Chinese Millionaire Gives Up Fortune, Lives in Isolation for Two Years to Become Buddhist Monk

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We thought Indian millionaire Bhanwarlal Raghunath – who gave up his fortune to become a monk – was one of a kind, but we were wrong. Meet Liu Jingchong, a rich Chinese businessman who has also renounced his wealth for monkhood.

Jingchong, 39, was bitten by the spiritual bug in 2012, after a freak car accident. “It is true that I earned a lot of money and I can’t say I hated my life,” he told the media. “I would say that I even loved it, but all that changed when friends of mine and I had a car accident in a remote part of the country in northwestern China’s Qinghai province.”

“We needed to get a new car and not all of us were fit to travel immediately,” Jingchong recalled. “But as I was relatively okay, I stayed in a hotel where about the only thing to do was read a book on Buddhism. I have to say it changed my life.”

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Scientists Declare Buddhist Monk the Happiest Man in the World

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Matthieu Ricard, a French researcher turned Buddhist monk was declared the happiest man on Earth by a group of scientists, after it was discovered his brain produces a level of gamma waves never before reported in the field of neuroscience.

A former molecular geneticist who left his life and career behind to discover the secrets of Buddhism, Matthieu Ricard is now one of the most celebrated monks in the Himalayas and a trusted advisor of the Dalai Lama. And while this transformation is impressive enough, there’s something else that makes Ricard a very special person. In 2009, neuroscientist Richard Davidson, from the University of Wisconsin, wired up the French monk’s head with 256 sensors as part of a research project on hundreds of advanced practitioners of meditation. The scans showed something remarkable: when meditating on compassion, Ricard’s brain produced a level of gamma waves linked to consciousness, attention, learning and memory that were never even reported before in neuroscience literature. Furthermore, the scans scans also showed excessive activity in his brain’s left prefrontal cortex compared to its right counterpart, giving him an abnormally large capacity for happiness and a reduced propensity towards negativity. These results earned Matthieu Ricard the unofficial title of “happiest man in the world”.

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