Tag Archives: Matthieu Ricard

Let altruism be your guide

Yesterday I was amongst one of the lucky 800 people who attended an Action for Happiness event with buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard. 

altruism

Matthieu Ricard made the case that altruism is a powerful way to make decisions for both the short and long term benefit of humanity and the planet.  Matthieu defined altruism as the wish that other people can be happy and find the causes of happiness.  Empathy on the other hand is the affective resonance which tells you that others are joyful or are suffering.  However, empathy for another’s distress is not enough and can lead to burnout,  so loving kindness is needed to avoid this.

Matthieu Ricard argued that in order to have a more altruistic society we need both change at the individual level and at societal level.  “Is it possible for an individual to change?” he asked. 2000 years of contemplative studies say yes, 15 years of collaboration with neuroscience and epigenetics says yes.… Read the rest...