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The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  571 ratings  ·  57 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
ebook, 272 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Harmony (first published 2008)
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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
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
Sep 10, 2014 Kenyon rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
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
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
Timothy Browning
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
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
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
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.

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
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.
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.
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
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
Hannah Brislin
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
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
Hillary roberts
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
Edward Wong
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
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
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
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
Marco Garcia
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.
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.
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
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
Bill Connington
One of the books I have read many times. The Dalai Lama takes the view that happiness can be learned through practice, like meditation.
I was actually looking for some insight in this book. Instead, the author makes the Dalai Lama sound like Yoda in sandals with hot water in mugs. Very off-putting.
Could have easily cut this book down to 1/3 of the size and it would be been much more powerful and meaningful. As it was, if I had know this book was going to just be a look at why people are racist/prejudice/etc. I wouldn't have bothered. A few words of wisdom from the Dalai Lama kept me going as far as I did but it really was not worth it.
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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
More about Dalai Lama XIV...
The Art of Happiness An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama

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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...” 20 likes
“Every night, millions of Americans spend their free hours watching television rather than engaging in any form of social interaction. What are they watching? In recent years we have seen reality television become the most popular form of television programming. To discover the nature of our current “reality,” we might consider examples such as Survivor, the series that helped spawn the reality TV revolution. Every week tens of millions of viewers watched as a group of ordinary people stranded in some isolated place struggled to meet various challenges and endure harsh conditions. Ah, one might think, here we will see people working cooperatively, like our ancient ancestors, working cooperatively in order to “win”! But the “reality” was very different. The conditions of the game were arranged so that, yes, they had to work cooperatively, but the alliances by nature were only temporary and conditional, as the contestants plotted and schemed against one another to win the game and walk off with the Grand Prize: a million dollars! The objective was to banish contestants one by one from the deserted island through a group vote, eliminating every other contestant until only a lone individual remained—the “sole survivor.” The end game was the ultimate American fantasy in our Age of Individualism: to be left completely alone, sitting on a mountain of cash!

  While Survivor was an overt example of our individualistic orientation, it certainly was not unique in its glorification of rugged individualists on American television. Even commercial breaks provide equally compelling examples, with advertisers such as Burger King, proclaiming, HAVE IT YOUR WAY! The message? America, the land where not only every man and every woman is an individual but also where every hamburger is an individual!

  Human beings do not live in a vacuum; we live in a society. Thus it is important to look at the values promoted and celebrated in a given society and measure what effect this conditioning has on our sense of independence or of interdependence”
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