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  • MEI: Hello, good morning, my friends.

  • For those who don't know me, my name is [? Mei. ?]

  • For those who know me, my name is still Mei.

  • I'm the jolly good fellow which nobody can deny.

  • It's my honor today to introduce fellow jolly good

  • fellow, Matthieu Ricard.

  • Now Matthieu is a very gifted scientist who became a

  • Buddhist monk.

  • He was regarded as one of the most promising scientists of

  • his generation.

  • Sorry, biologist. I took it from the web.

  • He completed his PhD thesis in 1972, before

  • most of you were born.

  • And unfortunately, he wasn't able to join

  • Google at that time.

  • So he went to Nepal instead, and became a biologist. No,

  • just kidding, he became a monk.

  • And he has lived and studied in the Himalayas for the past

  • 35 years, where he has been doing humanitarian projects.

  • Matthieu is also a bestselling author.

  • He's a translator, and he's a photographer.

  • And all these pictures, they are taken by him.

  • He's also an active participant in current

  • scientific research on meditation and the brain.

  • And in many of those studies, he is the brain

  • that they're studying.

  • When you were in high school, did they ever

  • call you the brain?

  • OK.

  • If they did, they'd be right.

  • So, Matthieu is a very happy man.

  • He's so happy he wrote an entire book on happiness.

  • And he autographed my book, so I'm very happy.

  • Thank you.

  • Matthieu is one of the most fascinating men I've ever met

  • in my life, and--

  • MATTHIEU RICARD: You only met me once, so.

  • Yeah.

  • And I meet a lot of famous people, you guys know that.

  • It is an honor and pleasure for me to welcome Matthieu

  • Ricard to our presence.

  • AUDIENCE: [APPLAUSE]

  • MATTHIEU RICARD: You know, just to go on about, for those

  • who don't know him and those who know him, there is also an

  • interesting story of a Middle East wise man

  • called Mulla Nasreddin.

  • Many of you could know him.

  • And once he came into a coffee shop, and went straight to the

  • owner and asked him, did you see me enter?

  • And the guy said yes.

  • And then he asked, but, do you know me?

  • And the guy said no.

  • Then how do you know it's me?

  • So, thank you so much.

  • It's a pleasure to visit this wonderful enjoyable place,

  • where usually people in swimming trunks moving into

  • the alleys, going to the swimming pool.

  • Occasionally [INAUDIBLE]

  • as he leaves his master chef to go off to his office.

  • So I definitely would like to work there, it seems better

  • than being at home.

  • So probably I have nothing to teach you about happiness.

  • And someone told me actually I should never have written this

  • book because I never suffered very much in my life, so, the

  • last person to write a book on happiness and suffering.

  • So anyway, I thought to just share a few ideas because they

  • were very dear to me, and they brought a lot of sense of

  • fulfillment and joy to be alive, and a sense of

  • direction in life.

  • And this came through reading beings of great wisdom.

  • It sort of started like that.

  • We speak of leadership, leadership has to be someone

  • who somehow inspires you by showing you the kind of

  • potential that you could actualize.

  • Showing you what you could become, and giving you a sense

  • of direction and inspiration.

  • It's not very frequent in life.

  • And I was quite lucky in my teens to be born in a family

  • in France where my father was a well-known philosopher, so

  • we had all these great thinkers and poets at home.

  • My mother was an artist, so we had all these surrealist

  • painters and all that coming.

  • Because of musical connections when I was 16 years old, I had

  • lunch with Stravinsky himself, just for two hours with three

  • people all together.

  • And I had an uncle who was an explorer, he went around the

  • world on a sailboat without the engine after the

  • second world war.

  • And the uncle had all kinds of eccentric friends, such as one

  • when we went to see in Paris and there was a small note on

  • his door saying, I left on foot for Timbuktu,

  • and things like that.

  • So a lot of wonderful people.

  • And in science of course, the lab I was working with, with

  • three Nobel Prize of medicine, [? Jakov, ?]

  • [? Mono, ?]

  • and [? Wolf, ?]

  • at [UNINTELLIGIBLE] institute.

  • So it was very exciting.

  • There was definitely a lot of people to look at, as what

  • could I do, where could I be inspired?

  • At the same time, definitely I would have wished to play the

  • piano, you know, like [INAUDIBLE], or the chess like

  • Bobby Fischer.

  • But I don't know if you remember about Bobby Fischer,

  • but who wants to become Bobby Fischer?

  • So there was a kind of discrepancy.

  • You could take 100 governors, you would have a number of

  • wonderful people, and some governor with a quite short

  • temper and not so nice to deal with.

  • But same thing with philosopher, same thing with

  • scientist, same thing with artist. No matter what their

  • particular skill or genius was, there was no correlation

  • as such, between their human qualities and

  • their particular genius.

  • So you could try to pick up all the things and make your

  • own salad and try to--

  • but that somehow didn't seem a bit artificial.

  • Like making a [INAUDIBLE] of all that and

  • thinking is going to work.

  • So then, I was lucky enough to travel to the Himalayas, and

  • then I met something quite different.

  • Men of wisdom.

  • Men and women of wisdom.

  • And what was special about them--

  • they are all the great Tibetan teachers who have fled the

  • invasion of Tibet towards India and other places--

  • is I didn't really care so much what they knew in terms

  • of poetry, in terms of drama, and even Buddhist philosophy

  • in the beginning.

  • That was not my interest at all.

  • But what they were, that was inspiring.

  • The quality, the human quality.

  • And then I though, I want to become like them, not just

  • know what they know.

  • And so because there was a kind of--

  • the first trigger was seeing a documentary movie on those

  • great teachers, that a friend of mine made for the French

  • television.

  • And at the end of the documentary, there was a five

  • minute silence [INAUDIBLE]

  • of those meditators, and hermits, and spiritual

  • teachers, and the Dalai Lama.

  • One after the other, just silent.

  • It was so powerful.

  • It was like 20 Socrates or 20 St. Francis of Assisi, whoever

  • you feel like is represent the wisdom of humanity.

  • Just there, alive, in our time.

  • So I said, well, I should go to see.

  • And then that was very interesting, because, somehow,

  • someone like that-- and I'm going to show some images--

  • show you what you could become.

  • It's a source of inspiration.

  • Give you--

  • that this is possible, somebody made it somehow.

  • Then of course we get interested in how, but first

  • we have to see that it makes sense.

  • And so also, in the course of living in the Himalayas, I

  • know, after awhile traveling back and forth, some other

  • things became quite clear about what brings freedom or

  • fulfillment in life.

  • And it seems that we so much put our hopes and fears in the

  • outer conditions.

  • So now, let's be clear from the beginning, we want outer

  • conditions to be optimal.

  • Compared to 150 years ago when the life expectancy even in

  • Europe was like 30 years.

  • And who doesn't want to live long, to be healthy, to have

  • access to education, to have a wonderful working place,

  • harmonious human relations in one's family, with friends,

  • with people?

  • Even in country where there is peace, where there is not an

  • oppressive regime?

  • So all that we really deeply support yearn for that, and