- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover; 10 Anv edition (2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1594488894
- ISBN-13: 978-1594488894
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (665 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Art of Happiness A Handbook for Living Hardcover – 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is not written by the Dalai Lama himself, but by Howard C. Cutler, and is based on his numerous conversations with His Holiness. Dr. Cutler provides the "western", science-based perspective on the buddhist monk's teachings. While his naivete gets to be annoying at times, he helps relate the Dalai Lama's teachings to our everyday lives by making them less abstract, more practical and actionable.
"I believe that happiness can be achieved through training the mind... Generally speaking, one begins by identifying those factors which lead to happiness and those factors which lead to suffering. Having done this, one then sets about gradually eliminating those factors which lead to suffering and cultivating those which lead to happiness." These words contain the essence of the entire book. A premise so elegant and simple that it might be easy to dismiss at first, and yet so powerful. The more one thinks about their true meaning, the more one begins to understand that these words, in themselves, hold the answer to the purpose of our lives.
The idea that happiness is the product of our mind, rather than of our objective situation, is hardly new. Yet, this book is able to explore this notion to the depths that I had never comprehended before.Read more ›
The one fascinating thing about this book is observing how the Dalai Lama interacts with a perfectly ordinary, totally western person. Howard Cutler asks the same kinds of questions that you or I might ask, and is just as puzzled as we might be. He is not much of a writer, but he writes without artifice or elaboration. Through Cutler's unornamented prose, the reader can sense the Dalai Lama's reactions to such honest questions as "What is wrong with romantic love?" The Lama questions the question, and with a thoughtful words opens all the distinctions between our cultures. He transcends cultural bias easily, which is perhaps what makes him such a powerful figure in our age. Much of the book, however, consists of Cutler dissecting, analyzing, and providing examples from his own practice to elucidate the Lama's brief responses. Cutler's thinking is far weaker, but does serve to illustrate the vast gulf between ordinary thought and the thinking of someone who has devoted his life to it.
Were I titling this book, I might have come up with something like "A Psychological Response to Selected Teachings of the Dalai Lama: A Collision Between East and West". (Fortunately for all of us, I do not have a job in publishing!) Although it is disappointing that the interviewer is not sophisticated enough to take these questions deeper, it is worthwhile to examine the Dalai Lama's approaches and responses to ordinary questions.
All told, this is not a book I am happy to have bought.Read more ›
The Art of Happiness was written through the perspective of a western psychiatrist, Dr. Howard C. Cutler. It saddens me in the fact that many readers could not see beyond Dr. Cutlers' viewpoints into the heart of the real mater. Dr. Cutlers' remarks were not made to instruct or to educate, but merely to display the Dalai Lama in a more acceptable western sense.
The most important thing the Dalai Lama speaks of is the act of cultivating compassion. This is important. Through compassion, one will come to appreciate Dr. Cutler's display of goodwill toward the overall benefit of humankind. It would seem that most negative reviews were not based on content alone, but based purely on an abundance of ignorance. You could say that they just `didn't get it.' The very people in which complain of Dr. Cutlers perspectives are complaining, in a sense, of their own comprehension levels. Through compassion, one will inevitably find that live is through our own perception. This book does an exquisite job in relaying this fact among others noted respectfully through the wisdom of His Holiness, The Dalai Lama.
This book reads it self, I have given it to friends, family, etc. It is a beautiful work of art in many senses. If you have any interest in spiritual growth, eastern philosophy, or if you just have a good heart, as I believe we all do, then buy this book. For those of you who still don't like this book, there are books out there not written by Dr.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
How can you not love the Dalai Lama? This book is no exception to the other amazing books created in his name.Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
Narrated by the American Pschologist, a remarkable dialogue and analysis of the nature of happiness, obstacles to acheiving it, and methods to accomplish it from both the unique... Read morePublished 7 days ago by karl melanson
No matter what your religious preference there is something for everyone in this book that couLd transform the world. Life is all about compassion, kindness & patience.Published 9 days ago by Theresa Ann Burton
I've been wanting to purchase this book forever but could not see paying $25, which is the going rate in stores and such. I bought it for a good price on amazon and love it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by G-Ma
A good book to have always with you when you face bumps in life.Published 2 months ago by Pago Pago
I first picked up a copy of The Art of Happiness not long after it was originally published. I was at a crossroads in my life, and the universe seemed to be placing great big STOP... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Angela Shori