The illusion of the self (end)

By Matthieu Ricard on April 05, 2009

For Buddhism, paradoxically, genuine self-confidence is a natural quality of egolessness. To dispel the illusion of the ego is to free oneself from a fundamental vulnerability. Genuine con?dence comes from an awareness of a basic quality of our mind and of our potential for transformation and ?ourishing, what Buddhism calls ‟buddha nature”, w...

The illusion of the self (continued)

By Matthieu Ricard on April 01, 2009

At every moment between birth and death, the body undergoes ceaseless transformations and the mind becomes the theater of countless emotional and conceptual experiences. And yet we assign qualities of permanence, uniqueness, and autonomy to the self. Furthermore, as we begin to feel that this self is highly vulnerable and must be protected an...

The illusion of the self

By Matthieu Ricard on March 30, 2009

According to Buddhism, our view of the self as a singular, distinct, autonomous and lasting entity is at odds with reality and, therefore becomes a source of frustration and suffering. An exacerbated feeling of self-importance, self-cherishing, and self-centeredness are the basis for impulses of attraction and aversion, which quickly develop ...

In praise of simplicity

By Matthieu Ricard on March 26, 2009

« Simplify, simplify, simplify� » These refreshing words written by Henry Thoreau remind us that much of our suffering comes from adding unnecessary and disturbing complications in our lives. We seem to be continually weaving elaborate conceptual webs around even straightforward events. We distort reality and shroud it with complications by s...

Translating the Words of the Buddha

By Matthieu Ricard on March 25, 2009

From March 16-20 in the beautiful Himalayan foothills of Himachal Pradesh, at the Deer Park in Bir, India, over fifty translators and scholars of Tibetan Buddhism gathered for 5 days of intense and constructive discussions, to which I was fortunate to participate. This wonderful conference was organized by the Khyentse Foundation. The gro...

The Future Doesn't Hurt.... Yet

By Matthieu Ricard on March 10, 2009

Interdependence is a central Buddhist idea that leads to a profound understanding of the nature of reality and to an awareness of universal responsibility, as often pointed out by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Since all beings are interrelated and all, without exception, want to avoid suffering and achieve happiness, this understanding becomes...

A Visit to Davos

By Matthieu Ricard on February 11, 2009

Is there a place in the Davos World Economic Forum for a Buddhist monk who dedicates his time to humanitarian work? The forum organizers seemed to think so and kindly invited me to attend the conferences and share some ideas. Although the current dire crisis in the world economy had been predicted by a number of top economists, there has b...

Why Photography?

By Matthieu Ricard on January 22, 2009

For the last forty years, I have been taking photographs of my spiritual teachers and the world around them in the Himalayas. My main aspiration in doing so was to share the incredible beauty, strength and depth that I have been fortunate to witness. I have attempted to open a door into a world both ancient and yet remarkably relevant to ou...