Beth's Reviews > The Art of Happiness

The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama XIV
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's review
Apr 10, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: life-lessons
Recommended to Beth by: Brij Sabhlok - a library patron from India
Read in April, 2008

This is the first Dalai Lama book I've read and I was hooked from the beginning when he explained that our goal in life is happiness since unhappy people can't help others. Striving for happiness can be an altruistic thing rather than a self-absorbing pursuit. It also changed my view on what true happiness could look like. I liked having the western psychiatrist's questions and viewpoints throughout the book since I found myself asking many of the same questions as I was reading.

Some of the things I got out of this book. I apologize for my unenlightened synopsis:

Compassion, patience, kindness, and tolerance are essential traits for a happy life.

The path to happiness begins with educating yourself - like reading "The Art of Happiness".

Suffering is something that is part of life and something that we need to face but not be overwhelmed by. It is even useful to reflect upon the unavoidable suffering such as impermanence and illness and growing old. That way when it happens it's not such a shock.

Extremes are usually bad.

Strive for a calm, peaceful mind.

Negative thoughts, emotions such as anger and hatred are essentially distorted frames of mind. We have the power to change our perspective. This is in line with the practice of cognitive therapy.

Not really a "how-to" book as the title would imply, just an introduction to a new way of thinking. There are some parts I'd like to go back and copy down somewhere so I can keep them in mind.

I'm seeing where Yoda got a lot of his wisdom from. I love Yoda. I need a little Yoda action figure on my desk.

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