Toumelin, Matthieu Ricard is a Ph.D. in cell genetics turned Buddhist monk who has studied Buddhism in the Himalayas for the last 50 years under respected masters such as Kangyur Rinpoche and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. He is a humanitarian, an author, a photographer, and a speaker at various international events. His books in English include The Monk and the Philosopher; The Quantum and the Lotus; Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill; Why Meditate?; Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World, A Plea for the Animals, Enlightened Vagabond, Beyond the Self: A conversation between Neuroscience and Buddhism, In Search of Wisdom, Freedom for All and Our Animal Neighbours.
As a translator from Tibetan, in English, his works include,
- Dilgo Khyentse, The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel, Shambhala Publications.
- Dilgo Khyentse, The Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones, Shambhala Publication.
- Dilgo Khyentse, The Excellent Path to Enlightenment, Snow Lion Publications.
- Dilgo Khyentse, The Hundred Verses of Advice, Shambhala Publications.
- Dilgo Khyentse, The Heart of Compassion, Shambhala Publications.
- Rabjam Rinpoche, The Great Medicine that Vanquishes Ego Clinging, Shambhala Publications.
- Shabkar, Autobiography of a Tibetan Yogin, SUNY Press, reprinted Snow Lion Publications.
- On the Path to Enlightenment: Heart Advice from the Great Tibetan Masters. Shambhala Publications, 2013.
- The Enlightened Vagabond, The life and teachings of Patrul Rinpoche, Shambhala Publications.
As a photographer, he has published a number of albums in French, including, in English Journey to Enlightenment (Aperture), Tibet: An Inner Journey (Thames and Hudson), Motionless Journey: From a Hermitage in the Himalayas (Thames and Hudson), Bhutan: Land of Serenity. Henri Cartier Bresson wrote about his photographic work: "Matthieu's camera and his spiritual life are one. From there, spring these images, fleeting yet eternal."
As a scientist and Buddhist monk, under the umbrella of the Mind and Life Institute, he has been an active participant in the scientific research on the effects of meditation on the brain and has co-authored a number of scientific publications.
He presently lives at Shechen monastery in Nepal and devotes all the proceedings of his books and activities to humanitarian projects in India, Nepal and Tibet, through Karuna- Shechen, the organization he founded twenty-one years ago (www.karuna-shechen.org), which benefit over 400,000 people every year. (Source: Matthieu Ricard, personal communication, Oct. 12, 2021.)
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Affiliations & relations
- Shechen Monastery · workplace affiliation
- Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling Monastery · secondary affiliation
- Tibetan Buddhism · religious affiliation
- Kagyu · religious affiliation
- Kangyur Rinpoche · teacher
- Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche · teacher