The mea­sure of hap­pi­ness

The Sun (Malaysia) - - GOOD VIBES -

MATTHIEU RI­CARD, a Ti­betan Bud­dhist monk, is said to be the world’s hap­pi­est man.

Sci­en­tists gave the 70-year-old the moniker af­ter he took part in a 12-year study into med­i­ta­tion and com­pas­sion at the Univer­sity of Wis­con­sin.

But Ri­card, who is orig­i­nally from France and lives in a monastery in Nepal, re­vealed to GQ mag­a­zine that he finds the ti­tle “ab­surd.”

“I know hap­pier monks,” the Bud­dhist who can med­i­tate for days at a time told the mag­a­zine.

“I re­ally do. It’s ab­surd,” he added.

To reach the con­clu­sion that Ri­card is the world’s hap­pi­est man, neu­ro­sci­en­tist Richard David­son hooked the monk up to 256 sen­sors as he med­i­tated on com­pas­sion.

David­son dis­cov­ered that Ri­card’s brain pro­duced a level of gamma waves – which are linked to con­scious­ness, at­ten­tion, learn­ing and mem­ory – never be­fore re­ported in sci­en­tific lit­er­a­ture.

“The scans also showed ex­ces­sive ac­tiv­ity in his brain’s left pre­frontal cor­tex com­pared to its right coun­ter­part, al­low­ing him an ab­nor­mally large ca­pac­ity for hap­pi­ness and a re­duced propen­sity to­wards neg­a­tiv­ity,” David­son wrote.

De­spite shun­ning the ti­tle, Ri­card has writ­ten widely on his life phi­los­o­phy in books in­clud­ing Al­tru­ism, On the Path to En­light­en­ment, and Hap­pi­ness.

Asked how oth­ers can achieve hap­pi­ness, Richard told the Busi­ness In­sider last year that benev­o­lence and al­tru­ism are key.

Train­ing the mind by think­ing happy thoughts con­tin­u­ously for 15 min­utes a day also helps.

Science backs his ideas, as David­son’s study showed that 20 min­utes of med­i­ta­tion can make a per­son feel hap­pier.

“Com­par­i­son is the hap­pi­ness,” he said. In­de­pen­dent killer of – The

Ri­card (left) and David­son be­fore the start of the test to mea­sure Ri­card’s hap­pi­ness.

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