Wonder by Matthieu Ricard

- through Henry Oudin

Published on

What, another book by Matthieu Ricard? Yes, the famous monk, French interpreter of the Dalai Lama and photographer, publishes a “tribute, in texts and images, to the beauty of nature and life in all its forms. ". The author offers us here a journey that takes us from the Himalayan peaks to the magic of Iceland, passing through the trails of Patagonia and the frozen rivers of the Yukon in Canada. Between sky and earth, the author shows us with the help of a hundred unpublished photos taken during his many travels, how much nature by its mere presence is capable of marveling us and awakening us to our fundamental reality. The Buddhist monk invites us to rediscover our wonder too often lost in the maze of our cities and our lives: to marvel at everything, nothing, the simple, the leaf, the rock, the water, a detail of moss like a sublime landscape, rediscovering a child's gaze on nature, its infinitely large and its infinitely small. For what ? Quite simply because “wonder uplifts us by inviting into our inner landscape serene, expansive and open mental states that engender a sense of fit with the world”. Wonder takes us out of ourselves, it expands the mind and expands the heart. It fills us with the vast and moving interdependence of beings and nature. In these times of acute disaster, this is an invitation that cannot be refused!

But this work is not only a "beautiful book", it is also a cry from the heart which recalls the ecological issues current. Using a committed text supported by the work of numerous scientists, Matthieu Ricard underlines how much it is our responsibility to protect our environment before it is too late. As an individual, he confesses to feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task, but like the hummingbird fighting with his – small – means against the fire that is ravaging his forest, the author chooses here to sensitize his contemporaries by the beautiful. Like the photographer Olivier Föllmi, who believes that "the positive outlook is cultivated", or Jean-Marie Hullot, the father of the iPhone who, rather than using a guilt-ridden speech, chose to awaken awareness of climate issues by showing places still protected from the influence of man, Matthieu Ricard seeks in this book to fill our hearts with the aim of arousing in us an enchantment, because from this wonder will flow respect towards wild nature, respect from which should arise the desire to protect this environment, a desire that will then push us to take action...

This book offers direct access to the beauty of the world in all its forms, without discrimination, without the limitations of our ordinary consciousness. It allows us to touch a form of indescribable beauty that cannot be described, cannot be reduced to simple words or thoughts, while putting humans back in their true place, in interdependence with the universe that surrounds them. . The wonder aroused in front of the photos goes beyond recognition for the photographer's work, it is an experience of the impermanence and interdependence of all phenomena. This should make this book a bedside book, a book to offer (Christmas is coming), a book to meditate on.

photo of author

Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

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