Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Happiness Habits

In this engaging and uplifting Ted talk, Matthieu Richard, former molecular biologist turned Buddhist monk, photographer, and author of Happiness, A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill (among other books) explores these questions:

  • What is happiness?
  • Is it possible to create the habit of happiness?
  • What does neuroscience tell us about the brain’s ability to overcome negative thought patterns and embrace positive ones?

Ricard also shows us a direct method for dissolving any negative emotion when it appears.  Enjoy!  If you are reading by email, click here to visit Always Well Within to view the video.

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Thank you for reading and sharing!  If you enjoyed this article please subscribe for free updates by email.  With love,  Sandra


Finding Freedom & Happiness in Simplicity


Listening to Your Wishes: Survey Results


  1. jean sampson

    Wow, Sandra, what a great way to begin my day! I am mostly happy because I sort of keep a sense of well-being, enhanced by a good fitness/nutrition program, in the center of my sight, sort of like my North Star. When things happen to knock me off my center, I immediately begin asking myself questions that will help me take whatever steps, inner or outer, to get back to center. I have made the decision to never allow depression into my arena again, and I have been able to keep that commitment through a lot of personal upheaval. Keeping healthy, creating a healthy animal self, is very important because that alone will bring a sense of exuberance and energy. I do not formally meditate, but any right-brained, art-related activity will bring me to a state of peace and excitement (yes, they can exist together!). I allow all the emotional ranges to play in my life, knowing that they are just visiting for awhile. But depression is not what I consider an emotion. It is a total lack of energy, the inability to go forward toward peace and happiness and that is the thing I am not going to entertain for even one second! All of the other visitors have gifts and lessons. The only thing I ever learned from depression is to banish it forever. It is a waste of my precious time!

    • HI Jean,

      I’m so glad you found the video inspiring. I loved hearing the story of your North Star and how you bring yourself back to center. Yes, even in meditation we are allowing the full range of emotions to arise – not blocking them or indulging in them. I agree we don’t need to feed negative states like depression, especially if we have a North Star and the tools to overcome it! Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring story!

  2. jean sampson

    PS—-The Survey Monkey wouldn’t let me take the survey. Don’t know why. 🙁
    Anyway, I love your posts so what else do you need to know anyway? 🙂

    • Jean,

      So sorry the Survey Monkey was being feisty this morning! I’ll post the questions when I post the survey results so you will have a chance to add any thoughts you have in the comments. Thanks for your positive feedback.

  3. Hi Sandra,

    Great video – thank you for sharing!
    “The mind translates the outer conditions”… very true! And thus if we can transform our mind, we transform our life and our sense of happiness. No longer are we governed by external, but we live from the inherent state of knowing within.

    And what a fascinating man – always great to hear from people who are such inspirational beings for us to move beyond the limits within which so many of us live.

    • HI Evita,

      It’s so nice to “see” you! You skillfully pulled out the key point of the talk – the way the mind translates the outer conditions! This makes everything workable as you say.

      Matthieu Ricard is indeed a fascinating and brilliant man. He knows the way of the world and understands science and philosophy, but is also content to spend time in solitude or humbly serve a great master.

  4. I personally believe that happiness can be cultivated into a habit – because to be consistently happy, one has to focus one’s activities around that goal. I practice that daily. TED Talks are so inspiring – and I loved this one. 🙂 I am thrilled to think I recently saw part of the Himalayan range – Kanchendzonga – so gorgeous!

    Love, Vidya

    • Hi Vidya,

      Yes, I agree and I know how dedicated your are to cultivating happiness and helping others to do so as well. I found those photos of the Himalayas striking too! And imagine, you were there!

  5. Hi Sandra
    I blogged this video to in Growing Happiness and I’m sending a huge {hug} as I enjoyed watching this inspiring video so much again just when I need it most.
    Love and peace,

    • As the saying goes, great minds think alike! Or have the fortune of serendipity. A friend passed the link onto me on Saturday. I watched it right away and then wanted to share it on my blog with others. I know Matthieu and he is very genuine. I’m glad you enjoyed watching it again and that it gave you a lift up.

      Much love to you, dear friend!

  6. Happiness is found in so many ways and forms… worth sharing what we know. Thanks for your blog,

    It would be great if you could participate in co-creating happiness. Here is the link to the project:

    And here is the link to our facebook page

    Hope to count you in.

    Maria Briggs, co-creating happiness.

  7. Thanks for sharing this, Sandra. An eloquent piece. I still struggle with the dichotomy between the notion of seeking or working on happiness, and my own experience, which tells me happiness — like wonder — comes most easily when you’re least seeking or working on it. Perhaps the key is different for each of us.

    • Hi Jeffrey,

      I agree with you fundamentally. On the one hand, I don’t think we’ll change much if we don’t make an effort to train our mind in positive ways and create the conditions for happiness to arise. But paradoxically, letting go of seeking results and craving happiness seems to be part of the package, which I wrote about recently too. This seems like one of those fundamental spiritual paradoxes! Please enjoy all the happiness and wonder that comes your way and thanks for sharing this alternative angle on the topic.

  8. I just had my afternoon tea while watching the video. I’m going to go meditate right now!

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