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Matthieu Ricard

Matthieu Ricard

Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk who had a promising career in cellular genetics before leaving France to study Buddhism in the Himalayas thirty-seven years ago. He is a best-selling author, translator, and photographer, and an active participant in current scientific research on the effects of meditation on the brain. His many books include Why Meditate?, Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill, and The Quantum and the Lotus. He lives in Nepal and dedicates much of his time to humanitarian projects in the Himalayas through his nonprofit organization Karuna-Shechen ( For more information, visit

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  • The Life of Shabkar

    The Life of Shabkar


  • Guru Yoga

    Guru Yoga


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About the Author

Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk, an author, translator, and photographer. He has lived, studied, and worked in the Himalayan region for over forty years.


The son of French philosopher Jean-François Revel and artist Yahne Le Toumelin, Matthieu was born in France in 1946 and grew up among the personalities and ideas of Paris’ intellectual and artistic circles. He earned a Ph.D. degree in cell genetics at the renowned Institut Pasteur under the Nobel Laureate Francois Jacob. In 1967, he traveled to India to meet great spiritual masters from Tibet.


After completing his doctoral thesis in 1972, he decided to concentrate on Buddhist studies and practice. Since then, he has lived in India, Bhutan, and Nepal and studied with some of the greatest teachers of that tradition, Kyapje Kangyur Rinpoche (1897-1975) and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910-1991).


He is the author of several books including The Monk and the Philosopher, a dialogue with his father; The Quantum and the Lotus, a dialogue with the astrophysicist Trinh Xuan Thuan; Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill; and Why Meditate? (The Art of Meditation in UK). His books have been translated into over twenty languages.


Living in close proximity to Tibetan teachers and culture has enabled him to capture on camera the spiritual masters, landscapes, and people of the Himalayas. He is the author and photographer of Journey to Enlightenment, Buddhist Himalayas, Monk Dancers of Tibet, Tibet. An Inner Journey, Motionless Journey, and Bhutan. Land of Serenity. His work has been exhibited in New York and Europe.


Since 1989, Matthieu has served as the French interpreter for the Dalai Lama. He is an active member of the Mind and Life Institute, an organization dedicated to collaborative research between scientists and Buddhist scholars and meditators. He is engaged in the research on the effect of mind training and meditation on the brain at various universities in the USA and Europe.


Matthieu donates all proceeds from his books and much of his time to humanitarian projects in Tibet, Nepal, and India ( and to the preservation of the Tibetan cultural heritage ( For more information, visit


When he is not traveling, he resides at Shechen Monastery in Nepal.

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