Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Art of Hapiness

One of the presents that I got for Christmas was a book called "The Art of Happiness". This book was written by Howard Cutler (an American Psychiatrist) based upon his discussions with the Dalai Lama about his general philosophy on life.

I found this a very interesting read because I have long been interested in the teachings of the Dalai Lama. Initially I was surprised to read that he though that the fundamental purpose of everyone's life should be to pursue happiness, However, his holiness makes a distinction between the pursuit of a temporary joyful feeling which can be a selfish pursuit and the pursuit of happiness which he claims can only be achieved by practising compassion and caring for other creatures.

An interesting aspect of the book was the fact that the psychiatrist was comparing the Dalai Lama's guidelines for pursuing happiness with the quest that his patients back home were seeking a return to mental health. In many ways the Dali Lama's version of happiness corresponds reasonably closely to good mental health.

Overall I recommend this book highly. I see that the cover claims that it is an international best seller so clearly many people have already read it.

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