyamuni entered ‟Mahaparinirvana”, the ‟great transcendence of suffering”. When he reached his eighty-first year, the Buddha gave teaching at the Vulture's Peak of Rajgir, and went north with his nephew to Nalanda and then Vaishali, a place where he often stayed and where he had given teachings on the u...

Vanaresi, the Ganges

By Matthieu Ricard on March 07, 2011

On the occasion of then Indian pilgrimage accomplished by Yangsi Khyentse Rinpoche, Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche and a group of monks, nuns and disciples, after visiting Sarnath, the place where the Buddha gave his first Teaching, the group went early morning on a boat to witness the sunrise upon the Ganges, on the banks of the Holy City of Vanare...

About vacuity

By Matthieu Ricard on March 02, 2011

On emptiness When Buddhism states that emptiness is the ultimate nature of things, it means that the things we see around us, the phenomena of our world lack any autonomous or permanent existence.  But emptiness is not at all a void, or the absence of phenomena, as early western commentators of Buddhism once thought.  Buddhism does not at a...

Sarnath, where the Buddha gave his first teaching

By Matthieu Ricard on February 25, 2011

Sarnath is located in a dozen of kilometers of Varanaresi. It is there, in the Deer Park, that the Buddha delivered his first conferred his first teaching on the Four Noble Truths: the truth of the suffering, the truths of the causes of the suffering (the afflictive mental states and the fundamental ignorance), the truth of the possibility of...