The fear of change

By Matthieu Ricard on April 05, 2010

We are like birds that have lived too long in a cage to which we return even when we get the chance to ?y away. We have grown so accustomed to our mental habits that we can barely imagine what life would be like without them: the vast sky of change makes us dizzy.

A few words from the French Philosopher Alexandre Jollien, during our recent dialogue in Lausanne

By Matthieu Ricard on March 30, 2010

‟Between the ages of 3 and 17, I lived in an institution for handicapped people and I came to understand the meaning of life, that it was joy [...]. Its source was in the meeting of another.” ‟I have a friend who says, ‟A sperm and an ovum meet, and a moment later, we say ‘It's me!' and latch on.” Generally, this is where it all goes to p...

Outer and inner conditions

By Matthieu Ricard on March 26, 2010

When we are thrown into confusion by inner troubles, we have no idea how to soothe them and instinctively turn outward. We try cobbling together makeshift solutions and looking for outer conditions that are supposed to make us happy. By force of habit, this way of living becomes the norm and ‟that's life!” our motto. Although the search fo...

Flying over the Irrawaddy Delta

By Matthieu Ricard on March 22, 2010

Late afternoon, flying over the Irrawaddy River Delta (Burma), on a Thai Airways flight from Bangkok to Kathmandu. To compensate for the atmospheric veil created by the altitude, I increased a bit the contrast and saturation. Canon Mark 3 Ds, 24-70 mm, f.9, 1/400s, ISO 250

Altruism Forum

By Matthieu Ricard on March 14, 2010

In April, 2010, we will begin a forum dedicated to the promotion of a more altruistic society. In this day and age we face many challenges. In particular, it is especially difficult to reconcile three different time scales: the short-term scope related to the economy, the medium-term outlook concerning life satisfaction, and the long-term...

On Abandonment

By Matthieu Ricard on March 10, 2010

It is good to abandon what is superfluous, futile, and useless as quickly as possible and not cling to these from force of habit. If I go hiking in the mountain, and midway I find that my packsack is half-filled with provisions and half-filled with stones, I would, of course, gladly get rid of the latter. Likewise, in life, there are so m...

Centennial Celebrations of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche's birth

By Matthieu Ricard on March 05, 2010

The year 2010 marks the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910—1991), one of the most remarkable spiritual teachers of our time. On this special occasion, Khyentse Rinpoche's grand son and spiritual heir, Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche is organizing, with the help of many Khyentse Rinpoche's disciples all over the world,...

Better to Help than to Blame.

By Matthieu Ricard on February 26, 2010

Blaming someone is an unjustified simplification of a complex human situation. We may disapprove of the actions or the behavior of someone, but that person himself is not ‟useless” or ‟evil.” No one is intrinsically ‟this” or ‟that” within their being. The fundamental nature of consciousness or pure awareness is neither ‟good” nor ‟bad”: it i...

An interesting Opinion Poll on Values

By Matthieu Ricard on February 20, 2010

In December some members of the Davos World Economic Forum in collaboration with Facebook conducted a poll on ‟values”. The poll was conducted with over 130,000 participants largely through the Internet. Eighty percent of the people polled were under 30 and, as these opinions expressed were mostly by young people, the result is certainly food...

Meeting an old friend

By Matthieu Ricard on February 13, 2010

A study, recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), showed that the Arctic tern, whose annual migration is the longest of any animal, travels 70,000 km each year during its seasonal movements between Greenland and Antarctica. When you consider that an Arctic tern can live ...