To melt into the immensity of the sky, to lose oneself in the maze of a bark, to disappear into the intimacy of a flower like Alice who goes through the looking glass and finds herself in Wonderland. Savouring the freshness of the present moment without getting lost in the thousand and one other places of distraction… Wonder lifts us up by inviting into us our inner landscape: serene, vast and open mental states that generate a feeling of adequacy with the world…

Matthieu Ricard

In the lens of Matthieu Ricard

For half a century, Matthieu Ricard has been photographing Himalayan spaces, people and customs in India, Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet.

Living in Asia since 1972, he became a Buddhist monk in 1979 and has visited Tibet many times. In 1985, after 30 years of exile, he accompanied his second spiritual master Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche on his return to eastern Tibet, to Shechen. At that time, for more than 30 years, Tibet had remained an impenetrable land. By crossing its borders, Matthew was able to photograph tens of thousands of paintings and miniatures that had been saved from the destruction caused by the Cultural Revolution. The ten years he spent in Bhutan allowed him to immortalize places and ceremonies traditionally forbidden to visitors as well as to discover rarely exhibited artistic treasures that he makes accessible through photography. His extensive collection thus represents a unique record of Himalayan Buddhist culture.

More recently, as part of a project on wonder, he has photographed the wild side of the world in various countries in order to awaken our sense of contemplation – a gaze that leads to respect and then to a commitment to environmental protection.

An exhibition that reveals the beauty of life

Between October 2019 and June 2021, the gardens of the GoodPlanet Foundation (an initiative of Yann Arthus Bertrand) will host the exhibition WONDERMENT by Matthieu Ricard.

60 large-format outdoor photographs pay tribute to the beauty of nature and life in all its forms. Designed in a material specially made for outdoor use, the photographs are naturally anchored in the surrounding vegetation and invite contemplation.

The Fire Gorge, Eldgja, Iceland.

From the Himalayan peaks to the magic of Iceland, via the trails of Patagonia and the frozen rivers of the Yukon, the exhibition is a humbling reminder of the ecological issues of today. Discover this exhibition on video with a guided tour by Matthieu Ricard !

Raising awareness about the protection of the planet through photography

Our association is convinced that by democratising wonder, we can raise awareness and encourage everyone to take care of our planet and the 4 billion species that inhabit it.

Karuna-Shechen lends Matthieu Ricard’s Wonder exhibition free of charge, for a period of 2 to 6 months, to educational and health institutions – public hospitals, schools, colleges, nursing homes, etc. The costs of insurance and transportation of the exhibition are to be borne by the institution.

For more information, please contact Manon Le Signor, Communication and Advocacy Officer –