Magic moments-2

By Matthieu Ricard on January 08, 2012

The Tsangpo River seen from the hill of Hepori, near Samye Monastery in central Tibet. The river becomes the Brahmaputra in India, after gushing down the breathtaking gorges that surround the Namchak Barwa Mountain. (MR 130-BW)

Magic Moments-1

By Matthieu Ricard on January 04, 2012

Situated in the great loop of the Brahmaputra, one of the last places on earth to remain unexplored until the late twentieth century, the snowy peak of Namchak Barwa rises to 7,756 meters (25,439 feet). Here the majestic river, called the Tsangpo in Tibet, plunges between the mountains to emerge one hundred miles further on, 2,700 meters lowe...

The happiest day in your life

By Matthieu Ricard on December 21, 2011

A Japanese researcher, specialist of laughter, took part in a meeting between the Dalai Lama and a group of scientists and philosophers, organized by the Mind and Life Institute to which I belong. This distinguished researcher was scheduled to make his presentation on the fifth and final day of the meeting. During the week he rarely intervene...

The benefit of laughter

By Matthieu Ricard on December 15, 2011

‟To make laugh those who return from the fields with their hands so stiff that they can not close them, those who leave the office with their little narrow chest who forgot the taste of the air, those returning from the factory, head down and broken back, with black oil in the cuts of their fingers, make laugh those who approach death, those ...

From smile to laughter

By Matthieu Ricard on December 09, 2011

Laughter often follow up on smile and amplifies it. Yet all forms of smiles do not lend themselves to this transition and in some cases, laughter is not an appropriate extension of smiling. We can smile with sincere compassion to someone who suffers, while laughting would be contemptuous of his suffering. There are sad and melancholic smiles ...

A geography of smile?

By Matthieu Ricard on December 03, 2011

Some researchers have spoken of a ‟geography of the smile.” By examining photographs found on 2000 pages of social networks in Europe, they found that, on these photographs, 55% of the British smiled, against only 25% of Poles and Hungarians. These figures do not necessarily mean that the people of Eastern Europe are less open to their peers....

Eighteen kinds of smiles

By Matthieu Ricard on November 28, 2011

According to Paul Ekman, ‟Smiles are much more complicated than most people realize. There are dozens of smiles, each differing in appearance and in the message expressed. There are many positive emotions signaled by smiling—enjoyment, physical or sensory pleasure, contentment, and amusement, to name just a few. People also smile when they ar...

A thousand smiles

By Matthieu Ricard on November 22, 2011

The smile of the Buddha celebrates the peaceful victory over ignorance, hatred, craving, arrogance and jealousy. But there is also the smile of a loved one, the smile of one who loves, a mother's smile and the smile of a child - ‟To know your mother, O child, learn to read in the book of her smile,” wrote Virgil - the smile of one who contemp...

A distressing lack of courage

By Matthieu Ricard on November 10, 2011

Soon after hearing about Wilbert Rideau's testimony (see ‟Spared to Do Good”), I saw a CNN interview conducted by Piers Morgan of a popular and influential evangelist preacher in the USA. In the interview he seemed to be an ever-smiling good person. He said that he hardly remembers ever getting angry, which is indeed a good point.  Piers...