Customer Reviews


598 Reviews
5 star:
 (387)
4 star:
 (85)
3 star:
 (52)
2 star:
 (34)
1 star:
 (40)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


254 of 262 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Source of Happiness is Within You
I have always had a lot of respect for the Dalai Lama and admired the fact that he radiates so much genuine compassion and tolerance despite the many hardships that he has faced in his lifetime. I believe that this book is the essence of this man's being and his outlook on life. It encompasses many of his core beliefs and serves as an inspiration to everyone, irrespective...
Published on August 16, 2004 by Star

versus
552 of 606 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dalai Lama + Joe Blow = ?
The big disappointment here is that there is very little Dalai Lama in this book. It is not the Lama's handbook for living, it is Howard Cutler's handbook for getting rich off the Dalai Lama's good name. Howard Cutler is a professional psychologist, and -- one quickly concludes -- a rather average one.
The one fascinating thing about this book is observing how the...
Published on November 29, 2000 by Bluejack


‹ Previous | 1 260 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

254 of 262 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Source of Happiness is Within You, August 16, 2004
By 
This review is from: The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living (Hardcover)
I have always had a lot of respect for the Dalai Lama and admired the fact that he radiates so much genuine compassion and tolerance despite the many hardships that he has faced in his lifetime. I believe that this book is the essence of this man's being and his outlook on life. It encompasses many of his core beliefs and serves as an inspiration to everyone, irrespective of religious affiliation or spiritual belief.

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. In particular, the distinction the Dalai Lama so eloquently makes between happiness and pleasure is especially enlightening. After all, it's the very things that bring us pleasure, that cause us unhappiness in the long term. Therefore, His Holiness says, one ought to always ask oneself before making a choice: "Will this bring me happiness?" I performed this simple practice for just a few days, and noticed immediate results. While I normally would do certain things without thinking, I have now become quite conscious of the effect that my own actions will have on my life down the road. Even such a simple thing as doing the dishes, or making that unpleasant yet necessary phone call, or buying something that we don't really need - each one is a choice that, once made, reverberates through our life and either brings us happiness or discontentment. This simple shift in perspective is a very powerful tool in bringing about real, positive change in your life through small, yet deliberate actions. It is by making these actions a habit that one is able to truly achieve happiness.

Of course, in order to be able to work towards happiness, one needs to understand what it is that will bring them happiness in their personal life. This can be likened to having a "mission statement" that encompasses many different areas that, when all balanced and fulfilled, lead to a happier life. These ultimate goals, the Dalai Lama teaches, should be used as a compass to align you daily choices with in your pursuit of happiness.

In addition to these very powerful meditations on the nature of happiness, the book stresses the importance of "human warmth and compassion" as integral components of achieving happiness through increased intimacy and deeper connection to others. The book also explores the "demons" that often prevent us from finding happiness, such as pain and suffering, anger and hatred, anxiety and low self-esteem. While you may not necessarily be afflicted with all of these "demons", reading this book will help you avoid them or enable you to help others who are suffering from them.

Overall, I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone on a spiritual journey, in search for a meaning of life, or simply looking for simple words of wisdom in our increasingly complicated and materialistic age. This is one book I know I will personally refer back to again and again for inspiration and guidance.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


473 of 516 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful concepts, August 7, 2000
This review is from: The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living (Hardcover)
In The Art of Happiness The Dalai Lama tells listeners how to defeat day-to-day depression, anxiety, anger, jealousy. The concepts are simple but difficult. If you liked this book I would suggest you also read Way of A Peaceful Warrior and An Encounter With A Prophet
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


552 of 606 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dalai Lama + Joe Blow = ?, November 29, 2000
By 
This review is from: The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living (Hardcover)
The big disappointment here is that there is very little Dalai Lama in this book. It is not the Lama's handbook for living, it is Howard Cutler's handbook for getting rich off the Dalai Lama's good name. Howard Cutler is a professional psychologist, and -- one quickly concludes -- a rather average one.
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. I would not file this under Dalai, or Lama (how does one alphabetize a title like that?), but under Cutler. The real problem is that his interviews with the Dalai Lama cover only a few paragraphs in each chapter. The bulk of the material is Cutler digesting and regurgitating the thoughts in various ways. Were I Cutler's therapist, I might find this more interesting, but as someone still searching for happiness myself, I find his perspectives both trite and unhelpful.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


