“Choose to be optimistic, it feels better” – Dalai Lama
“The ultimate source of my mental happiness is my peace of mind. Nothing can destroy this even my own anger.” – Dalai Lama
Today I will be reviewing The Art Of Happiness: A Handbook For Living, by the Dalai Lama and Howard. C. Cutler. It was published in 1998 by the Nobel Peace Winner, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.
He is the spiritual leader of the school of Tibetan Buddhism. India is where he resides as a refugee. With positivity and happiness always shining from him, I would imagine that his status is minuscule to him.
Howard C. Carter is an American psychiatrist and author who is based in Phoenix, Arizona. He co-wrote The Art of Happiness; A Handbook For Living with the current Dalai Lama.
“If your heart has peace, nothing can disturb you.” – Dalai Lama
My High Expectations
I thought I’d be instantly enlightened when I began reading this book from the world-wide known intellectual spiritualist the Dalai Lama himself and couldn’t wait to get stuck in.
The first couple of chapters are generally about stuff we already know, how to be a good individual, treat others how you would like to be treated and the like. I stopped and wondered why I even was reading it.
I left it for a few days and took another approach and read it again from the start with a better attitude. Who was I to judge or question the Dalai Lama, I don’t know it all, far from it. Humbled as I was, I would highly recommend beginning from that frame of mind. Good things come to those who wait and glad I did.
First of all, even though the fundamental basis of the Dalai Lama being a Buddhist monk is over coming the ego tells us about letting your compassion come to the surface, you don’t have to belong to any denomination to understand his great words of wisdom.
We all have compassion within in us so I wouldn’t be put off reading it if you think it’s going to be aimed at a certain group of beliefs.
The Dalai Lama tells us of the importance of Compassion in every single human being’s life, especially in social interactions. It’s all about recognizing one another as the same, and he says,
“I always believe we are the same Human Being. Of course today different background and different way of life, different faith or colour, but we are the same. On a physical, Human Being, same, with mind and emotional, same. I find it’s much easier to communicate to others on that level. Secondary difference, Tibetan, Buddhist. If we can leave those differences aside I think we can easily communicate, exchange ideas and share life experiences.”
How Could You Have Compassion For Your Enemy?
What I learned the most from this amazing book was how you can actually learn from your enemies. Yes, you read that right. You can learn from your enemies as they are giving you the opportunity to grow, to learn from your mistakes and move on.
In some groups they have a motto of treating others how you would like to be treated and when you show compassion to another, be it a friend or a foe, you are leaving your ego out of the situation and you can put yourselves in their shoes and question why many of them act a certain way or express their emotions negatively.
Maybe you wonder if they had a rough day or a bad upbringing, or maybe they are just simply lost in their own fears.
That is compassion and it’s understandable why the Dalai Lama really tries to show us how important patience can literally turn a negative into a positive. Of course, just like everything else, he says it can take many years but if you want to learn about the basis of obtaining love, joy and happiness, this book will certainly give you a great foundation.
Can We Ever Have True Love And Happiness?
Rather than actively seeking out secondary differences as the Dalai Lama calls them, things like different cultures or colour, if we can be on the same level, it really is possible that we can have that breakthrough and live in harmony with one another.
We all have an idea of how rapidly low-vibration feelings and emotions grow, fear and hate having the most impact on people can limit their potential to have a fulfilling happy life.
Just imagine the possibilities for each one of us if we put the same amount of time and energy into high-vibrational feelings and emotions on love, peace and joy. It would be sensational the change you would see in yourself and the surrounding people. Laughter and positivity is infectious.
“Smile if you want a smile from another face.” – Dalai Lama
The Art Of Happiness Book Is:
The real reason and purpose of life is happiness. Things like work, stress and worry was never meant to take over our lives. It is to be happy, truly happy and it’s all there for you, just waiting patiently for you to reach out and grab it.
What I would advise to anyone who is reading this or thinking of reading it, is to take your time with it, give yourself time to absorb the Dalai Lama’s words to you. Maybe keeping a journal beside you could help just to make a note of anything that you found stood out to you.
You can view the book HERE!
I hope you enjoyed my quick review and I hope that the book inspires you as much as it did to me. Please leave a comment if you have any questions or share your thoughts and I will happily get back to you.
Many Blessings To You All,