This is a truly wonderful TED Talk on the nature of happiness and it is one that I return to again and again. Using his wonderful photographs of Tibet as a backdrop, Matthieu Ricard, molecular biologist turned Buddhist Monk, shares his thoughts on the nature of happiness and well-being. I always find this piece so engaging and uplifting because it is so full of humour and good cheer.
He begins with the premise that “No one wakes up in the morning saying, may I suffer the whole day!” He probes the idea that consciously or not we have a deep, profound desire for happiness. He speaks about the transient nature of pleasure and how it should not be confused with happiness.
Watch out for his chocolate cake analogy, it is memorable and fun! He discusses the Buddhist view that one can experience passages of sadness and suffering while still being deeply happy within. He ponders the nature of happiness and how we can nurture the conditions for it to flourish.
Matthieu Ricard believes that it is possible to achieve mind transformation, a new way of being and new thinking through mind training, meditation. He shares an overview of the scientific work that has been done with Buddhist Monks while meditating on Loving Kindness and the impacts for neural plasticity in the brain.
Sometimes called the “happiest man in the world”, Matthieu Ricard is a joy and this TED Talk is worth multiple viewings.