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 talks

Matthieu Ricard on the TED Blog

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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Stumbling on sadness?

February 12, 2008

Many TEDTalks explore themes of happiness — Stumbling on Happiness‘ Daniel Gilbert, Mattheiu Ricard (who’s been called the Happiest Man on Earth), happy designer Stefan Sagmeister, and many more … Now a recent story in Newsweek rounds up the latest on happiness’ opposite: sadness. It’s an interesting gloss on the growing happiness industry — and […]

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Habits of happiness: Matthieu Ricard on TED.com

November 1, 2007

What is happiness, and how can we all get some? Buddhist monk, photographer and author Matthieu Ricard has devoted his life to these questions, and his answer is influenced by his faith as well as by his scientific turn of mind: We can train our minds in habits of happiness. Interwoven with his talk are […]

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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 • 4.2M views Nov 2007
Inspiring, Beautiful