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Matthieu Ricard on the habits of happiness

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Remarkable people... ... unmissable talks ... ... now free to the world. TED Ideas Worth Spreading So, I guess this is a result of globalization that you can find Coca Cola ® tins on top of the Everest... ... and buddhist monks in Monterey. (laughter) And so, I just came two days ago, from the Himalayas to your kind invitation. So I would like to invite you also... for a while to the Himalayas themselves. And ... to show the place where meditators, like me, who began with being molecular biologist in Pasteur Institute and found their way to the mountains. So, these are a few images, I was lucky to ... to take and be there. This is the Mount Kailash in Eastern Tibet... ...wonderful setting. This is from Malboro country. (laughter) This is (Turquoise) Lake. A meditator. This is the hottest day of the year, somewhere in Eastern Tibet on August 1st. And the night before we camped. And my Tibetan friends said " We're going to sleep outside." And I said " Why? We have enough space on the tent." They said "Yes, yes, yes. It's summer time!" (Laughter) So now we are going to speak of happiness. As a Frenchmen, I must say that There are a lot French intellectuals that think happiness is not at all interesting. (Laughter) I just wrote an essay on happiness and there was a controversy and someone wrote an article, saying "Don't imposs on us dirty work of happiness." (Laughter) "We don't care about being happy. We need to live with passion. We like the ups and downs of life. We like our suffering because it's so good when it is for a while". (Laughter) This is what I see from the balcony of my hermitage in the Himalayas. It's about 2 meters by 3. And you are all welcome any time. (Laughter) Now let's come to Happiness or Well-Being. And first of all, you know, despite what the French intellectuals say, it seems that no one wakes up in the morning, thinking: "May I suffer the whole day?" (Laughter) which means that somehow consciously or not, directly or indirectly, the short or the long term, whatever we do, whatever we hope, whatever we dream, somehow is related to a deep profound desire for Well-Being or Happiness. As Pascal said: "Even the one who hangs himself, somehow is looking for a cessation of... from suffering". He finds no other way. But then, if we look in the literature, east and west, you can find incredible diversity of definitions of happiness. Some people said: "only believe in remembering the past, imagine the future, never in the present." Some people said "happiness is the right-mind, it's the quality of the freshness of the present moment." And that let to a reversal the french philosophers to say "Oh, the great thinkers of humanity, I left happiness in the vague so they could define...each one could define their own terms." Well, that will be fine, if it was just a secondary preocupation in life; but not if it's something that is going to determine the quality of every instant of our lives. That will matter what it is; to have some clear idea. And probably, the fact, that we don't know that, is why so often, although we see happiness, we seem turn our back to it. Although we want to avoid suffering, it seems we're running someone towards it. And that cause to some kind of confusions. One of the most common one is: Happiness and pleasure. But if you look at the characteristics of those two Pleasure is contingent upon time, upon its object, upon the. place; It is something that changes of nature. Beautiful chocolate cake, first serving is delicious, second one, not so much; then you feel disgusted. That's the nature of things We get tired, I used to be a fan of Bach; I used to play him on the guitar I could hear him two, three, five times; If I could hear him 24 hours non-stop

Video Details

Duration: 20 minutes and 54 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Producer: TED.com
Views: 152
Posted by: jean_renard on Feb 20, 2009

What is happiness, and how can we all get some? Biochemist turned Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard says we can train our minds in habits of well-being, to generate a true sense of serenity and fulfillment.

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