Interview with Vadivu Govind, on how to cultivate happiness - VI

By Matthieu Ricard on November 28, 2012

From a series of private interviews with Matthieu Ricard conducted by Vadivu Govind in Singapore in September 2012, during which she assumed the role of a wealthy leader and posed some thoughts such a leader may have to Matthieu.

I am afraid of deathÂ…I try not to think about it.

You should think about it but not in a morbid way and get depressed.

Imagine that you have one month to live. It's not very nice, but would you want to distract yourself for the last month or make it the most extraordinary month of your life? You can spend time with your dear ones, enjoy looking at flowers, the sky, meditating, and so on.

Death is certain but the time it comes is uncertain. It is the best way to make sure that you fully appreciate every moment of life.

Sometimes you're bored and just sitting there. If that were the last day of your life, it wouldn't be boring. Even 10 boring minutes would look so extraordinary. You can just look outside and think that this day is so precious instead of having time just go by, colorless and boring.

Thinking about your death gives extraordinary quality to every moment of your life.

Interview conducted by: Vadivu Govind, Director, Joy Works ( on 13 Sept. 2012, Poh Ming Tse Temple, Singapore. She blogs at