Ask a frenchman dating
It's as though you're making a journey, and you look in your rucksack to find it half filled with provisions, half with stones.You need to take out the stones and put in more provisions." "More wine? What I'm saying is that these interludes - of alcohol, or physical exercise - give a hint of what life could be like, if you changed the balance of your mind, instead of altering external circumstances." A laboratory rat, he says, given access to a "pleasure bar" that stimulates euphoria in the brain, will keep pressing the lever until it dies of starvation.But can the Frenchman do anything to cheer up our notoriously gloomy writer?Bring to your mind a past occasion of inner joy and happiness," writes Matthieu Ricard in his new book Happiness: A Guide To Developing Life's Most Important Skill. Consider the lasting effect this experience has had on your mind, and how it still nourishes a sense of fulfilment.""Now this," I tell Ricard, "was the point where I started to run into trouble.Ricard is a highly unusual figure in that - by contrast with the unquestioning, some would say credulous, nature of many believers - he has brought the scientific rigour of his early life to his faith: first in the form of his translations of texts from Tibetan (the language in which he normally communicates) then, more recently, in his contribution to the question of whether science can accurately map an individual's mental equilibrium.He was assessed in a programme headed by the cognitive scientist Professor Richard K Davidson, principal of the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
And elation is not really what we mean by happiness.
US neuroscientists have declared him the happiest man they have ever tested.
Now Matthieu Ricard, Buddhist monk and confidant of the Dalai Lama, has written a book revealing his secret.
There, he devoted himself to studying under Kangyur Rinpoche, a Tibetan master in the Nyingma tradition: the most ancient school of Buddhism. Ricard still lives at the Schechen Monastery in Nepal.
All proceeds from his books go to funding hospitals and schools in Tibet - which makes it feel barely appropriate that we should be meeting in a large apartment in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, an area roughly comparable to Mayfair.