Posted by: maboulette | January 18, 2018

The Happiest Man In The World


AOL BUILD Speaker Series: Arianna Huffington And Matthieu Ricard Discuss His New Book "Altruism"

The life of a typical Tibetan Buddhist monk involves detachment from chaotic modernity, spent primarily in monasteries in the mountains. Matthieu Ricard is not a typical monk.

BORN IN FRANCE

Born in France in 1946 to prominent parents, his father a philosopher and his mother a painter, Ricard received his PhD in molecular genetics at the prestigious Pasteur Institute before dedicating his life to Buddhism in the Himalayas. He studied under a series of masters before becoming a monk at age 30, and became the Dalai Lama’s French interpreter in 1989.

COWROTE BOOK WITH FATHER

Ricard cowrote a book with his father in 1997, “The Monk and the Philosopher,” primarily as a bonding experience with his aging parent, but it went on to become a surprise bestseller in France. And once the media took notice of Ricard, he reluctantly became a kind of celebrity.

WESTERN MEDIA

The Western media also proclaimed him “the happiest man alive,” a title Ricard has unsuccessfully tried to shed, after his brain’s gamma waves were recorded as the strongest among fellow monks in a University of Wisconsin study on meditation in 2000.

NON-PROFIT

Following the lead of the Dalai Lama, Ricard decided to use a media spotlight to promote lessons on honing happiness and altruism, and any of his share of the proceeds from his work goes toward his nonprofit, Karuna-Shechen.

SPEND MOST TIME ABROAD

Depending on the year, Ricard may spend most of his time abroad either at other monasteries or speaking to an audience at an organization like TEDGoogle, or the United Nations, but his true home is at the Shechen Monastery in Nepal.

RICARD ON HIS LIFE

We spoke to Ricard about his life for an episode of Business Insider’s podcast “Success! How I Did It,” ahead of the release of his latest book, “Beyond the Self.” And a representative of Karuna-Shechen sent us a collection of Ricard’s photography (he’s a sophisticated photographer) that we combined with some other images to give an idea of what a typical spring day in the life in Nepal is like for him. Additional insights are drawn from his books “Happiness” and “Altruism.”

WAKES AT DAWN

Ricard wakes at dawn, watching the sun rise over the mountains.

sunrising

ONE-ROOM HOME

He has a simple one-room home that contains only a couple robes, a small kitchen, and a patch of lawn in front. “Through simplicity we arrive at inner peace,” he wrote.

NEVER PHOTO HOME

He told Michael Paterniti for a GQ profile that he has never allowed his home to be photographed because it remains his truest escape from the world.

WATCH VILLAGE PEOPLE

Ricard watches the people of the villages below, as well as the monks of Shechen Monastery, spring to life with the new day.

COUPLE MONTHS HOME

If he has a year packed with presentations or events around the world, he may spend as little as a couple months in his home.

SPEND TIME IN NEPAL

But this year, he said, he will be foregoing intensive traveling to spend time in Nepal.

VISIT SCHOOLS

He will venture out to nearby villages to visit schools that he constructed through his charity, Karuna-Shechen. He’ll often bring his camera along.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

Karuna-Shechen brings educational opportunities to remote communities, with a focus on disadvantaged girls and women, who traditionally have been neglected. The kids are happy to greet Ricard.

“Altruistic love and compassion are the foundations of true happiness,” Ricard 

 

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