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The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  652 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
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 mode
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Hardcover, 368 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Harmony (first published 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,722)
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Holly
Feb 24, 2010 Holly rated it it was ok
I wanted to read something from the Dali Lama and this was available. I did not finish it. Here is why. The author cashes in on his relationship with the Dali Lama. Page after page is filled with, "his holiness the Dali Lama stretched his feet, took off his plain shoes and sat cross legged on the chair then answered me." What a waste of space and my reading time. There were a few good thoughts here but I felt like I waded through pages of mire to get to one good sentence. Basicly, get involved i ...more
Kenyon
Sep 10, 2014 Kenyon rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kenyon by: Emily
Shelves: audiobooks
This is probably one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. It gave me a lot to think about regarding how I view others and how I fit into my community. It showed me that a lot of what makes up the quality of my life is how I view and react to the world around me. This book couldn't have come at a better time in my life. I appreciate that my wife read it and the numerous conversations that this book has motivated.
Stacey
Dec 29, 2010 Stacey rated it liked it
I would have given it 4 stars if the author didn't repeat himself so much. The content in the book that is actually by the Dalai Lama is minimal, but nice. The author's addition of relevant scientific studies was nice as well, but he didn't need to reiterate, and reiterate, and then summarize, his discussions with the Dalai Lama so much (I understood it the first time). At one point I noticed two paragraphs back to back that said the same thing in different words. I even stumbled across two sent ...more
Kathy
May 24, 2012 Kathy rated it it was ok
This is the third book in the series (a.k.a. the one you get when you put a hold on the wrong version at the library). The parts about group connections, how collectivites work, etc. were interesting, however primarily because I had just read about this from a different perspective in The Tipping Point and coincidentally heard some Ted Talks on the subject as well. Overall, too much Cutler, not enough Dalai Lama.
Irfan
Mar 11, 2013 Irfan rated it really liked it
I haven't read the original The Art of Happiness book. So I just want to highlight some important things.

"Every man tends to be good and positive minded."

"Our reason for having an aggressive mindset is to protect us from immediate dangers (predator/fire/enemy)."

"By making others happy, we make our self happy."

"Hope, optimism, resilience."

"By taking others' perspective, we learn compassion."

"When we see other groups/races/ethnics, we tend to differ them from us. When we realize that we are all th
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Jeff
Jun 24, 2012 Jeff rated it it was ok
Caveat: as I see it, one could view the DL as a Tibetan Pope, in the medieval sense ... the pinnacle of a theocracy under which all people do not at all share equal access to economic and other opportunities.

So it is rather easy to map all that on to the worst of the worst in Liberal Democratic terms.

Of course there is more to it than that: He and his respected fellows are expert (in the eyes of many) spokesMEN (of course) within the reasonably open world of Buddhist discourse.

Also, is it true
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T. Browning
Jan 19, 2015 T. Browning rated it liked it
Fairly, and surprisingly, disappointing. Butter spread over too much bread, or whatever the LOTR saying is. There was just so little of the actual words of the Dalai Lama in this book that having him as an author seems really disingenuous. The topic itself, mostly positive psychology and social relations theory are interesting enough, but not for the length of this book, especially without some other narrative to keep it going besides occasional conversations with the Dalai Lama which all seemed ...more
Sarah
Jul 06, 2010 Sarah rated it liked it
I'd really give this book three and a half stars. It is written by Howard Cutler, a psychiatrist, based upon a series of interviews he conducted with the Dalai Lama. This is also one in a series of books written by the duo, specifically focusing on how to achieve happiness in a world filled with racism, hatred, stereotypes and fear. What I particularly enjoyed about this book was that Howard supported the Dalai Lama's exercises with scientific proof based upon psychological studies. However, as ...more
Ryan G
May 05, 2014 Ryan G rated it it was ok
Back in my college days I would have loved this book. I would have poured over it's pages and gotten lost in the words. They would have been soaked in my brain and soul to be quoted for years to all my friends until they got sick of me saying them. Now this was when I was devouring books like The Celestine Prophecy and Mutant Message Down Under and could occasionally be found deep in thought taking myself way too seriously.

Now that I'm a little older, OK a little more than a little but not too m
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Vanessa
Mar 27, 2015 Vanessa rated it did not like it
You know, when you see those book, hard cover, where people cut off part of the pages, so they can hide stuff inside of it... ?

I think I'm gonna do this with this piece of marketing.

I choose this book, because I was curious, and I really wanted to learn more about Happiness, but this book is ... awful. The author did a great job, still he put together few years of conversation into few books ... that's it.

I didn't learn much out of this book,
I learn a post-it note, of new stuff, that's it.

