The Art of Happiness - 10th Anniversary Edition (Anglais) Broché – Edition spéciale, 15 octobre 2009
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.--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .
Biographie de l'auteur
The Dalai Lama is one of the world's great spiritual leaders. The recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and many other international awards, he receives constant and extensive media coverage.
Howard C. Cutler is a psychiatrist who has had an interest in Buddhism for over 25 years. He has strong ties with the Tibetan community and was chosen by the Dalai Lama to present and interpret his ideas in this book for a wider non-Buddhist audience.
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De belles réflexions et un beau partage de sagesse sur de nombreux points de vues. Ce livre est très actuel. Le Dalai Lama y explore entre autre notre bonheur dans la vie de couple actuel, pourquoi tant de gens ne peuvent se satisfaire etc... On se rend assez vite compte dans la lecture, que souvent, Bouddhisme va de paire avec une certaine psychologie de l'âme humaine...
Belles pensées, rafraichissant. A lire, certainement !
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This book is not written by the Dalai Lama himself, but by Howard C. Cutler, and is based on his numerous conversations with His Holiness. Dr. Cutler provides the "western", science-based perspective on the buddhist monk's teachings. While his naivete gets to be annoying at times, he helps relate the Dalai Lama's teachings to our everyday lives by making them less abstract, more practical and actionable.
"I believe that happiness can be achieved through training the mind... Generally speaking, one begins by identifying those factors which lead to happiness and those factors which lead to suffering. Having done this, one then sets about gradually eliminating those factors which lead to suffering and cultivating those which lead to happiness." These words contain the essence of the entire book. A premise so elegant and simple that it might be easy to dismiss at first, and yet so powerful. The more one thinks about their true meaning, the more one begins to understand that these words, in themselves, hold the answer to the purpose of our lives.
The idea that happiness is the product of our mind, rather than of our objective situation, is hardly new. Yet, this book is able to explore this notion to the depths that I had never comprehended before. In particular, the distinction the Dalai Lama so eloquently makes between happiness and pleasure is especially enlightening. After all, it's the very things that bring us pleasure, that cause us unhappiness in the long term. Therefore, His Holiness says, one ought to always ask oneself before making a choice: "Will this bring me happiness?" I performed this simple practice for just a few days, and noticed immediate results. While I normally would do certain things without thinking, I have now become quite conscious of the effect that my own actions will have on my life down the road. Even such a simple thing as doing the dishes, or making that unpleasant yet necessary phone call, or buying something that we don't really need - each one is a choice that, once made, reverberates through our life and either brings us happiness or discontentment. This simple shift in perspective is a very powerful tool in bringing about real, positive change in your life through small, yet deliberate actions. It is by making these actions a habit that one is able to truly achieve happiness.
Of course, in order to be able to work towards happiness, one needs to understand what it is that will bring them happiness in their personal life. This can be likened to having a "mission statement" that encompasses many different areas that, when all balanced and fulfilled, lead to a happier life. These ultimate goals, the Dalai Lama teaches, should be used as a compass to align you daily choices with in your pursuit of happiness.
In addition to these very powerful meditations on the nature of happiness, the book stresses the importance of "human warmth and compassion" as integral components of achieving happiness through increased intimacy and deeper connection to others. The book also explores the "demons" that often prevent us from finding happiness, such as pain and suffering, anger and hatred, anxiety and low self-esteem. While you may not necessarily be afflicted with all of these "demons", reading this book will help you avoid them or enable you to help others who are suffering from them.
Overall, I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone on a spiritual journey, in search for a meaning of life, or simply looking for simple words of wisdom in our increasingly complicated and materialistic age. This is one book I know I will personally refer back to again and again for inspiration and guidance.
The one fascinating thing about this book is observing how the Dalai Lama interacts with a perfectly ordinary, totally western person. Howard Cutler asks the same kinds of questions that you or I might ask, and is just as puzzled as we might be. He is not much of a writer, but he writes without artifice or elaboration. Through Cutler's unornamented prose, the reader can sense the Dalai Lama's reactions to such honest questions as "What is wrong with romantic love?" The Lama questions the question, and with a thoughtful words opens all the distinctions between our cultures. He transcends cultural bias easily, which is perhaps what makes him such a powerful figure in our age. Much of the book, however, consists of Cutler dissecting, analyzing, and providing examples from his own practice to elucidate the Lama's brief responses. Cutler's thinking is far weaker, but does serve to illustrate the vast gulf between ordinary thought and the thinking of someone who has devoted his life to it.
Were I titling this book, I might have come up with something like "A Psychological Response to Selected Teachings of the Dalai Lama: A Collision Between East and West". (Fortunately for all of us, I do not have a job in publishing!) Although it is disappointing that the interviewer is not sophisticated enough to take these questions deeper, it is worthwhile to examine the Dalai Lama's approaches and responses to ordinary questions.
All told, this is not a book I am happy to have bought. I would not file this under Dalai, or Lama (how does one alphabetize a title like that?), but under Cutler. The real problem is that his interviews with the Dalai Lama cover only a few paragraphs in each chapter. The bulk of the material is Cutler digesting and regurgitating the thoughts in various ways. Were I Cutler's therapist, I might find this more interesting, but as someone still searching for happiness myself, I find his perspectives both trite and unhelpful.
The Art of Happiness was written through the perspective of a western psychiatrist, Dr. Howard C. Cutler. It saddens me in the fact that many readers could not see beyond Dr. Cutlers' viewpoints into the heart of the real mater. Dr. Cutlers' remarks were not made to instruct or to educate, but merely to display the Dalai Lama in a more acceptable western sense.
The most important thing the Dalai Lama speaks of is the act of cultivating compassion. This is important. Through compassion, one will come to appreciate Dr. Cutler's display of goodwill toward the overall benefit of humankind. It would seem that most negative reviews were not based on content alone, but based purely on an abundance of ignorance. You could say that they just `didn't get it.' The very people in which complain of Dr. Cutlers perspectives are complaining, in a sense, of their own comprehension levels. Through compassion, one will inevitably find that live is through our own perception. This book does an exquisite job in relaying this fact among others noted respectfully through the wisdom of His Holiness, The Dalai Lama.
This book reads it self, I have given it to friends, family, etc. It is a beautiful work of art in many senses. If you have any interest in spiritual growth, eastern philosophy, or if you just have a good heart, as I believe we all do, then buy this book. For those of you who still don't like this book, there are books out there not written by Dr. Cutler that carry the same principles. If you want a book with nothing more than the Dalai Lamas words then you should buy the book, 'Dalai Lama, The Path to Tranquility (compiled by Renuka Singh).
This is all that I have to say.
In private interviews with Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Dr. Cutler is able to provide his own professional insight into what is a centuries old philosophy. Bringing to light how these ancient teachings are pertinent to modern day living.
You don't have to believe in one religion over another, or in any at all. To benefit from the content of this book. This is not about Buddhism, per se, it is about living.
There is a gentle rhythm to this book - it flows from a question posed to the Dalai Lama, to his thoughtful and inspired response - followed up by Dr. Cutler's professional comments. You'll realize everyday connections that drive home the fact that these are more than lofty ideals, they are real life tools to defeat day-to-day depression, anxiety, anger, jealousy, and other negatives aspects in your life.
The only disappointment is there wasn't more of the Dalai Lama's comments. But it is an excellent resource for anyone - interested in Buddhism or not.