Notebooks of a Wandering Monk
Original title: Carnets d’un moine errant
The memoirs of Matthieu Ricard, the world’s most famous Buddhist monk
Matthieu Ricard was born in 1967, at the age of 21, in Darjeeling, India. His spiritual father, Kangyur Rinpoche, was a revered Tibetan teacher who enthralled him with his extraordinary quality of being. Five years later, with a doctorate in genetics from the Pasteur Institute and a promising career before him, Matthieu Ricard gave it all up to go live in the Himalayas. A decisive choice that he has been grateful for every day for the past 50 years.
His first life, in which his time was divided between the city and the countryside, had made him into a young man who loved both nature and classical music, who was open-minded about spirituality, and who hoped to unlock the mysteries of molecular biology.
His second life led him on the Path to Enlightenment, following in the footsteps of his teachers, who were models of coherence between their words and deeds. For 12 years, he lived alongside Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, the Dalai Lama’s admired teacher and a source of endless inspiration.
For three decades, Matthieu Ricard’s simple yet extraordinary life followed a path carved out by meditative retreats in extremely remote areas and fascinating journeys to Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet. Then, in 1997, the book The Monk and the Philosopher, which he co-wrote with his father, the philosopher Jean-François Revel, was published. The book’s unexpected international success plucked Ricard from his tranquil life as a monk, and tossed him into a whirlwind of interviews and conferences the world over. From one book to the next, he has used his talent as both an author and a photographer to serve his message of altruistic love.
His Notebooks recount the life of a wandering monk, with neither material nor geographical ties, who is constantly on the path towards self-realization and compassion in action.