According to researchers, Matthieu Ricard is the happiest man in the world, despite the fact that his profession makes him unusual person to hold this title.
He is a French, but at certain point of his life decided to turn his back to Parisian intellectual life and move to India in order to study Buddhism. He is now a close associate of Dalai Lama and appreciated western scholar of Buddhism.
Richard Davidson, an eminent neuroscientist, wired up Ricard`s skull with 256 sensors at the University of Wisconsin as part of a study of many practitioners of meditation. It was shown that when meditating on compassion his brain produces a level of gamma waves which are associated with learning, memory, attention, and consciousness. Interestingly, turns out that the monk`s secret to happiness lies in compassion. Researchers also believe that his left prefrontal cortex is more active than the right one, which gives him capacity for happiness and reduced tendency towards negativity.
‘We have been looking for 12 years at the effect of short and long-term mind-training through meditation on attention, on compassion, on emotional balance,’ Davidson said.
‘We’ve found remarkable results with long-term practitioners who did 50,000 rounds of meditation, but also with three weeks of 20 minutes a day, which of course is more applicable to our modern times.’
Matthieu Ricard’s Tips for Learning and Practising Meditation
1. A healthy mind is supposed to act like a mirror (faces reflect in a mirror but none of them actually sticks). The same method should be used with thoughts, let them pass through your mind, but bother with them too much.