Ayn Rand : Is This the Right Model for a Great Nation?

By Matthieu Ricard on August 15, 2017

President Donald Trump proudly proclaims that Ayn Rand is his favorite writer and that he admires her ideas. What does it mean when the United States of America has a leader whose ideal is to promote selfishness in society? I am convinced that selfishness makes life miserable not only for all those around us, but for ourselves as well. Ayn...

A point of view

By Matthieu Ricard on July 29, 2017

Following the recent letter sent by some of Sogyal Rinpoche's students about his behavior, I have been contacted by several media outlets. I did not intend to intervene, considering that I have no qualification to be a judge in this matter. However, it has been insistently put to me that failure to respond meant a tacit approval of the act...

A Dog for Dinner?

By Matthieu Ricard on July 25, 2017

Imagine that you are at a dinner party with friends, and the meat dish is so delicious that you ask your host for the recipe. Your host replies: “Oh that was our dog. You remember Toby? Well, here he is.” Suddenly the meat sticks in your throat and you feel disgusted and deeply troubled. This situation occurs in South Korea, China, Vietna...

Thoughts on Happiness and the Mind

By Matthieu Ricard on July 11, 2017

Happiness is not the endless pursuit of pleasant experiences — that sounds more like a recipe for exhaustion — but a way of being that results from cultivating a benevolent mind, emotional balance, inner freedom, inner peace, and wisdom. Each of these qualities is a skill that can be enhanced through training the mind. We deal with our mi...

Why Should I Meditate ? (part 2)

By Matthieu Ricard on June 27, 2017

What is meditation ? Meditation is a practice that makes it possible to cultivate and develop certain basic positive human qualities in the same way as other forms of training make it possible to play a musical instrument or acquire any other skill. Among several Asian words that translate as “meditation” in English are bhavana from San...

Climate Change : The Audacity of Altruism (part 2)

By Matthieu Ricard on June 14, 2017

Impact of Anthropocene Era For many of us, the notion of “simplicity” evokes a privation, a narrowing of our possibilities and an impoverishment of existence. Experience shows, however, that a voluntary simplicity in no way entails a diminution of happiness, but on the contrary brings with it a better quality of life. Is it more enjoyable...

A black day for America, a black day for the world. Let’s dare to be altruistic

By Matthieu Ricard on June 02, 2017

Repelling of Obamacare, quitting Paris climate agreement. How sad! The president of the United States shows no compassion for the people of our times, but depriving them of healthcare, and no compassion for future generations by depriving them of a good planet. But let’s not lose courage. Let’s remember Marthin Luther King : “Every man must ...

Climate Change : The Audacity of Altruism (part 1)

By Matthieu Ricard on May 30, 2017

Our era is confronted with many challenges. One of our main problems consists of reconciling the demands of the economy, the search for happiness, and respect for the environment. These imperatives correspond to three time scales — short, middle, and long term — on which three types of interests are superimposed: ours, the interests of thos...

Why Should I Meditate ? (part 1)

By Matthieu Ricard on May 16, 2017

Take an honest look at yourself. Where are you in your life? What have your priorities been up till now and what do you intend to do with the time you have left? We are a mixture of light and shadow, of good qualities and defects. Are we really the best we can be? Must we remain as we are now? If not, what can we do to improve ourselves? The...

An interview with Matthieu Ricard by Maria Shriver

By Matthieu Ricard on May 02, 2017

1) How do you feel that compassion can change the world we live in today? Do we need compassion now more than ever? One of the main problems in this current era is how to reconcile the demands of the economy, the search for happiness, and respecting the environment. These imperatives correspond to three time scales: the short, middle, a...