Black and White by Matthieu Ricard

By Matthieu Ricard on April 02, 2014

Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche during the Tsechu Celebrations at Shechen Monastery, Nepal, March 25, 2010 Young Buddhist monks at Shechen Monastery, Nepal

Altruism Does Not Require ‟Sacrifice”

By Matthieu Ricard on March 26, 2014

The fact of experiencing joy in working for the good of others, or of coming away with unexpected benefits for oneself, does not, in itself, make an action selfish. Authentic altruism does not require that you suffer from helping others and does not lose its authenticity if it is accompanied by a feeling of profound satisfaction. What's more,...

Is a beneficial action selfish if one also benefits by it?

By Matthieu Ricard on March 17, 2014

A disinterested action is no less so when one is satisfied with carrying it out. One can draw satisfaction from an altruistic gesture without this satisfaction having motivated our action. Moreover, the individual who carries out an altruistic action for purely selfish reasons risks being disappointed when he does not obtain the expected effe...

Everyone Loses or Everyone Gains

By Matthieu Ricard on March 10, 2014

Seeking selfish happiness seems doomed to failure for several reasons. First of all, from the point of view of personal experience, selfishness, born from an exaggerated sense of self-importance, turns out to be a constant source of torment. Egocentrism and excessive self-cherishing multiply our hopes and fears and makes us brood on what migh...

Selfishness is not a wise way to find happiness

By Matthieu Ricard on March 03, 2014

Selfishness cannot be regarded as an effective way to love oneself, since it is the prime cause of our frustrations and unhappiness. It constitutes a particularly clumsy attempt to secure one's own happiness. The psychologist Erich Fromm, in line with Buddhist thinking, sheds light on selfish behavior in this way: ‟The love of my own self i...

Expressions of gratitude in animals

By Matthieu Ricard on February 17, 2014

Primates often show gratitude in various ways toward those who have taken care of them. A recent video shows how a chimpanzee, who had been brought back to health from the verge of death, hugs the legendary ethologist Jane Goodall for a long time before heading to the jungle where she was being released.* One of the pioneers in primatology, W...

"Don't Forget to be Happy"

By Matthieu Ricard on February 10, 2014

In Don't Forget To Be Happy (just published in French under the title Et n'oubliez pas d'être heureux , Christophe André, gives us, once again, a treasure trove of inspiration and wisdom deeply rooted in the experience of daily life and authentic science. Christophe is careful not to promise us the moon — the Dalai Lama once said that one of ...

How to combine meditation on loving-kindness, compassion, joy and impartiality - 4

By Matthieu Ricard on January 22, 2014

If you meditation strays into biased attachement to only those who are dear to you, switch to the meditation on the impartiality, extending this love to all without discrimination, dear ones, strangers and enemies. If, instead of being concerned equally with all beings, impartiality strays into a vague indifference to all and ceases to be int...