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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happiness According to the Dalai Lama
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...
Published on Dec 8 2008 by Beth

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappoint under the covers
I received this book as a Christmas present with the excitement of a child opening an awaited present. I was looking in anticipation to read 319 pages on what the Dalai Lama had to say on "Happiness" (in his words). Instead as I read further and further into the chapters I understood that this was Howard's words and not the Dalai Lama's. I did not pay to read...
Published on Jan. 5 2000 by Steve Parsons


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happiness According to the Dalai Lama, Dec 8 2008
This review is from: The Art of Happiness (Hardcover)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappoint under the covers, Jan. 5 2000
This review is from: The Art of Happiness (Hardcover)
I received this book as a Christmas present with the excitement of a child opening an awaited present. I was looking in anticipation to read 319 pages on what the Dalai Lama had to say on "Happiness" (in his words). Instead as I read further and further into the chapters I understood that this was Howard's words and not the Dalai Lama's. I did not pay to read Howard; so I felt betrayed by the cover with a picture of the Dalai Lama and the content being for the most part from someone else then portrayed. The title should be changed to "The Art of Illusion".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening, Even For The Uninspired, April 18 2011
By 
IDGS (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Art of Happiness (Paperback)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable treatise, Nov. 24 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Art of Happiness (Hardcover)
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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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars False Advertising, Aug. 20 2004
By 
Michelle (Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Art of Happiness (Hardcover)
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a new way to think about life's ups and downs, May 21 2003
By 
Shannon B Davis "Nepenthe" (Arlington, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Art of Happiness (Hardcover)
Let me just say upfront that I'm a pretty skeptical person and I don't go in for touchy-feely stuff very easily. That said, I really enjoyed this book and think that almost anyone could get something out of it.
It is a series of discussions with the Dalai Llama and the author's reflections on his words. The author makes an honest attempt to understand the presented doctrine, but doesn't hesitate to ask probing questions. Sometimes he even gets the Dalai Llama to think about things in a new way!
For me, the main theme of the book was about patience, tolerance, and understanding. It has certainly changed my perspective on human behaviour, and I feel I am calmer for this. Although I am not capable yet of embracing all the qualities that this book espouses, I am definitely changed by reading it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dalai Lama fan, not a Cutler fan, April 22 1999
By A Customer
I admire the eloquent words and preachings of the Dali Lama. However, it is unfortunate that "intellectual exibitionists" such as Cutler have used tha Dalai Lama's notable and well-recognized name and face as an opportunity to display his so-call worldly "intellect". I was pleased only by the Dalai Lama's verbatim statements in this book. However, I could have done without Cutler's self-absorbing comments and self-praised remarks as a means to reassure himself of his intelligence. Perhaps Cutler should re-read the Dalai Lama's teachings which emphasize the importance of humbleness. I suppose that for Cutler, having an advanced degree does not guarantee with it any common sense or respect for someone as well-praised and humble as the Dalai Lama.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Should not be allowed to put the Dalai Lama as the author., April 4 2014
He did not write the book, why should Howard be allowed to sell it as so... otherwise it was alright. It gets the message across I suppose.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good read, March 10 2014
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars The best, Sept. 8 2013
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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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