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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Tibetan Buddhist monk Ricard to lead Royal Poinciana Chapel seminar

October 20, 2009

By MARGIE KACOHA
Daily News Staff Writer
The Palm Beach Daily
October 16, 2009

Matthieu Ricard, center, is the main coordinator
of Karuna-Shéchèn, a nonprofit organization in
eastern Tibet. He is shown with Karuna associates.

Matthieu Ricard, a Tibetan Buddhist monk and
cellular geneticist, will lead a seminar on
"Happiness and Meditation" at the Royal Poinciana Chapel Sunday and Monday.

The seminar will mark the inauguration of The
Center for Spiritual Inquiry at the chapel, and
will be the first offering in a series of adult spiritual education programs.

Ricard is a French cellular geneticist. More than
35 years ago, he left that as a full-time career
in Paris to study Buddhism in the Himalayas. He
lives in Nepal and is an associate of the Dali
Lama. Ricard continues his research on the
effects of meditation on the brain while also
devoting time to the preservation of Tibetan literature and culture.

The Rev. Robert Norris said he hopes Ricard will
be well received in the Christian venue. "It is
important that we open our doors as well as our minds and arms," he said.

Ricard came to the chapel's attention through
Michael Ainslie, chapel board president. Ainslie
said he heard Ricard speak two years ago in
Aspen, Colo., and was impressed by his message of
how meditation can lead to happiness.

Ainslie said Ricard not only works from a
spiritual base, but also draws from his scientific research.

"It's relevant to Christians and Jews and people of all faiths," Ainslie said.

The Center for Spiritual Inquiry is based on a
Christian perspective, and will offer "a safe
space where serious theological and spiritual
questions will be considered," according to a
description provided by the chapel. "Its programs
and purpose will be to probe the meaning of faith
in an age of violence, diversity and uncertainty.
It will allow those of a variety of faith
traditions to explore through a Christian lens."

Ricard will participate in the 10:30 a.m. worship
service Sunday with Norris. A lunch and keynote address by Ricard will follow.

The events are sold out but visitors may hear
Ricard at the service. For more information, see www.royalpoincianachapel.org.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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