Happiness is a way of being rather than an endless search for experiences. Pleasure is fine but depends on things that are subject to change: people, places, things. Something tastes good; fire warms you when you're cold. But then this experience turns neutral or averse: Even the most beautiful music is unpleasant after 24 straight hours. But happiness is a more durable state. It's a cluster of basic human qualities that nurture a state of fulfillment, flourishing, of appreciating your life. It's inner freedom, inner strength, inner peace. These are the resources to deal with the struggles of life. The more you experience happiness, the deeper and more stable it becomes.

-Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard

About Matthieu Ricard:
Often referred to as “The Happiest Man in the World”

The reason Ricard is considered one of the happiest men in the world is because MRI scans show he experiences extreme levels of positive emotions and few negative ones. Thus, he became known as "the happiest man in the world."

A few days ago, the home page of AOL profiled Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, a trained cell biologist from France. In 1972, Ricard moved to the Himalayas to study Buddhism. Since that time, he has re-scripted his life. Today, he is an acclaimed writer and photographer, a translator and French interpreter to the Dalai Lama.

Matthieu Ricard's books include: The Monk and the Philosopher - (a dialogue with his father, a famed philosopher), Happiness: a Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill and, most recently, Why Meditate? The proceeds from his books go to forty-one humanitarian projects in the remote Himalayas. If you are interested in learning more, please click on this link to karuna-shechen.

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