Born in Paris in 1946, Ricard worked under the supervision of Nobel Laureate Francois Jacob for his Ph.D. at the Institut Pasteur. In 1967, while doing postgraduate genetic research, he traveled to India to pursue his interest in Tibetan Buddhism and met his first teacher, Kangyur Rinpoche. In 1972, after completing his doctoral thesis, he decided to forgo a scientific career to concentrate on Buddhist studies. He became a close attendant and disciple of the late Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, one of the most eminent Tibetan masters of our times and a teacher to the Dalai Lama. He has lived and worked in the Himalayan region for the last 20 years and resides at Shechen Monastery in Nepal.
Ricard is the author of "Journey to Enlightenment" and the translator of numerous Buddhist texts, including "The Life of Shabkar." He often accompanies the Dalai Lama to France, acting as his personal interpreter.