Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk, author, translator, and photographer. He has lived, studied, and worked in the Himalayan region for over forty years. He earned a Ph.D. in cell genetics at the renowned Institut Pasteur under the Nobel Laureate Francois Jacob, but after traveling to India in 1967 to meet great spiritual masters from Tibet, 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. Since 1989, Ricard has served as the French interpreter for the Dalai Lama.
Ricard is an active member of the Mind and Life Institute, an organization dedicated to collaborative research between scientists and Buddhist scholars and meditators. He participates in research on mind training and meditation’s effects on the brain at several universities in the U.S. and Europe. He is the author of several books, including The Quantum and the Lotus, a dialogue with the astrophysicist Trinh Xuan Thuan; The Monk and the Philosopher, a conversation with his father; Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill, and Why Meditate? Ricard donates all proceeds from his books and much of his time to humanitarian projects in Himalayan areas through his non-profit organization, Karuna-Shechen. When he is not traveling, he resides at Shechen Monastery in Nepal.