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|Born||15 February 1946 (age 67)
Aix-les-Bains, Savoie, France
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Born in Aix-les-Bains, Savoie, France, he is the son of the late Jean-François Revel (born Jean-François Ricard), a renowned French philosopher, and grew up among the personalities and ideas of French intellectual circles. He first travelled to India in 1967.
His mother is the lyrical abstractionist painter Yahne Le Toumelin, who has been a Buddhist nun since 1968.
He worked for a Ph.D. degree in molecular genetics at the Pasteur Institute. After completing his doctoral thesis in 1972, Ricard decided to forsake his scientific career and concentrate on the practice of Tibetan Buddhism.
He lived in the Himalayas studying with the Kangyur Rinpoche and some other great masters of that tradition and became the close student and attendant of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche until his death in 1991. Since then, Dr. Ricard has dedicated his activities to fulfilling Khyentse Rinpoche’s vision.
Ricard’s photographs of the spiritual masters, the landscape, and the people of the Himalayas have appeared in numerous books and magazines. Henri Cartier-Bresson has said of his work, "Matthieu’s spiritual life and his camera are one, from which springs these images, fleeting and eternal."
He is the author and photographer of Tibet, An Inner Journey and Monk Dancers of Tibet and, in collaboration, the photobooks Buddhist Himalayas, Journey to Enlightenment and recently Motionless Journey: From a Hermitage in the Himalayas. He is the translator of numerous Buddhist texts, including The Life of Shabkar.
The dialogue with his father, Jean-Francois Revel, The Monk and the Philosopher, was a best seller in Europe and was translated into 21 languages, and The Quantum and the Lotus (coauthored with Trinh Xuan Thuan) reflects his long-standing interest in science and Buddhism. His 2003 book Plaidoyer pour le bonheur (published in English in 2006 as Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill) explores the meaning and fulfillment of happiness and was a major best-seller in France.
He has been dubbed the "happiest person in the world" by popular media. Matthieu Ricard was a volunteer subject in a study performed at the University of Wisconsin–Madison's on happiness, scoring significantly beyond the average obtained after testing hundreds of other volunteers.
He co-authored a study on the brains of long-term meditators, including himself, who had undergone a minimum of three years retreat. The abstract to that study is available online.
A board member of the Mind and Life Institute, which is devoted to meetings and collaborative research between scientists and Buddhist scholars and meditators, his contributions have appeared in Destructive Emotions (edited by Daniel Goleman) and other books of essays. He is engaged in research on the effect of mind training on the brain, at Madison-Wisconsin, Princeton and Berkeley.
He received the French National Order of Merit for his humanitarian work in the East. For the last few years, Dr. Ricard has dedicated his effort and the royalties of his books to various charitable projects in Asia, that include building and maintaining clinics, schools and orphanages in the region. Since 1989, he has acted as the French interpreter for the Dalai Lama.
Teaching activities and appearances
- "Buddhist monk is the world's happiest man". Daily News America. 29 October2012. Retrieved 2 Novemver 2012.
- Amazon.com: Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill (9780316057837): Matthieu Ricard: Books
- Matthieu Ricard | Frequently Asked Questions
- Matthieu Ricard: Meet Mr Happy - Profiles, People - The Independent
- The Brisbane Times - The pursuit of happiness - Relationships - Life & Style Home
- World Happiness Forum - speakers
- Official website
- Works by or about Matthieu Ricard in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Karuna-Shechen website - fundraiser for Matthieu Ricard's humanitarian projects in Tibet, Nepal, and India.
- The Independent (UK): "The Happiest Man in the World?"
- "Change your Mind, Change your Brain: The Inner Conditions for Authentic Happiness" “Subtitulado en Español” Video of a lecture given at Google on Mar 15, 2007
- Mind and Life Institute
- "Matthieu Ricard on the habits of happiness" Via the TED web site.
- "The Elements of Metaphor" an interview with ascent magazine
- Shambhala Sun Magazine Interview conducted by Richard Gere
- Ode Magazine - "The world's happiest man"