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The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living Hardcover – October 26, 1998
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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sit down with the Dalai Lama and really press him about life's persistent questions? Why are so many people unhappy? How can I abjure loneliness? How can we reduce conflict? Is romantic love true love? Why do we suffer? How should we deal with unfairness and anger? How do you handle the death of a loved one? These are the conundrums that psychiatrist Howard Cutler poses to the Dalai Lama during an extended period of interviews in The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living.
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
From Library Journal
The Art of Happiness is read like an enchanting Indian tale by Howard Cutler and Ernest Abuba. Gyatso, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, is the spiritiual and temporal leader of the Tibetan people. Cutler helps to blend psychology with the Dalai Lamas Buddhist meditations and stories. Gyatso talks about how to defeat depression, anxiety, anger, and jealousy through meditation. He discusses relationships, health, family, work, and spirituality and how to find inner peace while facing these struggles. His tireless efforts on behalf of human rights and world peace have brought him international recognition. He is the recipient of the Wallenberg Award (conferred by the U.S. Congressional Human Rights Foundation), the Albert Schweitzer Award, and the Nobel Peace Prize. Recommended for world religion collections.Ravonne A. Green, Virginia Polytechnic Inst. & State Univ., Blacksburg
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is very helpful if you have a "western" mentality. It doesn't mean that you have to be from the West though. I myself am an Asian who has lived half of my life away from the East, and thus very much have my inner paradigm shifted towards the west (especially because time living away from east is after age of 17 and onwards..). It provides a good guide in terms of understanding the wisdom, which sounds very simple and straight forward, but not so easy in terms of putting into practice.
Be compassionate, be tolerance towards suffering of life, etc. Sounds really easy. But is that easy for anyone of us to practice and thus cultivate a peace of mind? Not so much I guess. This book will give you good insights, illustrate in simple example how the concepts fit into a western life-style, with the help of Cutler's interpretation.
I give it a 4 stars though, because I think the writer himself (by some examples of his own experience such as going ballistic in India because of a careless cab driver, etc), has not fully absorbed the wisdom himself, and that I think has "discounted" the value of the wisdom. He'd be much more successful, if he could contrast his experience by giving example of how I would have done in the past, and how I do it now because I understand so and so..
It's the first book I purchased regarding the wisdom of Dalai Lama, I think I'm ready to read a book more sophisticated, in the sense that it is written solely by the Lama. I would imagine it becomes more philosophical, more conceptual. So this book would be a good start, for people like me, who looks for something more concrete and "tangible".