Book Review: Why Meditate? Working with Thoughts and Emotions by Matthieu Ricard

Why Meditate? Working with Thoughts and Emotions

Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk who had a promising career in cellular genetics before leaving France to study Buddhism in the Himalayas 37 years ago. He is a bestselling author, translator, and photographer; and an active participant in current scientific research on the effects of meditation on the brain. Wherever he goes, he is asked to explain what meditation is, how it is done, and what it can achieve. In this elegant, authoritative, and entirely accessible book, he sets out to answer these questions.

Although meditation is a lifelong process even for the wisest, Why Meditate? demonstrates that by practicing it on a daily basis we can change our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. In this brilliant short book and the accompanying CD, Matthieu Ricard talks us through the theory, spirituality, and practical aspects of meditation. He illustrates each stage of his teaching with examples, leading the reader deeper into their own practice.

Through his experience as a monk, his close reading of sacred texts, and his deep knowledge of the Buddhist masters, Matthieu Ricard shows the significant benefits that meditation, based on selfless love and compassion, can bring to each of us.

About the Author

Matthieu Ricard lives in Nepal and dedicates much of his time to humanitarian projects in the Himalayas. Find out more at

All of the author’s proceeds from the sale of this book go to Karuna-Shechen, a humanitarian organization that he founded to provide primary health care and education for the under-served populations of the Himalayan region.

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