Altruism and Self-Centeredness: Two Outlooks

By Matthieu Ricard on June 03, 2011

A 14-year-old Thai girl student fell onto a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) track in Singapore on the morning of April 3. Nitcharee Peneakchanasak, also known as Nong Than, lost both her legs below the knees. One of her legs was severed by the train as it came into the station, and the other was so badly mangled that it had to be amputated by surgeo...

‟How can I deal with a sense of despair and worthlessness?”

By Matthieu Ricard on May 26, 2011

Please try to contemplate the following: No matter what, Buddha-nature is always present in all sentient beings. Therefore, there is nothing in any human being, you or anyone else, which is fundamentally wrong. This is not just some naïve belief. Think about the basic nature of mind. It is even more fundamental than happiness or sufferin...

What to do when I have been the cause of misery to others?

By Matthieu Ricard on May 25, 2011

Feeling guilty does not help. Regret does. Guilt creates the impression in the mind that one is forever and intrinsically unworthy, which is not true of anyone. It is more productive to regret negative things that you have done with the wish to not repeat the same mistakes, to do better in the future and, if possible, to repair the harm ...

How can meditation help us to learn resilience in times of crisis?

By Matthieu Ricard on May 07, 2011

Meditation, or more accurately mind training, helps to cultivate the inner resources that give us confidence to deal with the ups and downs of life. These inner resources include inner freedom that makes us less vulnerable to ever-changing outer conditions. Here, inner freedom means being free from the influence of automatic mental processes ...

Himalayan sights

By Matthieu Ricard on April 30, 2011

Himalayan Hills late afternoon Stars at dawn above the Himalayas

True Examples of Altruism

By Matthieu Ricard on April 23, 2011

We would be very happy to receive personal accounts, anecdotes, or stories concerning actions that clearly point to manifestations of genuine altruism. These could be examples that you witnessed or heard about, or facts that belong to our time or to a distant past: heroic acts or expressions of kinship and altruistic concern in daily life...

Rajgir and the Vulture Peak

By Matthieu Ricard on April 14, 2011

Rajgir is the place where the Buddha taught the Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom (Prajna paramita), at the Vulture Peak, sixteen years after his enlightenment, to an assembly of 5,000 monks, nuns and laity, as well as innumerable bodhisattvas. This teaching is known as the second turning of the Wheel of Dharma and if focus on understanding t...

Nalanda University

By Matthieu Ricard on April 01, 2011

After Kusinagar and Kesaria, our pilgrimage took us the great University of Nalanda, about 90 kms south east of Patna and a few kms away from Rajgir. Nalanda was one of the world's first universities and the largest Buddhist University in history. It was established during the reign of the Gupta emperor Kumaragupta. The complex was built ...

Kusinagar, where the Buddha passed into Parinirvana

By Matthieu Ricard on March 12, 2011

Kushinagar is the place where Buddha Shakyamuni entered ‟Mahaparinirvana”, the ‟great transcendence of suffering”. When he reached his eighty-first year, the Buddha gave teaching at the Vulture's Peak of Rajgir, and went north with his nephew to Nalanda and then Vaishali, a place where he often stayed and where he had given teachings on the u...