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Hardcover The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World Book

ISBN: 0767920643

ISBN13: 9780767920643

The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

Blending common sense and modern psychiatry, The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World applies Buddhist tradition to twenty-first-century struggles in a relevant way. The result is a wise approach to dealing with human problems that is both optimistic and realistic, even in the most challenging times. How can we expect to find happiness and meaning in our lives when the modern world seems such an unhappy place? His Holiness the Dalai Lama has suffered...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Finding Happiness in Oneself and Others

In 1998, H.H. the Dalai Lama and Dr. Howard C. Cutler, an American psychiatrist, wrote a book, "The Art of Happiness" which became a surprise best-seller. The Art of Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Handbook for Living This book taught the importance of looking within and of controlling destructive emotions in finding happiness. Then, in 2003, the Dalai Lama and Dr. Cutler again collaborated in a book "The Art of Happiness at Work" which explores the reasons why many people suffer from job dissatisfaction and offers suggestions about improving one's life in the workplace. The Art of Happiness at Work The Dalai Lama and Dr. Cutler have again collaborated on this third book, "The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World" (2009) which is substantially more ambitious in scope than its predecessors. The book is based upon a series of conversations between the two men held over the course of several years. Dr. Cutler wrote and formatted the book which was then read and approved by the Dalai Lama's interpreter. The book is roughly structured in the form of conversation and follow-up. Dr. Cutler and the Dalai Lama meet for, roughly, one hour per day during which Cutler questions the Dalai Lama on various matters pertaining to finding happiness. The Dalai Lama responds, frequently by reformulating Cutler's questions, and the two attempt to elaborate their ideas. Cutler usually takes the role of questioner. Following Cutler's descriptions of the meetings, he elaborates and expounds upon the Dalai Lama's ideas in his own voice. Sometimes Cutler offers a commentary upon what he has heard. But more often he uses his experience as a psychiatrist and his familiarity with recent psychological and neurological literature to put the Dalai Lama's ideas in a scientific context. The Dalai Lama's teachings, of course, are ultimately drawn from Buddhism, but this is not a religious book. Instead, the Dalai Lama presents what he calls "secular ethics" which he believes will be of value to people regardless of their religious commitments. Cutler writes from the perspective of Western science with the aim of showing the wisdom to be found in the Dalai Lama's teachings. The book examines a common dichotomy in thinking about happiness. Some people believe happiness is an individual matter and must be pursued by each person for him or herself independently of social issues. Other people think, roughly, that happiness is social and that it is necessary to look at political and related conditions, such as poverty, war, and prejudice, and alleviate them if people are to be happy. In a variety of ways, the Dalai Lama and Cutler attempt to break down this dichotomy. They try to show that happiness is not an either-or situation but that the individual and the social depend upon each other. Thus, in the first part of the book, titled "I, Us, and Them" they reject both the dichotomy between "I or we" and the further dichotomy between "Us or Them." in favor of an understa

An incredible wonderful book!

An incredible wonderful book, and the best so far by Dr. Cutler and the Dalai Lama. There are many Dalai Lama books, but the ones written with Dr. Cutler are by far the most enjoyable and readable. Dr. Cutler is both brilliant and gentle, asking the questions we would all like to ask and making the concepts of the Dalai Lama go straight to the reader's heart. This MUST be the next book you read: it will help you more than anything else you can imagine to understand our world and to live happily within it. It is time for Dr. Cutler to write his own book: he writes with such piercing yet entertaining clarity. Thank you!

Key book

The Dalai Lama's book is an important work which made me question how we are going about finding happiness, individually and collectively. His notion about how one's vision of human nature can mean the difference between living in a hostile, violent or a gentle, helpful world is fresh and courageous - opening doors to new possibilities. I found his idea of connecting with our basic nature of goodness to begin experiencing this well-being and connectedness, key. What I also find fascinating is that along with this spiritual leader's message there are other authors complementing that vision and making it available to experience in everyday life. Ariel and Shya Kane thru their book Working on Yourself Doesn't Work: The 3 Simple Ideas That Will Instantaneously Transform Your Life, are 2 such authors. Enjoy these two books that made an important impact in my life and my levels of well-being and of those around me.

Shifting Perspectives!

There are three things that really struck me about what the Dalai Lama has to say. First, is just the very, very different perspective that the point of life is to live with happiness. I don't know that that was necessarily presented as the purpose of life to me when I was growing up, so it struck me as a remarkably different angle from which to see the choices we make in life. And it frankly shifts one's perspective about what really makes us happy or what happiness really means. Second, is that when one looks at what really makes one happy, what really brings satisfaction to one's life, what the Dalai Lama suggests about shifting 'from me to we' really hits home. When we shift our attention off ourselves, whether individually or nationally, and put our attention on others and how we can be of service to them, we are living with a higher purpose - and this state is what he terms happiness. Its a different and deeper definition of the word, rooted in compassion. Third, the Dalai Lama talks about perspective itself and suggests that people need to consider that there are many ways to see the same thing and that just because a person or a culture has an agreed upon perspective about something, in this case 'the purpose of life,' does not mean that is the right or only perspective. He urges readers to be open to seeing in a different way. This book is incredible for these concepts alone! The Dalai Lama's point of view immediately brings to mind authors Ariel and Shya Kane's work, which is very much about how to live your life with wellbeing and satisfaction, taking your attention off of yourself, and being of service to others. I would highly recommend reading their amazing books, How to Create a Magical Relationship: The 3 Simple Ideas that Will Instantaneously Transform Your Love Life and Working on Yourself Doesn't Work: The 3 Simple Ideas That Will Instantaneously Transform Your Life in conjunction with The Art of Happiness In a Troubled World - they compliment each other wonderfully.


I was lucky enough to find this book at Barnes & Noble on the day of it's release. Just 4 days later, I have finished reading it and can only say I was wowed many times! This book takes a journey through the world issues we are currently facing and provides hope to those of us who strive to make a change. Very easy read and I highly recommend it! You will be wowed as well, I am sure of it!
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