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TOP 500 REVIEWERon April 13, 2013
This book is a great primer for the Dalai Lama. See also a DVD documentary where the maker travels to meet with the Dalai Lama , AND GETS AN AUDIENCE!! He asks a number of questions ( 10 )
( not exactly what I would have asked but still...). Very interesting. His accent is thick. He is not speaking his native language
so make allowances and listen a couple of times... Very full filling for me...
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on December 8, 2008
This book is suppose to represent the Dalai Lama's views on happiness. Readers should know right off the bat that the Dalai Lama didn't actually write this book. Rather, the book is written by a Western psychiatrist who has had extensive converations with His Holiness. To insure that there were no "inadvertant distortions" of the Dalai Lama's ideas as a result of the editorial process, the Dalai Lama's interpreter reviewed the final manuscript. You be the judge as to whether that means this there was nothing "lost in translation".

So who is this Dalai Lama, aka "His Holiness" anyway? And, why should we read a book about happiness by him? Well, the Dalai Lama is the spiritual and political leader of the Tibetan people according to Tibetan Buddhism- which in my book makes him a person I'd want to listen to when he talks, especially when it's on one of my favorite subjects, happiness. And if this all sounds like an interesting topic for a book, you should read it- you won't be disappointed.

Now this is the kind of book I could write a long review of- simply because there's just so much wisdom packed into it. But, I think I'll take a short-cut with this one and just hit the highlights.

The Dalai Lama believes that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. Other happiness books have also taken this same position. For example, the book Finding Happiness in a Frustrating World refers to happiness as "the ultimate pursuit". On this most will agree, but what exactly does the Dalai Lama tell us about finding it?

As with most of his ideas on things, the concept is clear and simple: happiness can be achieved through training the mind. According to the Dalai Lama, 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. That is the way.

To that end, that's exactly what makes up the majority of this book's pages- ways to eliminate factors in your life that lead to suffering, and learning to foster those factors that lead to happiness. Some specific topics include:

-facing suffering
-dealing with anger, hatred, and anxiety
-building self-esteem
-deepening your connection to others

When all is said and done, I'd have to say that the time you spend mulling over the book's 300-plus pages is going to be well worth it. For most readers, the Dalai Lama's wisdom and views will probably be very beneficial, if not transforming. Happy trails!
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on April 18, 2011
A fantastic read, both in hearing directly the teachings of the Dalai Lama, and the more scientific take of Dr. Cutler.

I picked this up a couple of years ago, and have slowly read it when the moment strikes. I'm sure it would have more of an impact if you read it in one sitting, but it still rouses a desire for self-improvement if taken in moderate doses.

Now, I'll be frank (you can be whomever you like, fear not) - I'm not a big fan of self-help books. New Age Spirtuality? Bleh. I'd rather read a gore-fuelled nightmare than read about chanelling my energy and preaching to rocks. Despite this, I found this to be a very engaging title, and one that makes you think.

In North America, we're a product of our psyches, and often bend to their wills without knowing it. Think about it - you think of all the work you have to do when you get home from work, so you get tired. Really tired. But stop - take a second, why? Well, because you're thinking of how tired you're going to be. Are you tired now? No.

As soon as the realization comes, you're not all that tired anymore. Not looking forward to the work ahead, but at the moment - nah, you're pretty much alright.

The Dalai Lama thinks happiness works much in the same way. Think about happiness, and search for it. Make it a conscious thing, rather than an abstract idea, nice to talk about when it's absent - or seemingly so - from your day.

In any case, pick it up. Quite enlightening, really.
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on January 27, 2016
I've read this book over several times and have shared it with many friends. It's torn and tattered now. I enjoyed every word of this book and it has enlightened my life to no end. I highly recommend this book to anyone.
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on March 10, 2014
This book was writing very well. I appreciate the fact that Buddhism was not the main topic. Yes, the person being interviewed is a Buddhist but the main focus in this book was the research on Happiness. The Dalai Lama shares his own life experiences as well as the scientific research to convey a message. If you feel that your life is missing something and you can't quite figure out what, then this is a book for you. I hope it makes a difference in your life as it did mine.
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on November 24, 2002
Always one to be skeptical of these kinds of collaborative book efforts, I think it's important to point out that 'The Art of Happiness' was written not by the Dalai Lama, but by Howard C. Cutler, a psychiatrist. Dr. Cutler weaves together exerpts from numerous conversations with the Dalai Lama spanning many years, and from public talks given throughout Arizona in 1993. The result is an enjoyable treatise on a topic of widespread importance: happiness (or the lack thereof). I also highly recommend "Open Your Mind, Open Your Life: A Book of Eastern Wisdom" by Taro Gold, which makes a great companion book to all of the Dalai Lama's works.
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on March 9, 2016
A beautiful book that you can feel, is written with love and without judgement. His teachings refer to everyday situations and can easily be applied, for the ultimate gift of inner peace and happiness.
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on August 20, 2004
Howard C. Cutler knows how to sell a book - stick a big picture of the Dalai Lama on the cover and exploit the heck out of him. This book was very disappointing. I was expecting a book on the wisdom of the Dalai Lama's teachings. Instead I read a discouraging rendition of a psychiatrist's struggle to understand something he obviously just does not get. He blunders through interview after interview with the Dalai Lama spending much more time relating his own interpretations of "The Art of Happiness" than passing on what the Dalai Lama has taught. If you want to read a rude, arrogant psychiatrist's version of happiness, this book is for you. If you would rather hear what the expert has to say, I suggest looking somewhere else.
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on September 8, 2013
This is my fifth time buying this book as I keep giving it away to someone I think might benefit from it. I read many inspirational books and how to live a better , more happy and healthy life. This is by far the best. If everyone could follow this philosophy what a wonderful world we would live in.
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on March 13, 2003
This book is not typical east meets west. Rather it is a gentle presentation of fundemental behaviors and spiritual practices which truly enrich ones life. The Art of Happiness presents principles for living. The book is is written with many pratical examples which give the reader insight into their reason for being. The majic of the book is that it is presented in a gentle and open manner.
I am a member of a fellowship of men and women who believe that change is based on spiritual principles and the daily affirmation (for some) that a higher power is present in some form. This higher power may be called, God or take on any name or form you wish. The fellowship has been growing worldwide since 1935.
My interest in writing this review is to attest to the fact that The Art of Living and the fellowship follow the same principles. A path of personal growth and recovery are most definitely wound together in the teachings of the Dalai Lama and the principles which undergird the fellowship started by Bill W. and Dr. Bob.
What struck me most about the similarities of each was the emphasis on compassion, our being equal with all others. Another fundemental point made is that the life of identification with suffering is lived without the element of being a do gooder. Rather we strive to identify with the suffereing of our fellow beings. To our western culture compassion lived on a daily basis is counter to the notion of getting to the top, having the most toys at the end of the day.
Bopth the Dalai Lama's teaching and the principles of the fellowship stress a focus on, living a live of tolerance, forgiveness and patients. These are some other very basic and important principles that are life changing and affirming.
This book is almost a must read for those in the fellowship. Lets say, it is my humble suggestion to my fellow traverlers who chose to travel along the path of recovery. The two thoughts seemed to blend so well going hand in glove, a very comfortable spiritual fit. The Art of Living with its 2500 year old principles of self enlightnement are no stranger to those who strive to live a spriritual life and grow a day at a time by practicing (the application) of many principles on a daily basis.
This lifestyle is very much as applicable today as it was in 1935 or 2500 years ago.
Enjoy the journey, enjoy the book, enjoy the practicality of its insights.
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