S
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Melody
Mar 23, 2014 Melody rated it it was ok
Oh, this was just too much. The authorial voice of Harold Cutler was intrusive, repetitive, and annoying every time he was with the Dalai Lama. He kept making these pronouncements along the lines of "His Holiness removed his humble sandals, leaned back in his chair and poured himself some hot water before raising his eyebrows expectantly in my direction." Yes, yes, you are with the Dalai Lama, you lucky stiff, we get it. Let's move on to what he said, shall we? Well, no, first we have to listen ...more
Zaphoddent
Dec 31, 2013 Zaphoddent rated it did not like it
There’s way too much of Cutler's thoughts and not enough of the Dalai Lama. This is more an advertisement for the books written by Cutler and a vehicle for sharing his world view with the express hope that the Dalai Lama would agree with him. Cutler's isn’t an opinion I’d ordinarily care for and I had to give up when his unwitting condescending treatment finally got on my nerves.
Sasha Rose Clifton Oxnard
Such a shame... since inherently I think both authors may have some interesting things to say... but the verbatim descriptions of the conversations with the Dalai Lama were enough to make me almost put the book down. And, in the end, it really didn't say anything new at all. Some nice points, but overall a huge disappointment.
Brad McKenna
Dec 27, 2015 Brad McKenna rated it liked it
Shelves: buddhism
This is the 3rd book in The Art of Happiness series. Like all of them, they're great intros to how to inject Buddhist mindfulness training into your life in Western Society. The fact that Dr. Cutler speaks for the majority of the book is one reason I only rated this 3 stars.

I read the first book years ago when I was first learning about Buddhism and it was invaluable. This book is more of the same. The Dalai Lama says that it's easier to feel connected to anyone; friends, enemies, even stranger
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Karen J
This book is good but not what I expected. This is mostly the author and psychiatrist Dr. Cutler asking convoluted questions of the Dalai Lama and very little of the Dalai Lama's answers. I would have much preferred hearing more of the Dalai Lama. However, there are some interesting statistics that make it worth reading.
Rubina
This book is a collection of dialogues between the Dalai Lama and Dr Howard Cutler, an American psychiatrist, examining the roots of the problems faced by the world and the approaches we can take to achieve personal and societal happiness. These include creating a spirit of community and cultivating a deeper feeling of connection to all human beings by reflecting on our social nature, reflecting on our interdependence and reflecting on our common humanity which becomes the basis for generating a ...more
Holly Amber
Dec 24, 2014 Holly Amber rated it did not like it
Like another reviewer said, they wasted space talking about when the Dalai Lama took a tea break, etc. It was like an interview where a psychologist wanted to see if he could crush the spirit of the Dalai Lama. It brings up the point of people will typically be happier if they view the people as generally good instead of generally bad and then tells you how terrible the world is. I'm just saying that is really a different kind of book. I listened to the audio book on my commute to and from work. ...more
Chelsea Merkley
Apr 07, 2016 Chelsea Merkley rated it it was amazing
I listened to 13 cd's of this book in my car on the way to and from choir about 40 minutes away. I have never listened to anything so insightful and compassionate. It may repeat itself quite a few times to get its point acrosst, but the main take away from this series is that we are all a member of the human family and all deserve compassion, empathy, kindness and respect whether we are religious or secular.

The book talks about deeper problems in society of trust vs. mistrust and compassion vs.
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Hannah Brislin
May 31, 2015 Hannah Brislin rated it it was amazing
Dr. Howard C. Cutler was really great at analyzing the Dalai Lama's current lectures he does throughout his tours around the world. The Dalai Lama always makes a great point in teaching the importance of understanding what is going on around us, and in the human race. He always teaches that we all need to show compassion towards others, and to have knowledge of the troubles in our world. He does however place a great deal of importance in stating that even with educating ourselves on the horror ...more
Emily Schirmer
Mar 27, 2015 Emily Schirmer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of the greatest and most inspirational, uplifting books I have ever read.


The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World: A Cliff Notes Summary : )

• Compassion for everyone is of utmost importance.
o Realize that (mostly) no one is inherently evil, but that actions are evil and all evil acts can be a result of many building circumstances/actions.
Everything is interconnected.
• A sense of community is important and even has many health benefits.
• Everyone is different, yes, but everyone is a human be
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Hillary roberts
Dec 16, 2014 Hillary roberts rated it liked it
My Review 2

I am all about reading books on how to be more happy and how to make this world a better place. I first heard about this book from unfinished Person. I had high expectations of this book buts sadly I felt sort of let down. I thought this book would be all about theDalai Lama and how to better achieve happiness but rather it was more of the authorHoward Cutler M.D writing about his experience with the Dalai Lama and then as an after thought what the Dali Lama says about how to live.

