The Land of Serenity

  1. Text and photographs by Matthieu Ricard
See Inside
  • ISBN 9780500290446
  • 16.80 x 18.20 cm
  • Paperback with flaps
  • 232pp
  • 184 Illustrations, 184 in colour
  • First published 2012
‘An intimate portrait of the country where spirituality is inseparable from daily life’ – The Daily Telegraph
‘An exceptionally beautiful book’ – Asian Art

‘In Bhutan, history and spirituality are indissolubly linked. It is said that there, “the earth is Buddhist and the sky is Buddhist” .... The whole landscape is sacred. Every valley is a site of pilgrimage and every rock, cave and river has a history.’ Matthieu Ricard

Tucked away between China and India in the heart of the Himalayas, Bhutan remains unique. Few photographers have been granted permission to reside in this long-inaccessible kingdom, now a democracy, where life quietly unfolds to the rhythm of traditions amidst the magnificent, unspoilt landscape.

Nearly thirty years ago, Matthieu Ricard, a monk and photographer, went to Bhutan to study with a revered Tibetan Buddhist master. He spent eight years in Bhutan with him, and has continued to return to the ‘land of the thunder dragon’ – or Druk-yul, as Bhutan is known in Bhutanese – throughout his life, discovering on each occasion another of its invaluable treasures.

As a Buddhist monk, Matthieu Ricard not only witnessed private religious ceremonies, the life of a great Buddhist master, and exceptional works of art, but has also participated in the daily lives of the people. His encounters and experiences are recorded here in this sublime voyage to the heart of Bhutan, a land where spirituality and daily life are intimately linked.

Matthieu Ricard is the author of many books, including Buddhist Himalayas, Motionless Journey, Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill and The Monk and the Philosopher. He has been the Dalai Lama’s French interpreter since 1989.

Also by Matthieu Ricard
Tibet - An Inner Journey
Buddhist Himalayas - People, Faith and Nature