Based on 2500 yrs. of Buddhist meditations mixed with a healthy dose of common sense, this audiobook crosses the boundaries of all traditions to help listeners with the difficulties common to all humn beings.
An extremely interesting and inspiring book that provides many of the Dalai Lama's insights into what it takes to be happy in today's world. The excerpts of interviews with His Holiness are read by Ernest Abuda (since the Dalai Lama's English is sometimes hard to understand). They're woven together into a whole by Howard Cutler, and MD who, to be perfectly honest, doesn't add a heck of a lot to the book. Although there are many references to the Buddhist teachings, the Dalai Lama stresses that the basic "techniques" can be used by all people, of any religion or no religion.
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
This book was alright. I like His Holiness the Dalai Lama, but I did not like Howard C. Cutler his co-author. Most of Cutler's comments are self-serving. I felt like I was reading a copy of his diary. However His Holiness has some good points and I will try harder to live in his example.
This is a wonderful book... mostly because of the insights and humor of H.H. the Dalai Lama. I could have done without all the asides and rationalizations by the other author, a psychiatrist. Definitely a worthwhile book, even if you are not seaching for meaning. It will enrich your life even if you already feel content.
While I love reading about the Dalai Lama and hearing what he has to say, I did not care for the way Mr. Cutler arranged the book or his style of writing. I found the sections regarding Psychiatry/Psychology to be jarring after reading sections from the Dalai Lama. Maybe because I already feel I'm well grounded in knowledge of the way the Western "mind" thinks and how we tend to evaluate emotions, actions and thinking in an analytical way. I wanted more of the Lama's wisdom in dealing with happiness and life, and less of the western antidotes.
One of the most profound books I have ever picked up. This has encompassed all my questions I have brought before a religious leader of some sort and none of them have ever been able to help me with my need to know why. It may not help everyone but it satisfied my curiosity. And it genuinely opened the doors for me to heal from my past, to deal with things happening in my present and to calm down about what may happen in the future. I have been passing this book around to my friends and insisting that it is a must read. Not to sound cliche but I do feel happier after reading this book.