Sometimes called the "happiest man in the world," Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk, author and photographer.

Why you should listen

After training in biochemistry at the Institute Pasteur, Matthieu Ricard left science behind to move to the Himalayas and become a Buddhist monk -- and to pursue happiness, both at a basic human level and as a subject of inquiry. Achieving happiness, he has come to believe, requires the same kind of effort and mind training that any other serious pursuit involves.

His deep and scientifically tinged reflections on happiness and Buddhism have turned into several books, including The Quantum and the Lotus: A Journey to the Frontiers Where Science and Buddhism Meet. At the same time, he also makes sensitive and jaw-droppingly gorgeous photographs of his beloved Tibet and the spiritual hermitage where he lives and works on humanitarian projects.

His latest book on happiness is Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill; his latest book of photographs is Tibet: An Inner Journey.

What others say

“Matthieu Ricard, French translator and right-hand man for the Dalai Lama, has been the subject of intensive clinical tests at the University of Wisconsin, as a result of which he is frequently described as the happiest man in the world.” — Robert Chalmers, The Independent

Matthieu Ricard’s TED talk

Matthieu Ricard on the TED Blog
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News

Bold expeditions: A recap of session 12 of TEDGlobal 2014

October 10, 2014

In the final session of TEDGlobal 2014, Mighty spaces, we take four journeys — three to great expanses in the world, and one into our minds and hearts: A low blue haze lights the stage as choreographer Aakash Odedra spins slowly. The light grows and his dance picks up — a mix of classical Indian […]

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Live from TEDGlobal 2014

Mighty Spaces: A sneak peek of session 12 at TEDGlobal 2014

October 10, 2014

This session presents speakers who are at home in awe-inspiring places. These bold explorers come bearing discoveries from the tundra and the rainforest, from beneath the ocean’s surface, and even from that most elusive of mighty spaces — the happy human heart. The speakers who’ll appear in this final session of the conference: Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard has […]

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Matthieu Ricard's new humanitarian site: Karuna-Shechen

June 27, 2008

The “happiest man in the world,” Matthieu Ricard balances his Buddhist contemplation of happiness (watch his TEDTalk on the habits of happiness) with an active life as a humanitarian in the Himalayas. Learn more about his projects — and get involved — at the new website for his Karuna-Shechen foundation. Karuna-Shechen brings medical help and […]

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Quotes from Matthieu Ricard

Mind training is based on the idea that two opposite mental factors cannot happen at the same time. You could go from love to hate. But you cannot, at the same time — toward the same object, the same person — want to harm and want to do good.
Matthieu Ricard
TED2004 • 4.6M views Nov 2007
Inspiring, Beautiful