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The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World [Anglais] [Relié]

The Dalai Lama , Howard C. Cutler , Dalai Lama


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Description de l'ouvrage

4 mars 2010
How can we expect to find happiness and meaning in our lives when the modern world seems like such a truly unhappy place?The Art of Happiness has become the classic guide to the Dalai Lama's enlightened approach to living. In this inspirational new volume, the unique collaboration between the Dalai Lama and the highly respected scholar Howard Cutler returns with a practical application of Tibetan Buddhist spiritual values to the stressful and demanding world we all live in today.With the Dalai Lama's trademark warmth and humour and Cutler's penetrating mind, the result is a wise approach to dealing with human problems that is both optimistic and realistic, even in the most challenging times.

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Chapter 1

ME VERSUS WE

I think this is the first time I am meeting most of you. But whether it is an old friend or a new friend, there's not much difference anyway, because I always believe we are the same: We are all just human beings. -H.H. THE DALAI LAMA, SPEAKING TO A CROWD OF MANY THOUSANDS

Time passes. The world changes. But there is one constant I have grown used to over the years, while intermittently traveling on speaking tours with the Dalai Lama: When speaking to a general audience, he invariably opens his address, "We are all the same . . ."

Once establishing a bond with each member of the audience in that way, he then proceeds to that evening's particular topic. But over the years I've witnessed a remarkable phenomenon: Whether he is speaking to a small formal meeting of leaders on Capitol Hill, addressing a gathering of a hundred thousand in Central Park, an interfaith dialogue in Australia, or a scientific conference in Switzerland, or teaching twenty thousand monks in India, one can sense an almost palpable effect. He seems to create a feeling among his audience not only of connection to him, but of connection to one another, a fundamental human bond.

It was early on a Monday morning and I was back in Dharamsala, scheduled to meet shortly with the Dalai Lama for our first meeting in a fresh series of discussions. Home to a thriving Tibetan community, Dharamsala is a tranquil village built into a ridge of the Dauladar mountain range, the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India. I had arrived a few days earlier, around the same time as the Dalai Lama himself, who had just returned home from a three-week speaking tour in the United States.

I finished breakfast early, and as the Dalai Lama's residence was only a five-minute walk along a mountain path from the guesthouse where I was staying, I retired to the common room to finish my coffee and review my notes in preparation for our meeting. Though the room was deserted, someone had left on the TV tuned to the world news. Absorbed in my notes, I wasn't paying much attention to the news and for several minutes the suffering of the world was nothing but background noise.

It wasn't long, however, before I happened to look up and a story caught my attention. A Palestinian suicide bomber had detonated an explosive at a Tel Aviv disco, deliberately targeting Israeli boys and girls. Almost two dozen teenagers were killed. But killing alone apparently was not satisfying enough for the terrorist. He had filled his bomb with rusty nails and screws for good measure, in order to maim and disfigure those whom he couldn't kill.

Before the immense cruelty of such an act could fully sink in, other news reports quickly followed-a bleak mix of natural disasters and intentional acts of violence . . . the Crown Prince of Nepal slaughters his entire family . . . survivors of the Gujarat earthquake still struggle to recover.

Fresh from accompanying the Dalai Lama on his recent tour, I found that his words "We are all the same" rang in my head as I watched these horrifying stories of suddenly suffering and misery. I then realized I had been listening to these reports as if the victims were vague, faceless abstract entities, not a group of individuals "the same as me." It seemed that the greater the sense of distance between me and the victim, the less real they seemed to be, the less like living, breathing human beings. But now, for a moment, I tried to imagine what it would be like to be one of the earthquake victims, going about my usual daily chores one moment and seventy-five seconds later having no family, home, or possessions, suddenly becoming penniless and alone.

"We are all the same." It was a powerful principle, and one that I was convinced could change the world.



"Your Holiness," I began, "I'd like to talk with you this morning about this idea that we are all the same. You know, in today's world there is such a pervasive feeling of isolation and alienation among people, a feeling of separateness, even suspicion. It seems to me that if we could somehow cultivate this sense of connection to others, a real sense of connection on a deep level, a common bond, I think it could completely transform society. It could eliminate so many of the problems facing the world today. So this morning I'd like to talk about this principle that we are all the same, and-"

"We are all the same?" the Dalai Lama repeated.

