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The (modified) Proust Questionnaire — 2

By Matthieu Ricard on December 20, 2010

From an interview recently published in the French press (continued).

What is your first thought in the morning?

‟May I progress on the spiritual path and be of benefit to others.”

What moral quality do you regard as essential?

Benevolence.

What is the most overestimated virtue (or value) today?

A brilliant yet superficial intellect.

What is your greatest fault?

The list would be quite long!

What would you change in yourself, if you could?

I strive constantly to correct my faults. This, of course, is feasible (for each of us), but it requires that we be patient and that we persevere.

According to you, what is happiness?

It is a way of being, based on inner freedom, fortitude, altruistic love, and wisdom, which provides us with the necessary resources to deal with the highs and lows of existence.

What is your idea of suffering ?

It is born out of ignorance, which leads to egocentric attachment, desire and hatred, and, in the end, to endless torments.

What is your cure for stress?

To avoid stress, we must take care not to identify ourselves with outer circumstances or with the anxiety that these create.

(to be continued)