'The Art Of Happiness' By HH Dalai Lama And Howard C Cutler

'The art of happiness' is a soothing book, full of practical advice not only about happiness, but also about other important issues that come up in everyday life.

This easy-to-read book is the product of several interviews between Howard Cutler and the Dalai Lama.

'The art of happiness' keeps a friendly tone, coupled with short amazing stories throughout the book, and the first hand experience of the Dalai Lama from the perspective of Howard Cutler.

On happiness

Regarding happiness, the Dalai Lama states very clearly that "[...] the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness". What is best, "[...] happiness can be achieved through training the mind".

The Dalai Lama exposes that we can attain happiness through our choice of thoughts and attitudes:

"For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities - warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful, and more peaceful - happier."

Pain and suffering

Although we dislike physical pain, this comforting book shows us why physical pain is needed: it lets us know what our body needs.

Besides, pain can actually be an element of connection with others: "It is our suffering that is the most basic element that we share with others, the factor that unifies us with all living creatures".

The Dalai Lama adds that "We also often add to our pain and suffering by being overly sensitive, overreacting to minor things, and sometimes taking things too personally...". With thoughts like this one, 'The art of happiness' is a truly positive thinking book.

On anxiety

I particularly enjoyed the Dalai Lama's book because of the gems of wisdom that you can find in it along the way. For example, this is what the Dalai Lama says in regards to dealing with worry and anxiety:

"If the situation of problem is such that it can be remedied, then there is no need to worry about it. [...] Alternatively, if there is no way out, no solution, no possibility of resolution, then there is also no point in being worried about it, because you can't do anything about it anyway."

Other bits and pieces

From a Westener's point of view, it can be very challenging to deal with anger and hatred in the way the Dalai Lama advises: through patience and tolerance.

This is another way of shifting perspective and deal with difficult circumstances through positive thinking.

'The art of happiness' deals also with the issues of loneliness, nurturing flexible thinking, developing a new perspective, and even building self-esteem.

All in all, the Dalai Lama recommends a kinder view on others: "Seeing others as basically compassionate instead of hostile and selfish helps us relax, trust, live at ease. It makes us happier."

'The art of happiness' is a revealing book - the perfect companion on a trip to make you discover something new.

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"So, by making a steady effort, I think we can overcome any form of negative conditioning and make positive changes in our lives."

HH Dalai Lama

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