The Art of Happiness

The Art of Happiness

Nearly every time you see him, he's laughing, or at least smiling. And he makes everyone else around him feel like smiling. He's the Dalai Lama, the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet, a Nobel Prize winner, and an increasingly popular speaker and statesman. What's more, he'll tell you that happiness is the purpose of life, and that "the very motion of our life is towar...

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Title:The Art of Happiness
Author:Dalai Lama XIV
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Edition Language:English

The Art of Happiness Reviews

  • Jenny

    I first read this book as a freshman in high school but I've read it again at least twice. I'm not sure how it initially started but I've always been fascinated by the Dalai Lama of Tibet. The more I read about him, the more I'm in awe of him. While I recommend reading his biography first, this specific book is about the concept of happiness and how we attain it. It's not a self-help book but rather a book about how the Dalai Lama believes that people inheritantly have the ability to find happin

    I first read this book as a freshman in high school but I've read it again at least twice. I'm not sure how it initially started but I've always been fascinated by the Dalai Lama of Tibet. The more I read about him, the more I'm in awe of him. While I recommend reading his biography first, this specific book is about the concept of happiness and how we attain it. It's not a self-help book but rather a book about how the Dalai Lama believes that people inheritantly have the ability to find happiness but we obstruct it with our immaterial and superficial beliefs. It made me realize how much society corrupts people's values. On a personal level, it made me re-evaluate my life and my values. I was also amazed at how much his beliefs correlate with Native American traditional beliefs. This is one of those few books that I find myself re-opening from time to time.

  • Steven Stark

    This book is actually written by a psychiatrist and includes extensive interviews with the Dalai Lama about how to be a generally happier person. Parts of the book are really great, and a couple of sections are a little bland, mostly depending on what questions the author is asking. The Dalai Lama's amazing traits come across throughout, however. His pragmatic, logical, and yet also spiritual approach to everything.

  • Kimberly

    Dalai Lama believes in fundamental goodness in all human beings, in the value of compassion and kindness, and a sense of commonality among all living creatures.

    Happiness is determined more by one's state of mind than by external events.

    Excessive desire leads to greed, which leads to frustration, disappointment, problems and unhappiness.

    True antidote of greee is contentment - to appreciate what we already have.

    Relationships are not about just knowing people and superficial exchange, but to really

    Dalai Lama believes in fundamental goodness in all human beings, in the value of compassion and kindness, and a sense of commonality among all living creatures.

    Happiness is determined more by one's state of mind than by external events.

    Excessive desire leads to greed, which leads to frustration, disappointment, problems and unhappiness.

    True antidote of greee is contentment - to appreciate what we already have.

    Relationships are not about just knowing people and superficial exchange, but to really share deepest problems and concerns in forming intimate friendships. Dalai Lama recommends maintaining closeness with as many people as possible, aim to connect with everyone in some way.

    Concepts of intimacy vary among cultures. Western.... too caught up in finding "one special person" or romantic partner who we hope will heal our loneliness, yet prop up our illusion that we are still independent.

    If we think of suffering as something unnatural, something that we shouldn't be experiencing, then it's not much of a leap to begin to look for someone to blame for our suffering. If I'm unhappy, then I must be the "victim" of someone or something. As long as we view suffering as an unnatural state, an abnormal condition that we fear, avoid and reject, we will never uproot the causes of suffering and begin to live a happier life.

    It is entirely appropriate to seek out causes of our problems, searching for solutions on all levels - global, societal, familial, and individual.

    Shifting to wider perspective - realizing there are many people who have gone through similar & worse experiences - can be very helpful.

    If you learn to develp patience and tolerance toward your enemies, then everything else bcomes easier - your compassion towards all others begins to flow naturally. Compassion is the essence of a spiritual life.

    The enemy is the necessary condition for practicing patience. Friends don't often test us, so our enemy is a great teacher.

    Flexibility of the mind, those most adaptable to change will survive best.

  • Yascha

    Despite the 'author' being the Dalia Lama, this book was actually written by a Western Psychologist named Howard Cutler. It is mostly presented as interviews or meetings between himself and the Dalai Lama. I really enjoyed the segments that were pure quotes from the Dalai Lama, but found myself constantly frustrated by Cutler's questions and (obviously inserted after-the-fact) 'summaries' of the responses.

    I would paraphrase the entire book like this:

    Cutler -- "So what can every person do to be

    Despite the 'author' being the Dalia Lama, this book was actually written by a Western Psychologist named Howard Cutler. It is mostly presented as interviews or meetings between himself and the Dalai Lama. I really enjoyed the segments that were pure quotes from the Dalai Lama, but found myself constantly frustrated by Cutler's questions and (obviously inserted after-the-fact) 'summaries' of the responses.

    I would paraphrase the entire book like this:

    Cutler -- "So what can every person do to be happy?"

    Dalai Lama -- "Well this is a really complicated question and we need to look at specific cases in order to answer it fully. Here are a few basic guidelines ..."

    Cutler -- "Yeah OK, so can you give me 3 steps that everyone can do to be happy?"

    Dalai Lama -- (I can hear him sighing through the pages) "Yes, well I've given you some basic guidelines, but it's not a simple 3-step process. Here are some things to consider in these situations...

    etc.

    Cutler just seemed so stuck in his Western "we can make an algorithm for happiness and box it up neatly and put it on the shelf" ways and it's just not that simple.

  • Dad

    The Moms was watching a movie that was so filled with awkward and embarrassing social interaction that I cast desperately about me for something else to do. Near at hand was "The Art of Happiness" by Dolly and some doctor guy. I picked it up and began to read. I'm about half-way through (guess I'm 50% enlightened) and it's really quite good. Except for the parts that are stupid or wrong. The problem is not so much what the Big D has to say, but the doctor guy's interpretation or amplification. T

    The Moms was watching a movie that was so filled with awkward and embarrassing social interaction that I cast desperately about me for something else to do. Near at hand was "The Art of Happiness" by Dolly and some doctor guy. I picked it up and began to read. I'm about half-way through (guess I'm 50% enlightened) and it's really quite good. Except for the parts that are stupid or wrong. The problem is not so much what the Big D has to say, but the doctor guy's interpretation or amplification. That's the problem with amplification, there can be a lot of distortion (which can sound really cool if your Jimi Hendrix, otherwise not so much). He makes what I feel are some pretty feeble attempts to support the assertions with "scientific" studies in pseudo-sciences like psychology, sociology, and neurology. Isn't it enough that it's true? Do you have to have "proof" as well? The proof is in the pudding and the world would be a pretty tasty place if everyone implemented the best parts of the ideas expressed in this book. (How was that for a strained analogy?) You don't have to be a Buddhist to get some really good stuff out of this book. (Which is good, because I HATE cows.)

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