Matthieu Ricard and Happiness

This week, I wish to share the thoughts and ideas of a man I admire deeply. His views on Happiness -- and the thought that this elusive feeling is more like a muscle which needs exercising as much as our bodily muscles do -- are enlightening and calming, in times of struggle. Happiness is a choice, after all. Anyone who has studied acting, and paid their dues in a Stanislavski Method class, has done the “whole day, same mood” exercise, where one goes around all day trying to maintain just one, constant, state of mind. For example, lets say that you chose sad; then even learning you just won the lottery is not supposed to change your mood. It’s a principle very similar to the teachings of biochemist turned Buddhist monk in the Himalayas Matthieu Ricard, the official French translator for the Dalai Lama and a simply magical man.

I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Ricard at the Nine Rivers Gala at the Rubin Museum, here in NYC. I suggest a visit there these days, as there is a wonderful Cloth and Embroidery exhibit going on, with gorgeous garments from India and Pakistan. But I digress again. Concentration is definitely one of my mind’s muscles that does not get exercised all the time. Or perhaps there is just too much to do here in the Big Apple. But anyway, to hear Matthieu Ricard speak, do click on this link from TED online or watch the video below. Ted is always a great source of inspiration and information!

And I’ll leave you with the words of the wonderful actor Ashraf Barhom, born in Galilee, Israel and star of films like “The Kingdom” and “The Syrian Bride”:

“When we attach ourselves to national identities, then we enter into a cycle of conflict. I didn’t choose where I was born or who to be or what people would call me. I’m a hybrid, from a cultural perspective, but I don’t think in these terms. I’m more simple than that. I’m a mammal who will live 70 years more or less, who believes in God and likes his life.”

Perhaps, therein lies the secret of contentment.

Top image courtesy of Matthieu Ricard, small photo courtesy of ©Richard Chavez and Barhom excerpt courtesy of IMDB

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2 Responses to “Matthieu Ricard and Happiness”

  1. salik:

    I once heard his interview on BBC. He is the happiest man ever, ain’t he?
    You can also hear this interview here:
    Click on the podcast posts and scroll down. This was my first podcast ever!!!!!

  2. salik:

    i hope the link works