The Marvellous Matthieu Ricard

"It is strange and unnatural to write one's memoirs when one has devoted a large part of one's life to turning away from a self-centred vision and individualism. But, nevertheless, I have always had altruistic love as a horizon, and ego cannot lead to it. This is why this text is less an autobiography in the traditional sense than the testimony of life inspired at every moment by the spiritual masters I have met." 

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“Meditation is not just blissing out under a mango tree. …

Matthieu Ricard, Notebooks of a Wandering Monk.

Matthieu Ricard wants to give total value to the passing of time. From the Pasteur Institute to the Himalayas with spiritual masters, Matthieu Ricard’s Notebooks tell the story of a wandering monk’s life, with no material or geographical ties, always on the way to inner freedom and the good of others. Matthieu Ricard was born in 1967.

At the age of 21, in Darjeeling, India. His spiritual father was Kangyur Rinpoche, a great Tibetan master who amazed him with his extraordinary quality of being.

Five years later, when he was a researcher in genetics at the Pasteur Institute, Matthieu Ricard gave up everything to live in the Himalayas. It was a decisive choice that he has been happy about every day for the past fifty years. His first life, divided between the city and the countryside, had made him a young man who loved nature and classical music, who was curious about spirituality and about unlocking the mysteries of molecular biology.

Matthieu’s ‘second’ life led him on the path of enlightenment, in the footsteps of his masters, examples of coherence between their words and their actions. For twelve years, he shared the daily life of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, the admired master of the Dalai Lama’s admired master, an inexhaustible source of inspiration. Matthieu Ricard’s extraordinary yet straightforward life alternated between meditative retreats in the most inaccessible places and fascinating journeys to Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet for three decades.

Thirty years later, the unexpected international success of the book, co-written with his father, the philosopher Jean-François Revel, plunged the peaceful monk into a whirlpool of conferences around the world. He then put his work as an author and a photographer at the service of his message of selfless love and his humanitarian commitment.

Today, Matthieu Ricard presents his new book, Carnets d’un moine errant, published by Éditions Allary. In it, he recounts the life of a wandering monk, in the original sense of the word – to wander, from the Latin literature, meaning to walk, to travel, to be in search. He thus walks without material or geographical attachment, always on the way to self-realisation and the good of others.

“We try to fix the outside so much, but our control of the outer world is limited, temporary, and often, illusory.”

Matthieu Ricard

Carnets d’un moine errant – Mémoires is only available in French Edition

Matthieu Ricard donates all his income – royalties from his books, photographs and conferences – to the humanitarian association Karuna-Shechen. This new book is available for pre-order here.

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