Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Happiest Person in the World

Over at "On Not Being a Sausage," Professor Deirdre Good (of General Theological Seminary) has an interesting post on Matthieu Ricard who is known as "the Happiest Person in the World." And, you can hear a BBC Radio program about him HERE.

I'm going to try to get a bit happier; not an altogether bad New Year's Resolution!


Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk, has been called the “happiest person in the world”. Emily Kasriel in the BBC World Service program "Heart and Soul" finds out from him what happiness is.

First, a sense of direction is very important. A sense of flourishing comes from inside, where the mind translates all the circumstances. This gives inner strength and freedom. Genuine happiness comes from altruistic love, inner peace, and not on external circumstances such as things that give us pleasure like meals with friends. Putting hopes and fears outside of us is ultimately disappointing.

In general make distinctions between mental emotions that are toxic: hatred, anger, jealousy. Cultivate inner love and peace and genuine compassion. This involves training. We need to first evoke compassion by thinking of an image such as a child we love and how much we wish health and happiness for that child. Do not let that thinking and imagining go but cultivate it. This is what we practice.

Read Deirdre's post HERE. See the BBC coverage HERE.

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