67 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If it were possible to give 6 stars, then I would give it 7, January 7, 2000
By 
This review is from: The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living (Hardcover)
I picked this book up at its first print. I found this book extremely spiritually insightful, to say the absolute least. Every time I read this book again (that's right, again), I find new value locked within the Dalai Lamas' words. However, I am reading a lot of these reviews in much disappointment.
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. Cutler that carry the same principles. If you want a book with nothing more than the Dalai Lamas words then you should buy the book, 'Dalai Lama, The Path to Tranquility (compiled by Renuka Singh).
This is all that I have to say.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Handbook for Living - Indeed!, March 16, 2000
This review is from: The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living (Hardcover)
There is a common thread uniting all living beings, and that is their desire, their right, to happiness. This point is the focus of the Dalai Lama's comments throughout the book, which is written by an American Psychiatrist, Dr. Howard C. Cutler.
In private interviews with Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Dr. Cutler is able to provide his own professional insight into what is a centuries old philosophy. Bringing to light how these ancient teachings are pertinent to modern day living.
You don't have to believe in one religion over another, or in any at all. To benefit from the content of this book. This is not about Buddhism, per se, it is about living.
There is a gentle rhythm to this book - it flows from a question posed to the Dalai Lama, to his thoughtful and inspired response - followed up by Dr. Cutler's professional comments. You'll realize everyday connections that drive home the fact that these are more than lofty ideals, they are real life tools to defeat day-to-day depression, anxiety, anger, jealousy, and other negatives aspects in your life.
The only disappointment is there wasn't more of the Dalai Lama's comments. But it is an excellent resource for anyone - interested in Buddhism or not.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


86 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In with the new and out with the old, October 19, 2004
This review is from: The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living (Hardcover)
Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations with God, Clyde A. Lewis, author of An Encounter with a Prophet, and now Dalai Lama, author of The Art of Living, are all going to hell. Something is definitely wrong with such statements and the people who make them.

Each of the men, in their own unique way, have brought something refreshing to our weary minds - concepts of a totally loving, caring, and even friendly God who deeply cares us. Concepts to replace the hell fire and brimstone concepts that most of us were taught as children

I say bravo gentleman. Keep up the good work. Let's the fundamentalists squirm.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


74 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could be better, read HHDL new book, November 23, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living (Hardcover)
This book provides an excellent framework for thinking about others. Many people found Cutler's commentary annoying, but I didn't mind it. He seemed genuinely interested in applying the Dalai Lama's insights.
In general, I think a lot of people are reading this with the notion that the Dalai Lama is some kind of living deity and that Buddhism offers a mystical pangea. The truth, however, is that the Dalai Lama's simple ideas of compassion are not at all magical. None of the "cures" are instant, but I felt really good immediately after reading this book. Although I lack the compassion of the Dalai Lama, I definitely have improved from my former self. After reading this book, I read Ethics for the New Millenium, which I think everyone will enjoy. It's really a more fleshed out version of this title and consequently is a little bit better. However, the only thing I find lacking are practical examples of these ideas. I think, however, that if you're life is off course and you're open to changing your thoughts and behaviors to live a fuller life, this book will help you see your purpose.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading authorship, June 2, 2007
This review is from: The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living (Hardcover)
As noted in other reviews, the cover is misleading in suggesting this is written by the Dalai Lama. The book is written by the rather average writer and psychiatrist Howard Cutler who lists his name as second author although he is really the sole author. Cutler uses quotations from some interviews he had with the Dalai Lama to justify the deceptive authorship credit. The quotations are very thinly spread through the book and you will find nothing new here. I presume this is legal, but I felt cheated and really struggled to extend loving compassion to Cutler and the publishers of this book. Read some of the texts really written by the Dalai Lama or the excellent and beautifully written book "Happiness" by Matthieu Ricard instead.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Simple Yet Profound Message, November 28, 1999
By 
H. Wend (Buffalo Grove, Illinois USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living (Hardcover)
I think that many readers have had the wrong idea about this book, particularly in regard to the participation of Dr. Howard C. Cutler. Dr. Cutler is relating the viewpoint of the Dalai Lama with his own thoughts and opinions. The book is not wholely by Dr. Cutler but is a jointly written book.
I found the comments by Dr. Cutler of great interest because he is playing the role of the average person in approaching the concept of happiness. Many of the his comments were those I would have asked and I found his point-of-view very helpful. He played the sceptic many times and asked for clarification concering the ideas of the Dalai Lama much like I would have.
The concepts of this book are indeed simple. I think many readers expected something profound and were disappointed. However, simplicity is at the heart of our existence (remember the golden rule). The message of this book is not entirely new but needs repeating. Being human, we need to practice the ideas found in this book to achieve balance in our lives.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Art of Peace, December 9, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living (Hardcover)
I found the Dali Lama's book to be a clear path or stepping stones if you like to a wonderful life. His Holiness writes about a true life where we experience the ups and downs that come our way as part of our journey. Each experience being rewarding. Another book I recently read which was recommend by a reviewer, is called "WORKING ON YOURSELF DOESN'T WORK" by Ariel and Shya Kane. The Kanes write of how thru awareness without judging yourself, your life can become a continuous series of rewarding and enriching experiences. I recommend both these books whole heartedly.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 260 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living
The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living by Dalai Lama (Hardcover - October 26, 1998)
Used & New from: $0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.