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Happiness is a concept that’s been considered by philosophers for thousands of years. Plato addressed it in his philosophical dialogues, and Aristotle considered it to be the goal of human thought and action. Now Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, who is considered to be the scientifically “happiest man in the world”, says that the key to happiness is veganism.
The 71-year-old Buddhist monk told PETA, “True happiness can only be attained when we avoid causing pain to others, so please become vegan like me.” He went on to also say, “I am extremely concerned by the fate of the 8 million other species who share this world with us, and who, like us, wish to avoid suffering and live out their lives.”
In addition to being a very happy monk, Ricard is also a photographer, best-selling author, scientist, and humanitarian knows a lot about happiness. His book, Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World, seeks to inspire people to act for the benefit of others to ultimately be happy oneself, and he has given TED talks on the topic.
Just how did he get his “happiest man” moniker? He participated in a 12-year study where MRI scans revealed that his brain had the highest level of gamma waves that had ever been discovered in scientific studies. Since gamma waves are associated with happiness and feeling blessed, he earned his nickname.
He isn’t eager to keep his happiness to himself, though. Ricard recommends cultivating more benevolent relationships, developing a cluster of positive inner qualities, focusing on the intrinsic value of stuff, getting out in nature, and teaching yourself to meditate to increase your own levels of happiness. That’s in addition to going vegan, of course.
If you want to learn more about Matthieu Ricard, you can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. He also has his own YouTube channel where he posts inspirational videos. He seems eager to share the positive things he discovers with others. With his message of kindness and veganism, he is advocating for all living, feeling beings, and that has earned him the respect of many followers. All proceeds from his books, events, and photos, and events go to Karuna-Shechen, the humanitarian association he created.