Janet's Reviews > The Art of Happiness

The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama XIV
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's review
Dec 11, 10

did not like it
Read in November, 2010

I'm not sure why exactly I picked this one up from the shelf of our local thrift. Certainly the Dalai Lama is an interesting public figure and the cover is bright with his red monk’s toga and eager countenance. I am familiar with Tibetan monks via my literary mountain climbing adventures from a time before Goodreads. This book is written by an MD and claims to be a “handbook for living.” What sort of living, I ponder? Right from the first pages we reach a philosophical impasse. The author is a headshrinker hoping to, well, shrink his discussions with the Lama into a practical program (think dollars and sense) for achieving the nebulous state of “happiness.”

“The concept of achieving true happiness has, in the West, always seemed ill-defined, elusive, ungraspable. Even the word “happy” is derived from the Icelandic word happ, meaning luck or chance. Most of us, it seems, share this view of the mysterious nature of happiness. In those moments of joy that life brings, happiness feels like something that comes out of the blue.”

Most of us? I don’t know what public and private circles our author has been navigating but he has set sail without even the most fundamental anchors of life. Lasting happiness cannot be achieved by mind control or following a 12-step prescribed and paid for program. There is more to happiness than the mind just as there is more to the human being than the body. At the heart of the matter of happiness is the soul.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Rich when buddhists talk about 'mind' they sort of mean 'heart' as well. It doesn't translate well from the Pali/Sanskrit, but yeah it means more than just your brain. Body is included in the wider meaning of 'mind', so it's too complicated to use the word mind really. But English is more limited than some languages.


Spyros That's true.


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