The author of the international best seller Happiness makes a passionate case for altruism - and why we need it now more than ever.
In Happiness, Matthieu Ricard demonstrated that true happiness is not tied to fleeting moments or sensations, but is an enduring state of soul rooted in mindfulness and compassion for others. Now he turns his lens from the personal to the global, with a rousing argument that altruism - genuine concern for the well-being of others - could be the saving grace of the 21st century. It is, he believes, the vital thread that can answer the main challenges of our time: the economy in the short term, life satisfaction in the mid-term, and environment in the long term. Ricard's message has been taken up by major economists and thinkers, including Dennis Snower, Amartya Sen, Joseph Stiglitz, and George Soros.
Matthieu Ricard makes a robust and passionate case for cultivating altruistic love and compassion as the best means for simultaneously benefitting ourselves and our society. It's a fresh outlook on an ardent struggle - and one that just might make the world a better place.
"Who better to tell us about altruism than a Buddhist monk and scientist, who has meditated so extensively on compassion that it has changed the left side of his brain? In a lively and personal account, Ricard takes us through the origins of empathy and altruism, explaining how biology laid the foundation, whereas culture and spirituality permit us to expand its reach." (Frans de Waal, author of The Age of Empathy)
"Written with deep conviction and breathtaking scope, this is a must for anyone who wants to explore the human capacity for altruistic love and compassion, and the potential of this capacity to transform our lives. In conversation with Western philosophical and scientific perspectives, the book offers a Buddhist vision for extending altruism beyond its natural limits through carefully crafted meditation practices. The goal is, quite simply, to enable you and me, our society, and all sentient beings to experience less suffering and greater happiness. Could one desire more?" (Daniel Batson, author of Altruism in Humans)
"Matthieu Ricard brings together ancient wisdom and scientific insights to put forth a truly compelling global vision for the 21st century, and his voice, his message and his wisdom are greatly needed." (Arianna Huffington)
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both deeply troubling and encouraging
- Markus Berger
Excellent writing and intensive research