Mar 26, 2020
Matthieu grew up surrounded by ideas and figures from French intellectual circles. He first time traveling was to India in 1967. He obtained a PhD in Molecular Biology at the Instituto Pasteur under the sponsorship of Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine François Jacob.
After completing his doctoral thesis in 1972, Ricard decided to abandon his scientific career and concentrate on the practice of Tibetan Buddhism. He is a member of the Mind and Life Institute, and a frequent participant in the meetings and collaborations among scientists, Buddhist students and people who meditate. His contributions have appeared in “Destructive Emotions”, edited by Daniel Goleman and in other collections of essays.
He is involved in the study and development of the effects of mental training on the brain. For example, in one of these studies at the University of Wisconsin, researchers placed 256 electrodes on his skull and put them in a functional magnetic resonance imaging(fMRI) device. They found that Matthieu Ricard had the highest level of activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which is associated with positive emotions. His results showed levels that had never before been registered in any other human being. The study’s results were published in 2004 by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. It is safe to say he is the happiest person on the planet.