Yet again, another charity shop searching for another great read, and (as I do most times in those shops) I get lucky, the face of HH Dalai Lama in on a cover of a book, he has a calm/smiling expression on he’s face. I reach out to take the book and see the title “The Art of Happiness”, yup this one is for me. I pay £2 at the counter and head back home smiling and exited. I can’t wait to dig in. Now you may ask why every time I’m in a book store or a charity shop I get so exited? It’s because I feel like a little kid in a candy store and since I don’t eat candy or sugar all I have left is books. 😀
I have been interested in Buddhism and Philosophy for many years, even at school the only subject that I didn’t fail was Philosophy (and Geography, yes I kick-ass at Geography 🙂 ). So seeing a Buddhist and Philosophy related book was a natural pick for me, and I’m a bit of a cheapskate so the price of £2 was perfect as well.
Enough of my yapping let’s get down to the nitty gritty of this book and see what this product is all about.
Product Description (from Amazon)
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
What I think of the book:
The book is actually not about the Dalai Lama entirely, the book is written by Howard C. Cutler and he writes about he’s meetings and “interviews” with the man himself Dalai Lama. So there are “on” and “off” moments when it comes to wisdom from the great teacher and there are moments that the author tells stories of he’s life and he’s work.
This shouldn’t discourage you, the book is very well written and full of wisdom and philosophy that will make you think for a long time. If you want a book that is more intensively jam-packed with wisdom and East philosophy then this book is not for you. The wisdom pace of this one is a bit slower and you need to enjoy the “ride”.
The book is around 270 pages so it’s a nice read, and it has a lot of that famous Dalai Lama style of wisdom. I recommend to read it early in the morning or mid day so you can grasp all of the advice and philosophy in it.
If I need to point out things that I didn’t like about this book is that maybe the part of the author (Mr.Cutler) should have been a bit smaller in the book and because you have the Dalai Lama on the cover you think that the book is all about him. And that’s a bit misleading. But never the less the book is worth reading if you’re in to Philosophy Non-Fiction.
Book available at:
- Amazon (US) –The Art of Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Handbook for Living
- Amazon (UK) – The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living
- Amazon (Canada) – The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living
Overall Rating – 4/5
There you have it, another book review that will help you the next time you can’t decide what to read. Let me say that all the reviews that I do on this blog are not affiliate products in any way. These are just products that I have used or stumble across and I like them and recommend.
Feel more than welcome to leave a comment if you have read this book before or you may recommend some other book that you like.
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