In 1972, Matthieu Ricard had a promising career in biochemistry, trying to figure out the secrets of E. coli bacteria. A chance encounter with Buddhism led to an about turn, and Ricard has spent the past 40+ years living in the Himalayas, studying mindfulness and happiness. In this free-wheeling discussion at TED Global in October 2014, Ricard talked with journalist and writer Pico Iyer about some of the things they’ve learned over the years, not least the importance of being conscious about mental health and how to spend time meaningfully. An edited version of the conversation, moderated by TED Radio Hour host Guy Raz, follows. First, Pico Iyer on how he became taken with the idea of staying still:
Guy Raz (left), Pico Iyer (center), and Matthieu Ricard (right) discuss mindfulness and the importance of being still at TED Global 2014. Photo by Duncan Davidson/TED.
Pico Iyer: When I was in my twenties, I had this wonderful…
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Dear Christians In Indiana (and those elsewhere, who might read this),
I’ve seen what’s been going on there lately. Actually, I’ve been watching you all along and I really need to let you know something, just in case you misunderstand:
This isn’t what I had planned.
This wasn’t the Church I set the table for.
It wasn’t the dream I had for you, when I spoke in those parables about the Kingdom; about my Kingdom.
It was all supposed to be so very different.
It was supposed to be a pervasive, beautiful, relentless “yeast in the dough” that permeated the planet; an unstoppable virus of compassion and mercy spread person-to-person, not needing government or law or force.
It was supposed to be that smallest, seemingly most insignificant of seeds, exploding steadily and gloriously with the realized potential of my sacred presence, becoming a place of safety and shelter for all people.
It was supposed to be…
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I was spending the day in the Emergency Department of a community hospital. Though it was a small department with just one doctor and two nurses, it got so busy at one point in the day that the doctor gave me the opportunity to get involved actively, rather than just shadow her. Though I had just finished my first-year of medical school at the time, she had me speaking with and examining patients on my own and reporting back to her with a plan for us to treat them together.
Things were going smoothly; most of the patients I saw presented with either non-urgent aches or minor trauma, along with the occasional laceration or scraped knee. One of the patients I was assigned, however, presented me with a unique challenge. The patient, whom I’ll call Mrs. M to keep her identity confidential, was a woman in her early 70’s. She…
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About. Sharon Younkin