Giving, without clinging

By Matthieu Ricard on July 05, 2012

As His Holiness the Dalai Lama explains: ‟Compassion and generosity must be coupled with detachment. Expecting something in return is like doing business. If the owner of a restaurant is all smiles with his customers, generally it's not because he loves them but because he wants to increase his turnover. In the same way, we should not love an...

In Memoriam: Father Ceyrac (1914-2012), a man with a great heart

By Matthieu Ricard on July 01, 2012

Father Pierre Ceyrac passed away in India on May 30th 2012 at 98 years old. He died peacefully on a tranquil Indian morning, ‟without pain, relaxed, and serene” according to those who were with him. He lived the greater part of his life in the Tamil Nadu countryside, in southern India, and used to go around on a motorbike, even at an advanced...

The Incredible Story of Joynal Abedin

By Matthieu Ricard on June 20, 2012

61-year-old Joynal Abedin drives a rickshaw in Bangladesh. A rickshaw is a large tricycle with seats attached in the back that carry two or more passengers. He earns the equivalent of $6 a day.  ‟ My father died because we could not afford to take him to the hospital, which was a two-day walk from our home. I was so angry. People here th...

Elissa's story

By Matthieu Ricard on June 13, 2012

In 1996, Elissa Montanti visited Bosnia. At the time, she lived in Staten Island and suffered from a debilitating anxiety disorder. ‟I was shown a letter from a boy who had lost two arms and a leg when a land mine blew up,” she recalls. ‟The letter this boy had written said, ‘Somebody help me, please get me new arms and a leg.'” Moved and ins...

The ten things we think will make us happier, but don't:

By Matthieu Ricard on June 07, 2012

1-To become rich, powerful and famous 2-To treat the universe as if it was a mail order catalogue for our desires and fancies 3-To yearn for the ‟freedom” to do everything that comes into your mind. (This is not freedom, but being the slave of your own thoughts). 4-To constantly seek pleasant sensations, one after the other (Pleasura...

The Dalai Lama and the "Age of the Woman"

By Matthieu Ricard on June 02, 2012

Recently, during his visit to Yeunten Ling, a well-known Buddhist center in Huy, Belgium. His Holiness spoke about the role of women : ‟Ancient nomadic tribes were egalitarian and not governed by chiefs. Then came the age of sedentary agriculture and the beginning of the accumulation of wealth. Some troublemakers emerged and it became nec...

The ten things that make us vulnerable

By Matthieu Ricard on May 28, 2012

1.  An exacerbated sense of self-importance 2.  To keep ruminating on the past 3.  To be full of anxiety about the future 4.  Not to be able to rest in the awareness of the present moment 5.  To put all our hopes and fears on the outer conditions of happiness 6.  To neglect cultivating inner conditions of genuine hap...

Why torture doesn't work : two experimental proofs

By Matthieu Ricard on May 22, 2012

In the 18th century, a Milanese judge, who did not believe that torture had any value in obtaining reliable confessions from suspected criminal, killed his mule, accused his servant of committing the misdeed, and had him subjected to torture, whereupon the man confessed to the crime; he even refused to recant on the gallows for fear of being ...

Human Goodness

By Matthieu Ricard on May 17, 2012

In his inspiring book ‟La bonté humaine” (The human goodness), recently published in France, Jacques Lecomte quotes a text by Mordecai Paldiel, who was Chair of the Righteous Among the Nations, Israel. Paldiel argues that it is the basic goodness, present in all of us, which is the key that opens our understanding of the behavior of those who...