Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Funnily enough, I actually stumbled upon this book while pulling returns from our Religion section. And while I find I generally tend to agree with sentiments I encounter from Buddhism, I hardly consider myself a devout practicioner. But this book is neither a religious text nor a proselytization: Ricard was a PhD in Molecular Biology at the Louis Pasteur institute before dedicating his life to Tibetan Buddhism, and his book is centered around examining the 'phenomena' of happiness through an evidential, objective, and - dare I say it - scientific method. The result is a book which is at once an exceptional distillation of Buddhist tradition, a comprehensive examination and integration of modern neurological science, and an effective, instantly applicable field manual for how to live a happier life today. This is the only time I can say without any irony that reading this book will make you happier.

— Brett


In this groundbreaking book, Matthieu Ricard makes a passionate case for happiness as a goal that deserves as least as much energy as any other in our lives.

Wealth? Fitness? Career success? How can we possibly place these above true and lasting well-being? Drawing from works of fiction and poetry, Western philosophy, Buddhist beliefs, scientific research, and personal experience, Ricard weaves an inspirational and forward-looking account of how we can begin to rethink our realities in a fast-moving modern world. With its revelatory lessons and exercises, Happiness is an eloquent and stimulating guide to a happier life.

About the Author

Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk, an author, translator, and photographer. He has lived, studied, and worked in the Himalayan region for over forty years. The son of French philosopher Jean-François Revel and artist Yahne Le Toumelin, Matthieu was born in France in 1946 and grew up among the personalities and ideas of Paris' intellectual and artistic circles. He earned a Ph.D. degree in cell genetics at the renowned Institut Pasteur under the Nobel Laureate Francois Jacob.

In 1967, he traveled to India to meet great spiritual masters from Tibet. After completing his doctoral thesis in 1972, he decided to concentrate on Buddhist studies and practice. Since then, he has lived in India, Bhutan, and Nepal and studied with some of the greatest teachers of that tradition. He is the author of several books including The Monk and the Philosopher, a dialogue with his father; The Quantum and the Lotus, a dialogue with the astrophysicist Trinh Xuan Thuan; Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill; and Why Meditate? His books have been translated into over twenty languages.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780316167253
ISBN-10: 0316167258
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: January 5th, 2007
Pages: 304
Language: English