Our Founder

Matthieu Ricard

Matthieu Ricard

The co-founder of Karuna-Shechen, has lived, studied, and worked in the Himalayan region for over forty years. He founded Karuna-Shechen based upon the ideal of ‘compassion in action’ in order to address the inequalities and suffering he observed in the region. His vast knowledge and experience has been paramount to the success of Karuna-Shechen.

Born in France in 1946, Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk who left a career in cellular genetics in France to study Buddhism in the Himalayas. He has been the French interpreter for the Dalai Lama since 1989, and is a renowned writer, photographer, speaker, and translator. He received the French National Order of Merit for his humanitarian work.

His books that have been translated into English include: Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill, The Monk and the Philosopher, The Quantum and the Lotus, Why Meditate?, Buddhist Himalayas, Tibet: An Inner Journey, Motionless Journey, and Bhutan: The Land of Serenity.

He is an active participant in the current scientific research on the effects of meditation on the brain with the Mind and Life Institute and with various universities in the USA and Europe. When he is not traveling, Matthieu resides at Shechen Monastery in Nepal.

All proceeds from Matthieu Ricard’s books, photographs, and events are donated to Karuna-Shechen. For more information on his life, writings, and photographs please visit: www.matthieuricard.org