Matthieu Ricard

Matthieu Ricard Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk who has lived in the Himalayan region for the last fourty-five years. Born in France in 1946, as the son of philosopher Jean-François Revel and artist Yahne Le Toumelin. He earned a Ph.D. in cell genetics at the Pasteur Institute under Nobel Laureate Francois Jacob. He traveled to the Himalayas in 1967 and has studied with some of the greatest masters of Tibetan Buddhism. He is the author of The Monk and the Philosopher, a dialogue with his father, Jean-François Revel translated in 23 languages; The Quantum and the Lotus, a dialogue with the astrophysicist Trinh Xuan Thuan; Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill, Why Meditate?; Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World, A Plea For The Animals and Beyond theSelf, Beyond the Self: A conversation between Neuroscience and Buddhism. For five decades, he has been photographing the landscapes and the people of the Himalayans and he the author of a dozen photo-books, including Buddhist Himalayas, Motionless Journey: From a Hermitage in the Himalayas and Bhutan, Land of Serenity (See http://www.matthieuricard.org). For the last 20 years he has been an active participant in scientific research on the effects of mind training and meditation on the brain, working in conjunction with the Mind and Life Institute, and has been the French interpreter for the Dalai Lama since 1989. He lives at Shechen Monastery in Nepal (See www.shechen.org) Matthieu donates all proceeds from his books and conferences, as well as much of his time to 200 humanitarian projects in Nepal, India and Tibet (www.karuna-shechen.org) which serve over 250,000 persons every year in the fields of health care, education and social service. He is also active for the preservation of the himalayan cultural heritage (www.shechen.org).


08.00 - 08.40
Matthieu Ricard, an international author, addressed the World Government Summit on “Altruism and Mindfulness, The Peak of Happiness.” After leading delegates through a brief meditation, Mr. Ricard explained how altruism and the cultivation of compassion was essential in creating the foundation of a positive society. He said by changing the way we think and deal with negative thoughts and feelings, people can have profound effects on human behaviour. Research has shown a regular meditation practice can help to rewire a person’s stress responses, he said. This in turn can provide balance and inner strength to people so that they can better deal with the challenges they face. By having a compassionate mindset, individuals will be less inclined to selfish negative behaviours and more open to working to help societies positively.
07.00 - 07.40
From geneticist to monk, Matthieu Ricard knows the value of happiness, compassion and altruism in life. In this session, Ricard explores the intersection between contemplative traditions and contemporary scientific inquiry.