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Happiness - A meditation by Matthieu Ricard


The Art of Happiness is such a beautiful, helpful book by Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard. It’s written from a very gentle perspective with really comforting words and language. There are also some meditative exercises to try in all sorts of contexts - all with an aim to bring you back onto a path towards true happiness.

Most if not all of these exercises use the power of the mind and mental imagery to bring you to a place of peace. Here is one of our favourite examples...


For when you feel overwhelmed by emotions.

Imagine a stormy sea with breakers as big as houses. Each wave is more monstrous than the last. They are about to engulf your boat, your very life hangs on those few extra yards in the rushing wall of water. Then imagine observing the same scene from a high-flying plane. From that perspective, the waves seem to form a delicate blue and white mosaic, barely trembling on the surface of the water. From that height in the silence of space, your eye sees these almost motionless patterns, and your mind immerses itself in clear and luminous skies.

The waves of anger or obsession seem real enough, but remind yourself that they are merely fabrications of your mind; that they will rise and also again disappear. Why stay on the boat of mental anxiety? Make your mind as vast as the sky and you will find that the waves of afflictive emotions have lost all the strength you had attributed to them.

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