Scientists: The World's Happiest Man Is ...
... Matthieu Ricard, a confidant of the Dalai Lama
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2012 2:15 PM CDT
Updated Nov 3, 2012 7:42 AM CDT
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama listens to French Buddhist Matthieu Ricard, left, in Toulouse, France, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011.   (AP Photo/Manuel Blondeau)

(Newser) – French neuroscientists have wired up a confidant of the Dalai Lama and declared him the world's happiest man—or at least the happiest one they know about, the Daily News reports. The brain scans of Matthieu Ricard, a renowned Buddhist thinker, show that his gray matter emits a quantity of gamma waves "never reported before in the neuroscience literature" when he meditates on compassion, a scientist says. Gamma waves are associated with memory, learning, attention, and consciousness.

The tests also showed that his brain's left prefrontal cortex was extremely active, which increases his propensity for happiness and reduces negativity. "It shows that meditation is not just blissing out under a mango tree but it completely changes your brain and therefore changes what you are," says the 66-year-old Buddhist. He earned a PhD in cell genetics decades ago, but gave up his career for Buddhism, and only emerged in the public eye when his book, The Monk and the Philosopher, became a bestseller.

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Nov 4, 2012 3:22 PM CST
"So I jump ship in Hong Kong and make my way over to Tibet, and I get on as a looper at a course over in the Himalayas. A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I'm a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald... striking. So, I'm on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one - big hitter, the Lama - long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-galunga. So we finish the 18th and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice."
Nov 3, 2012 5:45 PM CDT
This garden universe vibrates complete, Some, we get a sound so sweet. Vibrations, reach on up to become light, And then through gamma, out of sight. Between the eyes and ears there lie, The sounds of color and the light of a sigh. And to hear the sun, what a thing to believe, But it’s all around if we could but perceive. To know ultra-violet, infra-red, and x-rays, Beauty to find in so may ways. Two notes of the chord, that’s our poor scope, And to reach the chord is our life’s hope. And to name the chord is important to some, So they give it a word, and the word is OM. ~~~ Moody Blues (1968)
Nov 3, 2012 9:08 AM CDT
gamma rays cause cancer...stay away from happy people.