Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Matthieu Ricard: The Benefits of Meditation
Matthieu Ricard is the author of Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill. I published a post on MLG in April of this year recommending the book, when I had thirty-five pages left to read. Having finished the book shortly thereafter, and having returned to it here and there since, I still heartily recommend it.
The talk which Ricard gives in the above YouTube video provides an excellent glimpse into the contents of his book and, more importantly, some of the physical and mental benefits of mindfulness meditation, benefits which are now being recognized by modern scientists but which meditators have known, experientially, for millennia.
Western science has taken a very long time to catch up.
In working with my meditation students, I almost always have to address a number of basic misconceptions concerning meditation which derive in no small part from long-held and unfounded Western prejudices against Eastern, or Asian, philosophies, generally, and Buddhism and meditation, in particular. I think there is a poignant lesson in this about not blindly assuming that your own tradition necessarily knows best and, instead, remaining open to learning from other cultures and practices.
Enjoy Matthieu Ricard's talk ...