Matthieu Ricard

Founder , Karuna-Shechen

About This Expert

Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk, photographer and author. He has lived, studied, and worked in the Himalayan region for over forty years. Matthieu is also the founder of Karuna-Shechen, a charitable non-profit organization rooted in the ideal of compassion in action. Since 2000, Karuna-Shechen has been developing and managing programs in primary health care, education, and social services for the under-served populations of India, Nepal, and Tibet.

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. 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.

Matthieu’s books have been translated into over twenty languages. Living in close proximity to Tibetan teachers and culture has enabled him to capture on camera the spiritual masters, landscapes, and people of the Himalayas. His work has been exhibited all over the world.

Since 1989, Matthieu has served as the French interpreter for the Dalai Lama. He is also a board member of the Mind and Life Institute.

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