To be fair th
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Edward Wong
Feb 14, 2016 Edward Wong rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourite book so far. It inspired me a lot and altered my attitude towards others in a positive way. I am not a Buddhist and this book is not about Buddhism but, I would say; the wisdom from a wise man. In this book, he outlines root cause for a number of social issues that we are encountering on a daily basis; i.e. hate, discrimination, stereotyping and etc. Correspondingly, he provides simple, easy to practice ways to alter our attitude positively towards such issues and methods in ...more
Bianca
Aug 01, 2014 Bianca rated it liked it
Decent. Repetitive like many of the reviews have stated. One thing I found most enlightening was the discussion regarding isolation in society and how people don't feel connected to one another. I find I'm at most happiest when I'm engaging in activities that I enjoy with others. So I guess for me it was good to reflect on how I can make people feel more free and able to interact with me. Isolation is very hard to overcome mostly b/c you feel people are judging you for wanting friendship etc so ...more
Tempest Devyne
Jan 05, 2015 Tempest Devyne rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help
If you can be patient with book and put up with Howard Cutler repeating the same points over and over and whatever the western student of Buddism version of mansplaining is, then you will discover golden nuggets of wisdom from the Dalai Lama. I do wish there was far more of the Dalai Lama's actual 'voice' talking to is through the book instead of it being sandwiched with huge "the Dalai Lama took off his old flip flops" "the Dalai Lama sat back and laughed". Saying this though, I think the part ...more
hissi
I didn't like the way this book was presented. an endless conversation that stressed over what the dalai lama was doing and how he did it rather than just conveying the message. lots if repetitive passages. I found it very lacking in style and unable to convey it's message
Carolyn Christopher
Jan 01, 2016 Carolyn Christopher rated it it was amazing
Yes, I agree that the author "used" his position as a friend to his Holiness to "pad" the content. However, I intend to re-read the book to reinforce the simple yet profound commentary of his Holiness.
Marco Garcia
Jan 19, 2015 Marco Garcia rated it really liked it
If I had to choose one religion it would be buddhism, Dalai Lama teaches about compassion, kindness and love in general without the pretension I've experienced from judeo-christian religions.
Nathanael
Apr 28, 2015 Nathanael rated it did not like it
I didn't care for the way this book was written. I liked the original "Art of Happiness", but this sequel was lecturing, pedantic and far from engaging.
Ellen
Jun 07, 2013 Ellen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Despite the fact that much of what the Dalai Lama says speaks to me, I found this book to be pretty irritating. Much of it was Dr. Cutler's superfluous comments about what the Dalai Lama said or didn't say, as it related to what Dr. Cutler had HOPED he would say. He asked the same questions repeatedly, became irritated if he didn't get the answers he had expected, and seemed to try to get the Dalai Lama to tweak his answers to be in tune with what the psychiatrist wanted. Maybe it was just me, b ...more
Nima Askari
Feb 26, 2013 Nima Askari rated it it was amazing
Great read. In a world consumed by possessions, and importance of wealth and the thought of it bringing happines, or even attempting to find happiness from someone else we all have it wrong and need to be happy with ourselves truly. All other things are just secondary. I enjoyed reading this at a time where I was in search of myself, and the meaning of life. I particularly enjoyed it because it did not necessarily push Buddhism or any religion onto me but just stuck to the subject " happiness" . ...more
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Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (born Lhamo Döndrub), the 14th Dalai Lama, is a practicing member of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism and is influential as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the world's most famous Buddhist monk, and the leader of the exiled Tibetan government in India.

Tenzin Gyatso was the fifth of sixteen children born to a farming family. He was proclaimed the
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“I believe the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in that religion or this religion, we are all seeking something better in life. So, I think, the very motion of our life is towards happiness...” 21 likes
“I was just thinking … I was thinking that the difference between the Tibetan language and English might possibly suggest a basic difference of perspectives. In Tibetan, the word we use for ‘I’ and ‘me’ is ‘nga’ and the word we use for ‘us’ and ‘we’ is ‘ngatso.’ So on the basic level of the words themselves there is, in the Tibetan language, an intimate connection between ‘I’ as an individual and ‘we’ as the collective. ‘Ngatso,’ the word for ‘we,’ literally means something like ‘a collection of “I”s’ or ‘many “I”s.’ So it’s like multiple selves, this kind of idea. So when you are identifying with a wider group, becoming part of that group, it’s like extending the individual sense of self, rather than losing it. Whereas the English terms ‘we’ and ‘I’ seem to be completely unrelated, the roots of the words are different, they are not related….” 4 likes
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