This week I attended a talk by Matthieu Ricard, widely known as the worlds happiest man (also he is a Buddhist Monk with around 60 thousand hours of meditation under his belt). So the story goes like this… Matthieu participated in a study conducted by University of Wisconsin-Madison on happiness, and he happened to score significantly above the average of hundreds of other volunteers.
Coming back, this talk was around the topic Altruism, and he is touring currently promoting the book with the same name.
The talk was nice and from what I remember he never mentioned his book. He mostly talked about how being nice to people around you is the easiest way to achieve happiness, and most of his slides were test results from different studies backing up what he was saying. Fun fact, Matthieu has the record for spending most time meditating under an MRI.
After the talk he guided us through a 30 minute meditation session, and later held a brief Q&A session. After this I bought his book, and later got it signed. We had a brief conversation which went something like this…
me: Hello. Could you please sign your book?
him: Sure. Your name?
me: I show him my name on my id.
him: Sundeep! Which part of India are you from?
me: Hyderabad, down south.
him: . Here you go.
me: Can I also take a picture with you?
me: Thank you. can I get a hug too?
Hugging him was nice; I had this feeling of calm. After that I started walking back, when I ran into Meng. Now Meng is a super awesome guy, and I always wanted to meet him. To those of you who don’t know Meng, he is the writer of the book Search Inside Yourself.
So I say hi to him, introduce myself and tell him that I attended his SIY classes. I hug him too, and then got a picture.
To summarize it was a pretty fun day. Walking in I wasn’t sure what to expect. The idea of meeting the worlds happiest man was very exciting. And when we did meet him, it was a pleasant surprise to see that he did talk the same language as we did (science and logic). And at the end of it all, I walked away smiling, with a new book and story to write.
Edit (June 15, 2015): This talk is on Youtube now. Please find the link below to the talk, and the guided meditation that followed it.