Friday, June 24, 2011


The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for LivingThe Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living by Dalai Lama XIV

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well ... I almost gave it three stars instead of four ... simply because Cutler's narratives drove me nuts. I loved the messages of Dalai Lama, but I found Cutler's words irritating! (Cutler is the Western psychiatrist who interviewed the Dalai Lama and put the book together).

I know ... if I would put into practice the art of compassion as taught by the Dalai Lama, Cutler's opinions wouldn't have bothered me. However, I'm not that enlightened.

It seemed as though Cutler belittled some of the Buddhist philosophies, calling them "too simple." Then, he would reference situations and examples where either he was playing the "devil's advocate" to make a more profound point of the Dalai Lama's messages, OR Cutler was very insensitive. I just thought, here is a man with a personal audience with the Dalai Lama - - - why is he not learning and putting into practice the things he is hearing?

I began to skim Cutler's sections and read the Dalai Lama's sections more slowly.

I found the Dalai Lama's messages inspiring. To understand the difference between pleasure and happiness ... a new window was opened for me. After reading that section, I was able to make decisions more easily based on whether the choice would provide me long term happiness or short term pleasure. A great way to look at things.

Many other great messages opened my eyes and also reaffirmed personal beliefs regarding charity, tolerance, forgiveness, and other important ideas.

A great book regardless of your religious affinities.

It is one I will read again.

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  1. I haven't read that one. Thanks for the review.

  2. I don't have many heroes: the Dalai Lama is one.

  3. One of my favorite books! Love it! A really good one about change is Feelings Buried Alive Never Die or Remembering Wholeness.(Remembering Wholeness is a little gentler in it's approach.)