I first read this book as a freshman in high school but I ve read it again at least twice I m not sure how it initially started but I ve always been fascinated by the Dalai Lama of Tibet The I read about him, the I m in awe of him While I recommend reading his biography first, this specific book is about the concept of happiness and how we attain it It s not a self help book but rather a book about how the Dalai Lama believes that people inheritantly have the ability to find happiness but we obstruct it with our immaterial and superficial beliefs It made me realize how much society corrupts people s values On a personal level, it made me re evaluate my life and my values I was also amazed at how much his beliefs correlate with Native American traditional beliefs This is one of those few books that I find myself re opening from time to time.
Dalai Lama believes in fundamental goodness in all human beings, in the value of compassion and kindness, and a sense of commonality among all living creatures.
Happiness is determined by one s state of mind than by external events.
Excessive desire leads to greed, which leads to frustration, disappointment, problems and unhappiness.
True antidote of greee is contentment to appreciate what we already have.
Relationships are not about just knowing people and superficial exchange, but to really share deepest problems and concerns in forming intimate friendships Dalai Lama recommends maintaining closeness with as many people as possible, aim to connect with everyone in some way.
Concepts of intimacy vary among cultures Western too caught up in finding one special person or romantic partner who we hope will heal our loneliness, yet prop up our illusion that we are still independent.
If we think of suffering as something unnatural, something that we shouldn t be experiencing, then it s not much of a leap to begin to look for someone to blame for our suffering If I m unhappy, then I must be the victim of someone or something As long as we view suffering as an unnatural state, an abnormal condition that we fear, avoid and reject, we will never uproot the causes of suffering and begin to live a happier life.
It is entirely appropriate to seek out causes of our problems, searching for solutions on all levels global, societal, familial, and individual Shifting to wider perspective realizing there are many people who have gone through similar worse experiences can be very helpful.
If you learn to develp patience and tolerance toward your enemies, then everything else bcomes easier your compassion towards all others begins to flow naturally Compassion is the essence of a spiritual life The enemy is the necessary condition for practicing patience Friends don t often test us, so our enemy is a great teacher.
Flexibility of the mind, those most adaptable to change will survive best.
DNF 15%I mistakenly thought this was a book by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who is listed as one of the authors or the only authors in some book databases but it is not This book was written by Howard C Cutler, a psychiatrist, who spent one week with the Dalai Lama, and then used his interviews with the Dalai Lama as a basis for this book.
Now, once I found out that I was mislead by the book, I still wanted to read on and see what the author had to say Unfortunately, I was quickly put off by two in my opinion major logical flaws in the construction of the book s premise 1 The author provides the following motivation behind writing the bookWhen I initially conceived of this book, I envisioned a conventional self help format in which the Dalai Lama would present clear and simple solutions to all life s problems I felt that, using my background in psychiatry, I could codify his views in a set of easy instructions on how to conduct one s daily life By the end of our series of meetings I had given up on that idea I found that his approach encompassed a much broader and complex paradigm, incorporating all the nuance, richness, and complexity that life has to offer You see, my problem is that the Dalai Lama s books, speeches and other communications are pretty easy to understand He has a particular skill to explain complex issues in simple terms, but then simplicity is one of the essential elements in his way of life.
The other issue I had with the author s statement is that I find the approach of trying to create a dogma from a Buddhist point of view a rather ridiculous idea If there ever was a spritual teaching whose essence is that it is wholly un dogmatic and un codified, it would be Buddhism, but then maybe I am just getting the wrong end of the stick 2 The author s approach in this book is to try and combine Western science with the Dalai Lama s interpretations teachings Again, this is a flawed approach when early on in the book, the author includes the following quotationIn trying to determine the source of one s problems, it seems that the Western approach differs in some respects from the Buddhist approach Underlying all Western modes of analysis is a very strong rationalistic tendency an assumption that everything can be accounted for And on top of that, there are constraints created by certain premises that are taken for granted Basically, the Dalai Lama tried to explain that a Western approach which is mostly based on science is restricted in its understanding of the human condition So, why the author tries to combine, or back up, the topics discussed from a Buddhist perspective in this book with references to Western scientific research for which he often does not cite sources is totally beyond me.
Can t recommend this at all.
I love the Dalai Lama and everything he says in this book However, Cutler s input mostly detracts from the teachings of the Dalai Lama At best, he makes small, often insignificant links between the Dalai Lama s point and western science Like how he made the connection between Buddhism s idea of training the mind to the scientific idea of plasticity which proves that, indeed, you can train the mind Was that ever really a question though I didn t need to be convinced of that At worst, he purposefully makes himself a sitting duck for how not to be and then contrasts his own folly with the wise teachings of the Dalai Lama While real life examples do make the sometimes abstract points of the Dalai Lama seem accessible, it goes overboard Also, his questions often take the conversation with the Dalai Lama in a completely different, often obvious and tiresome, direction than I was hoping With the conversation format, there were great opportunities to enter into intellectual debate and come to a complex understanding between two viewpoints Instead, Cutler asked childish, simple questions that barely skimmed the surface of the Dalai Lama s well thought out discourse, and no deeper understanding was gained by Cutler s interruptions Overall, would have loved this book as solo meditations by the Dalai Lama, or maybe with an interviewer who had better questions and comments.
This book always brings me a lot of peace when I read it It calms me down and puts me at ease I actually bought this book for josh but spent a lot of time reading it myself and its very enjoyable remind you about all the little good things in life and about what really matters.
This book is actually written by a psychiatrist and includes extensive interviews with the Dalai Lama about how to be a generally happier person Parts of the book are really great, and a couple of sections are a little bland, mostly depending on what questions the author is asking The Dalai Lama s amazing traits come across throughout, however His pragmatic, logical, and yet also spiritual approach to everything.
Howard Cutler, a psychiatrist, does several interviews with the Dalai Lama, and then writes this book Umm I was underwhelmed I do appreciate what the Dalai Lama teaches, but this book didn t really live up to the hype If you know absolutely nothing about the Dalai Lama, you might get a starter course from this book But for me, it wasn t anything new I think part of the problem was Howard I felt that he was a bit silly at times, and shallow at others, and just irritating most of the time.
2 Stars Blah It didn t do anything for me.