Book Review: ‘The Art of Happiness’ by H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama

The Art of Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Handbook for Living
What else needs to be said about a classic?  This book literally changed my life.  When I first read the book I was in a really bad spot in my life and need to “change my perspective” and sure enough this book taught me how.

The 10th chapter of the book is entitled “Shifting Perspective”.  His Holiness explains his philosophy on perspective as such “The ability to look at events from different perspectives can be very helpful.  Then, practicing this, one can use certain experiences, certain tragedies to develop a calmness of mind.  One must realize that every phenomena, every event, has different aspects.  Everything is of a relative nature.”  He goes on to explain that allowing our perspective to be so narrow and self-center just furthers our problems and doesn’t allow us to see solutions.

The book, in my opinion, is required reading for anyone.  It isn’t a Buddhist book, it’s a wonderful self discovery book written by a psychiatrist and a monk.  The discussions are incredibly relevant to our busy, over-loaded society where issues of anxiety, depression, anger far outweigh those instances of true sublime happiness.  We all need to learn this Art of Happiness. ~ Digging_the _Dharma

…bring about inner transformation

The key to genuine happiness is in our hands. To think this way is to discover the essential values of kindness, brotherly love, and altruism. The more clearly we see the benefits of these values, the more we will seek to reject anything that opposes them; in this way, we will be able to bring about inner transformation. ~ His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama

Book Review: ‘Buddhism for Beginners’ by Ven. Thubten Chodron

Buddhism for BeginnersIn answering the most basic questions, this book will help new practitioners dispel confusion and gain a realistic, down-to-earth approach to the Buddhist path...”  Alexander Berzin, The Berzin Archives ~  I think that quote sums up my feeling on this book that I have gone back to numerous times during my fledgling practice.

The book is an overview of all the central concepts involved in Buddhist practice.  The book’s question and answer format made it very easy to return to again and again for answers that I was unclear on. Ven. Thubten Chodron‘s explanations are concise and easily accessible.

I find myself using it to answer questions that non-Buddhists ask me. Ven. Chodron explains the answers in such simple but thorough manner.  This book was recommended to me when I first started investigating Buddhism.  Since then I have found great wisdom in Ven. Thubten Chodron books and online resources. ~ Digging_the_Dharma

Never get angry…

Never get angry, even with someone who has deliberately and maliciously harmed you. You should be grateful to such a person for helping you to purify past negative actions, to increase your determination to be free from samsara and to develop love and compassion. ~ Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

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I will say this is such great and true advice. Yet I cannot say I never get angry….but I do have less ‘reasons’ for anger which I attribute to reducing my ‘self’/ego.’