Sunday, November 06, 2011

French Buddhist Monk Matthieu Ricard

Taken from the Article:
"Dr Matthieu Ricard, 65, is the Dalai Lama's French interpreter and a monk in Nepal's Shechen Monastery, from the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. He completed his PhD in cell genetics in 1972 under the supervision of Nobel Prize winner Francois Jacob at the Institut Pasteur, in Paris. Though he moved in rarefied circles as the son of celebrated French philosopher Jean-Francois Revel and abstract water colourist Yahne Le Toumelin, he moved to Darjeeling in India to study Tibetan Buddhism at the age of 30.
Garbed in burgundy and saffron robes, and carting a laptop, Dr Ricard loves the secluded life, yet is globally connected. He travels with the Dalai Lama, attends the World Economic Forum in Davos, runs humanitarian and heritage projects. Last year, he counted 70 airline boarding passes.

'Personally, I feel wonderful looking at Himalayas from my hermitage. It is 3m by 3m with a big window facing the mountains. There is no heating, no hot water. It's paradise,' he says.

'The only reason I come down is to serve. 
Compassion should be put in action, otherwise it is sterile.'"


I got to know about him when I was in Kathmandu 2 year ago searching for a book to read during my 2 weeks Everest Base Camp trek. I was fortunate to chance upon his book "Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill.", which is one of the best books I ever read. 

May be it is his scientific and philosophical background coupled with Buddhism philosophy, I found a lot of wisdom and clarity in his book. I am grateful for that.

"...The fact is that without inner peace and wisdom, we have nothing we need to be happy. Living on a pendulum between hope and doubt, excitement and boredom, desire and weariness, it's easy to fritter away our lives, bit by bit, without even noticing, running all over the place and getting nowhere. Happiness is a state of inner fulfillment, not the gratification of inexhaustible desires for outward things." - Matthieu Ricard

In another words, if you want to find lasting happiness outside of yourself, 
it would be a futile effort eventually.

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