Friday, May 9, 2014


As human beings, we have always been on the hunt for happiness, and we will forever be on the hunt for it.  We consult gurus and sages, people we think have found the path to true happiness.  The Dalai Lama is one of those people that as a society we tend to turn to find wisdom in our search for happiness and other aspects of life.  His book “The Art of Happiness” helps us get one step closer to finding what we are looking for and passes on his wisdom for not only this generation but thousands to come.

The first thing a reader needs to realize is that his book was not directly written by the Dalai Lama himself but by Howard Cutler, who based the book off of his numerous conversations with His Holiness.  The focus of the book is that happiness is a product of the mind, not something tangible we can access.  The book explores that idea in depth and approaches the subject in a way that is practical and easy to put into action.  One important thing His Holiness does is make a distinction between happiness and pleasure, something we often times confuse with one another.  Once we ourselves are able to make that distinction then we can be on our way to happiness.

This book displays the humility and compassion that we all know to be characteristic of the Dalai Lama.  We see the reflections of his spirituality, kindness, and wisdom among many other things.  Through his words to Mr. Cutler, we are given things to meditate on and see the wisdom that he has accumulated throughout the years.  One thing that hit home for me about happiness is that we let our own demons (pain, heartache, anger, guilt etc) come in between us and happiness.  Not only does the book help us come to the realization that we allow those things to hinder our search, but always helps us learn how to avoid those things and defeat the ones we deal with currently.

While the book is about the Dalai Lama’s reflections on the art of finding happiness, there is a lot of Cutler’s commentary and analysis of the principles that His Holiness speaks about.  Cutler even provides examples from his own practices.  The reader is able to tell the difference between the two speaking and thought processes.  While I appreciate hearing Cutler’s take on the things the Dalai Lama speaks about, his commentary began to take away from the effect of the book and teachings of His Holiness.  His practices help getting a general idea of putting the reflections of the Dalai Lama into practice, but I would have maybe wanted that at the end, almost like an afterward.

This was a very hard book to put down.  I enjoyed reading some of the reflections and insights from His Holiness.  It enlightened my own insights on what happiness was and searching for true happiness in my life.  I do suggest this book to anyone who wants to have a book that will make them take a look at their own lives and see what they can change.  I highly suggest reading this.

  Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Final Review: This is a book that needs to be read, it will change how you view and interpret different situations.  Add it your shelf/coffee table.

Pros: very insightful, changes views on happiness and how to achieve it.

Cons:  NONE

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