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Publisher's Summary

The Dalai Lama is probably one of the only people who, if you ask him if he's happy, even though he's suffered the loss of his country, will give you an unconditional "yes." What's more, he'll tell you that happiness is the purpose of life, and the "the very motion of our life is toward happiness." How to get there has always been the question. He's tried to answer it before, but he's never had the help of a psychiatrist to get the message across in a context we can easily understand.

Through meditation, stories, and the meeting of Buddhism and psychology, the Dalai Lama shows us how to defeat day-to-day depression, anxiety, anger, jealousy, or just an ordinary bad mood. He discusses relationships, health, family, work, and spirituality to show us how to ride through life's obstacles on a deep, abiding source of inner peace. Based on 2,500 years of Buddhist meditations and with a healthy dose of common sense, The Art of Happiness is a program that crosses the boundaries of all traditions to help listeners with the difficulties common to all human beings.

©1998 His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, M.D., All Rights Reserved (P)1998 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"... this is one of the best how-to books a reader will ever find." (Booklist)"[It]is not only an excellent supplement to daily self-awareness practices, it is also an indispensable educational tool." (AudioFile)

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  • Overall

very good listen

This was an introduction to buddhism for me--I bought it out of curiosity along with The Open Heart. The reviewer who says that the book wants us to see things through a psychoanalytic lens didn't listen very closely. Really what the book wants to do is find points of both divergence and commonality with psychology to help a Western reader understand some of what the Dalai Lama has to say. The psychologist (perhaps deliberately so) comes across as the naive party who has something to learn here.

Although I had to struggle a little *not* to think of some of the principles as naive--I wish there were more philosophical depth in this rendering of Buddhism--I enjoyed listening to this book. It helps to know some of the background of the Dalai Lama's life and things he has suffered--this is in The Open Heart, which I also bought and enjoyed.

The voice of the psychologist is a little annoying at times--listen to the excerpt and see if it will bother you.

28 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • 08-13-03

Listen and listen again

The back and forth between the author's comments and the D.L's communication make his messages easy to understand. I would be lost without it. I do, however, need to listen to it over and over. Each time I learn something new.

24 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • John
  • Monson, MA, USA
  • 08-29-04

Great ideas...poorly read.

I found this to be a real tough listen. Honestly I never finished it. I love the Dalai Llama. I embrace eastern thought. I am college educated. I have listened to about 15 audible books. This one was a disappointment because of the performance. The reader sounded like a bad science teacher in high school reciting the periodic table. I would recommend titles by Tich Nhat Hanh instead if you want to hear some inspirational buddhist thoughts. Or maybe some Dalai llama titles read by the Llama himself.

33 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • Pataskala, OH, USA
  • 03-24-06

Excellent Listen

This book never gets old. I've read it and listened to it several times. You can't go wrong with this purchase.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Andrea
  • lumberton, NJ, USA
  • 08-09-06

Loved It!

I do agree to some extent that the author paled in comparison to the Dalai Lama as a storyteller. He was a bit monotone. Hearing the Dalai Lama speak was wonderful.

I am currently in the middle of a World Religions class, which piqued my interest in this title. I do not regret my decision for a single moment and would highly recommend this title.

The truths are simple, yes. Oftentimes, we need to be reminded of this though.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

One of those life-changing books

Can't say enough great things about this book. First of all, this is one of those books that is better in audiobook. The book is laid out in a question and answer format, which is narrated by two different people and done very well. The content of this book is great for anyone looking to make positive changes in their life or seek happiness. This book gives helpful tips on how to be happy and get the most out of life in ways that seem manageable.

While reading this I wrote down a lot of quotes and put them on my mirror as daily inspiration. One I can remember..."Genuine change doesn't happen over night"

Like I said, great for anyone seeking self improvement, but I also think that if everyone would listen to this book and implement changes into their lives, the world would be a better place.

Starting with you! :)

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Full of Insights and Wisdom

The author picked topics that he was interested in (such as happiness, intimacy, romance, depression, and self-hate) and asked the Dalai Lama for his thoughts on those topics. The book is not focused on happiness. It seems the author wrote the book to fill in gaps in those topics that psychiatry doesn't fully address for him. However, the book is still good in that regardless of the topics, the Dalai Lama is full of insights and wisdom.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

An ultimate guide...

An ultimate guide for finding peace with those around you, with the world, but more importantly with yourself.

His ideas and thoughts transcend both religion and politics, they are universal. Anyone can benefit by listening to this book. It is full of age old wisdom and enlightening thoughts.

It is the first work I've read about and by the Dalai Lama. I have found his teachings non-threatening to my values. He is always respectful toward others beliefs, and at no time does he try to convert the listener to his religion.

I've owned this book for many years, and have heard it at least a dozen times. I've given the actual book as a gift various times throughout the years.

There are two narrators, one who narrates the author and the other the Dalai Lama, the latter is excellent and transmits the Dalai Lama's voice in a very authentic manner.

Last, it is one of the best all-time self help books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

I 'd recommend a text version...

While the content was good, I'd recommend a text version for 2 reasons:

1) Both narrators distracted from the content for me, albeit for opposite reasons: the author / main narrators reading was dry, dull, and non-conversational; the man reading for the Dalai Lama felt over the top, almost trying too hard to make the words sound profound.

2) For me, it helps to be able to read and re-read passages and concepts that deserve particular attention. Even with the ability to fast forward, bookmark audio passages, etc -- I feel like I would've had a more effective experience with paper and a highlighter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Try another book?

I was so disappointed with this book. The Dalai Lama offers a wealth of wisdom and yet I often found myself frustrated with the limited viewpoint of the questions asked him. Additionally, when applause and sound is added more care needs to be taken so it doesn't drown out the voices.

7 of 12 people found this review helpful