Interesting piece. A bit long.
But within minutes of speaking to him, I can tell that the $30m mansion in Malibu, where he secretly retires to snort cocaine off the thighs of Lithuanian hookers, in the tradition of innumerable TV evangelists, cannot conceivably exist.
In the foreword to Happiness, the psychologist Dr Daniel Goleman describes how a three-hour wait at an airport "sped by in minutes, due to the sheer pleasure of Matthieu's orbit" - a phrase which had made me faintly nauseous when I first read it. Now, it seems to make perfect sense. Ricard exudes a sense of tranquillity, kindness and - surprisingly enough - humour.
It's funny too, that those two sentences come one right after the other in the same paragraph. Miserable he may be, but the author has a nice touch.