Matthieu Ricard


Matthieu Ricard, Ph.D., is a Buddhist monk at Schechen Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal. Born in France in 1946, he received his Ph.D. in Cellular Genetics at the Institut Pasteur under Nobel Laureate Francois Jacob. As a hobby, he wrote Animal Migrations in 1969. He first traveled to the Himalayas in 1967 and has lived there since 1972, studying with Kangyur Rinpoche and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, two of the most eminent Tibetan teachers of our times. Since 1989, he served as French interpreter for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He is the author of The Monk and the Philosopher, with his father, the French thinker Jean-Francois Revel; The Quantum and the Lotus, with the astrophysicist Trinh Xuan Thuan; Happiness, A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill; and Why Meditate? He has translated several books from Tibetan into English and French, including The Life of Shabkar and The Heart of Compassion.

As a photographer, Ricard has published several albums, including The Spirit of Tibet, Buddhist Himalayas, Tibet, Motionless Journey, and Bhutan. He devotes all of the proceeds from his books and much of his time to 120 humanitarian projects involving schools, clinics, orphanages, elderly people’s homes, and bridges in Tibet, Nepal, and India. He supports these projects through his charitable association, Karuna-shechen. Ricard is devoted to the preservation of Tibetan cultural heritage. He has been deeply involved in the work of the Mind & Life Institute for many years, and currently serves on the Mind & Life Research Advisory Council.