"Yes, and-"

"Where did you get this idea?" he asked.

"Huh?"

"Who gave you this idea?"

"You . . . you did," I stammered, a bit confused.

"Howard," he said bluntly, "we are not all the same. We're different! Everybody is different."

"Yes, of course," I quickly amended myself, "we all have these superficial differences, but what I mean is-"

"Our differences are not necessarily superficial," he persisted. "For example, there is one senior Lama I know who is from Ladakh. Now, I am very close to this Lama, but at the same time, I know that he is a Ladakhee. No matter how close I may feel toward this person,

it's never going to make him Tibetan. The fact remains that he is a Ladakhee."

I had heard the Dalai Lama open his public addresses with "We are all the same" so often over the years that this turn of conversation was starting to stagger me.

"Well, on your tours over the years, whenever you speak to big audiences, and even on this most recent, you always say, 'We are all the same.' That seems like a really strong theme in your public talks. For example, you say how people tend to focus on our differences, but we are all the same in terms of our desire to be happy and avoid suffering, and-"

"Oh yes. Yes," he acknowledged. "And also we have the same human potential. Yes, I generally begin my talk with these things. This is because many different people come to see me. Now I am a Buddhist monk. I am Tibetan. Maybe others' backgrounds are different. So if we had no common basis, if we had no characteristics that we share, then there is no point in my talk, no point in sharing my views. But the fact is that we are all human beings. That is the very basis upon which I'm sharing my personal experience with them."

"That is the kind of idea I was getting at-this idea that we are all human beings," I explained, relieved that we were finally on the same page. "I think if people really had a genuine feeling inside, that all human beings were the same and they were the same as other people, it would completely transform society . . . I mean in a genuine way. So, I'm hoping we can explore this issue a little bit."

The Dalai Lama responded, "Then to really try to understand this, we need to investigate how we come to think of ourselves as independent, isolated or separate, and how we view others as different or separate, and see if we can come to a deeper understanding. But we cannot start from the standpoint of saying simply we are all the same and denying that there are differences."

"Well, that is kind of my point. I think we can agree that if people related to each other as fellow human beings, if everyone related to other people like you do, on that basic human level, like brothers and sisters, as I've heard you refer to people, the world would be a far better place. We wouldn't have all these problems that I want to talk to you about later, and you and I could talk about football games or movies instead!

"So, I don't know," I continued, "but it seems that your approach to building the sense of connection between people is to remind them of the characteristics they share as human beings. The way you do whenever you have the opportunity to speak to a large audience."

"Yes." He nodded.

"I don't know . . ." I repeated again. "It is such an important topic, so simple an idea yet so difficult in reality, that I'm just wondering if there are any other methods of facilitating that process, like speeding it up, or motivating people to view things from that perspective, given the many problems in the world today."

"Other methods . . ." he said slowly, taking a moment to carefully consider the question while I eagerly anticipated his insights and wisdom. Suddenly he started to laugh. As if he had a sudden epiphany, he exclaimed, "Yes! Now if we could get beings from Mars to come down to the earth, and pose some kind of threat, then I think you would see all the people on Earth unite very quickly! They would join together, and say, 'We, the people of the earth!' " He continued laughing.

Unable to resist his merry laugh, I also began to laugh. "Yes, I guess that would about do it," I agreed. "And I'll see what I can do to speak to the Interplanetary Council about it. But in the meantime, while we're all waiting for the Mothership to arrive, any other suggestions?"



Thus we began a series of conversations that would continue intermittently for several years. The discussion began that morning with my casually tossing around the phrase "We are all the same" as if I was coming up with a slogan for a soft drink ad that was going to unite the world. The Dalai Lama responded with his characteristic refusal to reduce important questions to simplistic formulas. These were critical human questions: How can we establish a deep feeling of connection to others, a genuine human bond, including those who may be very different? Is it possible to even view your enemy as a person essentially like yourself? Is it possible to really see all human beings as one's brothers and sisters, or is this a utopian dream?

Our discussions soon broadened to address other fundamental issues dealing with the relationship between the individual and society. Serious questions were at stake: Is it possible to be truly happy when social problems invariably impact our personal happiness? In seeking happiness do we choose the path of inner development or social change?

