69 years-old Tibetan monk has become the happiest man in the world by following the path of altruism, which is selflessness.
It is interesting to note that in a world where common human beings are bothered with small and big problems of daily life, but yet fails to find the way to be happy.
This old Buddhist, Matthieu Ricard, almost has nothing of what we, common men have.
However, seem to be capable of happiness, which makes him the most powerful personality.
He meditates with dedication, with the intension to infuse compassion within him.
Neuroscientist from the University of Wisconsin, Richard Davidson, has found in his research with Matthieu that:
“when meditating on compassion, Ricard's brain produces a level of gamma waves - those linked to consciousness, attention, learning and memory ………….excessive activity in his brain's left prefrontal cortex compared to its right counterpart, allowing him an abnormally large capacity for happiness and a reduced propensity towards negativity.”
As Mr. Ricard says,
we often confuse happiness with pleasure and well-being, too much of which leaves us tired at a point of time, we seek for happiness, but we tend to flee away from it not being able to recognize.
His mantra for happiness is
‘care less for yourself and more for others.’
If we are always bothering about the little interests within us, it causes a lot of stress, anxiety and disappointment leads to depression. Instead, if a person is benevolent and sensitive to the needs of others.
He will be much appreciated by the world, which will automatically make him feel better.
Constant self-centeredness is exhausting, "It's not the moral ground," Ricard explained.
"It's simply that me, me, me all day long is very stuffy. And it's quite miserable, because you instrumentalize the whole world as a threat, or as a potential sort of interest [to yourself]."
He believes that each one of us has a potential towards positivity.
However, we need to nurture the goodness in us. Being happy, thinking good, is a practice.
One should work towards training his mind for positivity. It is like a runner training himself for a marathon.
“Our control of the outer world is limited, temporary and often illusory,"
So as much as we try to fix the wrongs from outside, we do not attain an expected result, but from within; we can persevere for a better change.
According to him, as per Buddhist definition:
Happiness or well-being is not just a pleasurable sensation. It is a deep sense of serenity and fulfillment and state that actually pervades.
Hence we can have this well-being while being sad.
Well-being or permanent happiness is a state of being not a ‘fleeting sensation'.
It is like the depth of an ocean. Our mind is stronger, which can give us the sensation and the feeling of an external well-being.
Environmental perceptions of freedom, achievement, affluence and everything associated with happiness are “just auxiliary, help conditions,"
It is all about how the mind interprets them, hence it is all in the mind to feel happy or sad, though external factors do matter.
He advices everybody to spend at least 10-15 minutes each day thinking purposively on good things.
His book, Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill teaches us how to concentrate on positive emotions to keep your mental health balanced and flourishing with happiness because the secret lies in contentment.