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The Art of Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Handbook for Living Hardcover – October 1, 2009
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At first, the Dalai Lama's answers seem simplistic, like a surface reading of Robert Fulghum: Ask yourself if you really need something; our enemies can be our teachers; compassion brings peace of mind. Cutler pushes: But some people do seem happy with lots of possessions; but "suffering is life" is so pessimistic; but going to extremes provides the zest in life; but what if I don't believe in karma? As the Dalai Lama's responses become more involved, a coherent philosophy takes shape. Cutler then develops the Dalai Lama's answers in the context of scientific studies and cases from his own practice, substantiating and elaborating on what he finds to be a revolutionary psychology. Like any art, the art of happiness requires study and practice--and the talent for it, the Dalai Lama assures us, is in our nature. --Brian Bruya --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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
Every western folk interested in psychology or Buddhism will enjoy reading this book. A basic reading about spirituality . Dalai Lama rocks!Published 7 days ago by Mariana Mai
Absolutely everyone should read this book. I read it over three day's coffee. You will only come out with a better outlook on life.Published 15 days ago by mrsroseferri
Absolutely beautiful, psychologically and spiritually helpful. I will be rereading this book after I read a few others just for a refresher, it brings to life things we already... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Jeffrey
One of the best books for people to read that can impact your life. Regardless of your religion, beliefs or background, this book will have a positive impact on your life. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This book changed my life when I first read it in 2009. I was depressed and negative from some difficult life events and stuck that way, losing all sense of self. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Just a wonderful inspirational book for everyday application to handle our troublesome world. The meditation ideas were great and filled with wisdom, and relaxing mentally. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Joseph H. Race