As our discussions progressed, the Dalai Lama addressed these questions not as abstract concepts or philosophical speculation but as realitie... --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Revue de presse

Praise for The Art of Happiness at Work: 'If you're dissatisfied at work, or are finding it hard to understand your true calling, this book is for you... Cutler puts into practice the basic principles of the Dalai Lama that can be applied in all areas of your life. The Art of Happiness at Work is very readable'. (Be Unlimited 2004-02-04)

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Amazon.com: 4.7 étoiles sur 5  26 commentaires
54 internautes sur 58 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Shifting Perspectives! 10 octobre 2009
Par A Reader - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
There are three things that really struck me about what the Dalai Lama has to say.

First, is just the very, very different perspective that the point of life is to live with happiness. I don't know that that was necessarily presented as the purpose of life to me when I was growing up, so it struck me as a remarkably different angle from which to see the choices we make in life. And it frankly shifts one's perspective about what really makes us happy or what happiness really means.

Second, is that when one looks at what really makes one happy, what really brings satisfaction to one's life, what the Dalai Lama suggests about shifting 'from me to we' really hits home. When we shift our attention off ourselves, whether individually or nationally, and put our attention on others and how we can be of service to them, we are living with a higher purpose - and this state is what he terms happiness. Its a different and deeper definition of the word, rooted in compassion.

Third, the Dalai Lama talks about perspective itself and suggests that people need to consider that there are many ways to see the same thing and that just because a person or a culture has an agreed upon perspective about something, in this case 'the purpose of life,' does not mean that is the right or only perspective. He urges readers to be open to seeing in a different way.

This book is incredible for these concepts alone! The Dalai Lama's point of view immediately brings to mind authors Ariel and Shya Kane's work, which is very much about how to live your life with wellbeing and satisfaction, taking your attention off of yourself, and being of service to others. I would highly recommend reading their amazing books, How to Create a Magical Relationship: The 3 Simple Ideas that Will Instantaneously Transform Your Love Life and Working on Yourself Doesn't Work: The 3 Simple Ideas That Will Instantaneously Transform Your Life in conjunction with The Art of Happiness In a Troubled World - they compliment each other wonderfully.
23 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An incredible wonderful book! 15 octobre 2009
Par R.T., M.D. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat authentifié par Amazon
An incredible wonderful book, and the best so far by Dr. Cutler and the Dalai Lama. There are many Dalai Lama books, but the ones written with Dr. Cutler are by far the most enjoyable and readable. Dr. Cutler is both brilliant and gentle, asking the questions we would all like to ask and making the concepts of the Dalai Lama go straight to the reader's heart. This MUST be the next book you read: it will help you more than anything else you can imagine to understand our world and to live happily within it. It is time for Dr. Cutler to write his own book: he writes with such piercing yet entertaining clarity. Thank you!
18 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Finding Happiness in Oneself and Others 31 décembre 2009
Par Robin Friedman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
In 1998, H.H. the Dalai Lama and Dr. Howard C. Cutler, an American psychiatrist, wrote a book, "The Art of Happiness" which became a surprise best-seller. The Art of Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Handbook for Living This book taught the importance of looking within and of controlling destructive emotions in finding happiness. Then, in 2003, the Dalai Lama and Dr. Cutler again collaborated in a book "The Art of Happiness at Work" which explores the reasons why many people suffer from job dissatisfaction and offers suggestions about improving one's life in the workplace. The Art of Happiness at Work

The Dalai Lama and Dr. Cutler have again collaborated on this third book, "The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World" (2009) which is substantially more ambitious in scope than its predecessors. The book is based upon a series of conversations between the two men held over the course of several years. Dr. Cutler wrote and formatted the book which was then read and approved by the Dalai Lama's interpreter. The book is roughly structured in the form of conversation and follow-up. Dr. Cutler and the Dalai Lama meet for, roughly, one hour per day during which Cutler questions the Dalai Lama on various matters pertaining to finding happiness. The Dalai Lama responds, frequently by reformulating Cutler's questions, and the two attempt to elaborate their ideas. Cutler usually takes the role of questioner. Following Cutler's descriptions of the meetings, he elaborates and expounds upon the Dalai Lama's ideas in his own voice. Sometimes Cutler offers a commentary upon what he has heard. But more often he uses his experience as a psychiatrist and his familiarity with recent psychological and neurological literature to put the Dalai Lama's ideas in a scientific context. The Dalai Lama's teachings, of course, are ultimately drawn from Buddhism, but this is not a religious book. Instead, the Dalai Lama presents what he calls "secular ethics" which he believes will be of value to people regardless of their religious commitments. Cutler writes from the perspective of Western science with the aim of showing the wisdom to be found in the Dalai Lama's teachings.

