Customer Reviews for

The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living

Average Rating 4.5
( 82 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2004

    Significant and practical

    I am extremely wary of many self-improvement books, as (like the current Dr. Phil craze) they spend a lot of time (and a lot of reader's money) telling you common sense notions about standing up for yourself and so forth, presenting them in a no-frills, no-explanation manner masquerading as 'down-home honesty,' or in an attitude that insults the reader for not having discovered this common sense stuff already. But 'The Art of Happiness' is something different, and in my home it's a mandatory bedside title - the Dalai Lama's words are deceptively complex, but not in the manner of obfuscation. His discussions of Buddhist introspection, the value of meditation, the necessary levels of selfishness, the universal desire for happiness, and the dangers of many commonly taught forms of 'anger management' are invaluable in life, work, marriage, friendship, parenthood, etc. To the Dalai Lama, these attributes are not an exterior ability you must work hard to incorporate, but rather innate human psychological states of being that you must work hard to release. There is an inimitable value in this work, and its only detriment is that although Howard Cutler, the coauthor, claims to have spent hours recording the Dalai Lama's words for this book, the construction of many conversations seems awkward and forced - its reassuring, though, to know that the Dalai Lama's translator and advisor reviewed the text to ensure the Tibetan spiritual leader's ideas were not distorted. 'The Art of Happiness' is the first in a five-volume series, the second of which, 'The Art of Happiness at Work,' has just been published.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2000

    Always Improve

    There was nothing earth-shattering or eye opening in this book. But we shouldn't always have to be shocked or wow-ed into improving ourselves. There are some very simple and fundamental points that need to be rehearsed on a regular basis. How to be happy is one of them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2000

    Ideas great, Writing insufficient

    This is a book well worth the read. But, I felt as if I was reading a fifth or sixth grade textbook. The ideas and philosophies introduced were great and very informative. I feel that they have helped me with everyday stresses and strains. I would highly reccommend it.

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