A Day with Matthieu Ricard, Buddhist Monk

20090920-JacksonWY-_DSC5142 I bought Matthieu Ricard's book Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill when we first arrived in Jackson, WY last week and while reading it, recommended it to everyone.

Life is very serendipitous, yesterday Pamela read in the local paper that Ricard was in Jackson Hole conducting a two day meditation retreat and was lecturing today the Murie Center in the Grand Tetons National Park. Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk who had a promising career in cellular genetics before leaving France to study Buddhism in the Himalayas thirty-five years ago. He is the Dalai Lama's French translator, an outstanding photographer, and an active participant in current scientific research on the effects of meditation on the brain. He lives in Tibet and Nepal, where he is involved in a variety of humanitarian projects.

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Pamela and I drove with Eric, a new friend from Norway, to the Murie Center. The three of us were there when he arrived and spoke together for a few minutes about Nova Scotia and the Gambo Abbey in Cape Breton. About seventy-five people arrived and we all met around the campfire ring while Matthieu talked before we all walked to the river. He talked again about our connection to the world around us. Then we walked back to the fire ring for tea and great chocolate chip cookies and Matthieu answered questions from the group. It was a wonderful time in a beautiful place. -L