The book examines a common dichotomy in thinking about happiness. Some people believe happiness is an individual matter and must be pursued by each person for him or herself independently of social issues. Other people think, roughly, that happiness is social and that it is necessary to look at political and related conditions, such as poverty, war, and prejudice, and alleviate them if people are to be happy. In a variety of ways, the Dalai Lama and Cutler attempt to break down this dichotomy. They try to show that happiness is not an either-or situation but that the individual and the social depend upon each other. Thus, in the first part of the book, titled "I, Us, and Them" they reject both the dichotomy between "I or we" and the further dichotomy between "Us or Them." in favor of an understanding "Me and We" and "Us and Them." Their view is predicated on an understanding of the common humanity everyone shares in which the differences among people, while important and to be treasured and respected, pale in comparison to the qualities shared by all human beings.

In the second part of the book, "Violence versus Dialogue", the Dalai Lama expounds his teaching by focusing on the essential goodness and universality of human nature. He tries to explain the roots of violence in human destructive emotions and in the failure to understand reality. Realizing the difficulty and apparent intractability of some situations, the Dalai Lama and Cutler discuss the importance of seeing questions from many sides and from trying to understand the views of other persons. The authors believe these teachings have relevance to matters such as marriages, friendships, and the workplace, as well as to dealings between nations. Here again, there is a recognition on the Dalai Lama's part of the realistic, situational nature of this approach. It is not offered as a metaphysical or religious teaching.

The final part of the book "Happiness in a Troubled World" draws on the teaching of Buddhism that suffering is endemic to life. Perfection is not to be expected. The Dalai Lama and Cutler describe the importance of positive emotions, including hope, optimism and resilience in finding the way to happiness. Great emphasis is thinking about three things, 1. the social character of human life; 2. the interconnection and interdependence of people in the modern world; and 3. the common nature and character of all persons, in finding a way to individual and societal peace. The ultimate source of the teaching is empathy and compassion for both oneself and for others. In a brief summary in the Introduction to the book, Cutler describes its "key argument" that "positive emotions in general - and the supreme `positive emotions' of compassion and empathy in particular - lie at the intersecting point between inner and outer happiness, with the capacity to simultaneously bring about personal happiness and provide a potential solution to many of the problems plaguing society today (at least as the first step in overcoming these societal problems)"
(Introduction at xvi).

Of the three Dalai Lama - Cutler collaborations, this one is the most challenging. The book is difficult to read. It is written for the lay reader, certainly, but both the Dalai Lama and Cutler conduct their discussions at a learned, serious level. Regardless of one's religious commitments, there is much to be learned about redirecting one's thinking from reading this book. I found it auspicious to read this work at the beginning of a new year.

Robin Friedman
20 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Key book 11 octobre 2009
Par Fernanda Franco - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
The Dalai Lama's book is an important work which made me question how we are
going about finding happiness, individually and collectively.
His notion about how one's vision of human nature can mean the difference
between living in a hostile, violent or a gentle, helpful world is fresh and
courageous - opening doors to new possibilities. I found his idea of
connecting with our basic nature of goodness to begin experiencing this
well-being and connectedness, key.

What I also find fascinating is that along with this spiritual leader's
message there are other authors complementing that vision and making it
available to experience in everyday life. Ariel and Shya Kane thru their
book Working on Yourself Doesn't Work: The 3 Simple Ideas That Will Instantaneously Transform Your Life, are 2 such authors.

Enjoy these two books that made an important impact in my life and my levels
of well-being and of those around me.
14 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Wow 10 octobre 2009
Par Jett - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I was lucky enough to find this book at Barnes & Noble on the day of it's release. Just 4 days later, I have finished reading it and can only say I was wowed many times! This book takes a journey through the world issues we are currently facing and provides hope to those of us who strive to make a change. Very easy read and I highly recommend it! You will be wowed as well, I am sure of it!
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