The Art of Happiness, written by psychiatrist Howard Butler based on his interviews with the current Dalai Lama, is an inspirational literary work, with one purpose that is expressed beautifully on a page that reads simply:
Dedicated to the Reader: May you find happiness.
The insight of the Dalai Lama is presented in such a way by Dr. Butler that it feels applicable to the everyday person, not just for a long practiced monk. The Dalai Lama understands the struggles of busy schedules, children to care for and jobs to fulfill. His wisdom is given in such a way that it can be applied by anyone in their life, regardless of where they are in their lives or religious beliefs.
The Art of Happiness is divided into five sections, The Purpose of Life, Human Warmth and Compassion, Transforming Suffering, Overcoming Obstacles and Closing Reflection. Each section contains chapters for a total of fifteen throughout the book. The Dalai Lama gives his reflections on each topic, with Dr. Howard providing a more Western outlook and asking questions for the Dalai Lama to answer and clarify how to apply his teachings in our everyday lives.
Some of my favorite pieces of wisdom included in the book-
“There is no getting around these essential ingredients: determination, effort, and time. These are the real secrets to happiness.”
“Whenever I meet people I always approach them from the standpoint of the most basic things we have in common. We each have a physical structure, a mind, emotions. We are all born in the same way, and we all die. All of us want happiness and do not want to suffer.”
The format and flow of the text is easy to read, but as a larger book, I would suggest it be taken piece-by-piece and slowly read and pondered about to get the most benefit.
Get The Art of Happiness, or the other books in this series-