Written by Carolyn Gregoire.
Matthieu Ricard has lived many lives.
As a young student in Paris during the late 1960s, he was writing his dissertation in biochemistry at the prestigious Institute Pasteur. Five years later, guided by an inner stirring to explore a deeper side of life, he was living Darjeeling, India, where he had moved to study under a Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader.
After his initial departure to India in 1972, Ricard spent many years living in silent contemplation in the Himalayas. This period of retreat ended when he published The Monk and the Philosopher: A Father and Son Discuss the Meaning of Live, a book based on a series of conversations with his father, philosopher Jean-Francois Revel.
Those father-son conversations were to become the first of many dialogues between East and West that have defined Ricard’s illustrious career. The beloved monk and humanitarian continues to bridge many worlds: those of spirituality and science, East and West, ancient beliefs and modern times. He has spoken at Dharamsala and the World Economic Forum at Davos; has worked with leaders ranging from the Dalai Lama to LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner to neuroscientist Richard Davidson; and has connected with millions of people through popular TED Talks while also living a quiet life his home country of Nepal.
With his many titles — including humanitarian, best-selling author, scientist and photographer — Ricard is uniquely poised to succeed at his current project: inspiring us all to act for the benefit of others.
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