The Art Of Happiness

His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler

Publisher

Mobius

Published

1999

ISBN

978-0340750155

Reviewer

Jen Dexter

In this remarkable book where Western psychology meets the wisdom of the East, I discovered that happiness is, in fact, an art that we can all master throughout our lives. This easy-to-read book consists of a series of conversations between the Dalai Lama – one of the world’s great spiritual leaders, and western psychiatrist Dr Howard C. Cutler, focussing on the following main areas – the purpose of life, human warmth and compassion, transforming suffering, overcoming obstacles in our lives, plus a section at the end on spiritual values.

What I found incredible about this book is that the Dalai Lama is able to relate his personal beliefs about life to everybody, irrespective of race, religion or social background, stating that as humans we all share the same major goals in life whereby we want to be happy and we want to avoid suffering. Through recognition of this seemingly simple fact we can begin the process of allowing ourselves to be happy whilst showing compassion to those around us.

The Dalai Lama declares on the first page that “the very purpose of our lives is to seek happiness,” and when questioned whether this is really a reasonable goal for everybody to achieve he replies with a confident affirmation that it is – happiness is a matter of training the mind. The remainder of the book further explores reasons why so many of us are not completely happy in our lives, including case studies from Dr Cutler’s field of work, and offering simple yet insightful solutions of ways that we can all overcome suffering and enhance positive mental states.

Just reading the words on the pages always leaves me feeling inspired, positive and motivated about life, and ready to face daily challenges with a new outlook and perspective, as have many friends of mine who I have recommended this book to.   

Enjoy!   

Jen Dexter X

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