The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living

Version: Abridged
Author: Howard C. Cutler , His Holiness The Dalai Lama
Narrator: Howard C. Cutler
Genres: Self Development, Buddhism
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Published In: November 1998
# of Units: 3 CDs
Length: 3 hours
Tell Your Friends:


Nearly every time you see him, he's laughing, or at least he's smiling. And he makes everyone else around him feel like smiling. He's the Dalai Lama, the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet, the Nobel Prize winner, and increasingly popular speaker and statesman. Why is he so popular? Even after spending just a few minutes in his presence you can't help feeling just a little bit happier.

The Dalai Lama is probably one of the only people in the world who if you ask him if he's happy, even though he's suffered the loss of his country, will give you an unconditional "yes." What's more, he'll tell you that happiness is the purpose of life, and that "the very motion of our life is towards happiness." How to get them has always been the question. He's tried to answer it before, but he's never had the help of a psychiatrist to get the message across in a context we can easily understand.

Through meditations, stories and the meeting of Buddhism and psychology, the Dalai Lama shows us how to defeat day-to-day depression, anxiety, anger, jealousy, or just an ordinary bad mood. He discusses relationships, health, family, work, and spirituality to show us how to ride through life's obstacles on a deep and abiding source of inner peace. Based on 2500 years of Buddhist meditations mixed with a healthy dose of common sense, "The Art of Happiness" is an audiobook that crosses the boundaries of all traditions to help listeners with the difficulties common to all human beings.

Reviews (16)

very good audiobook

Written by Anonymous on December 25th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 5/5

perfect book which shows you better ways to view happiness


Written by Marianne on May 26th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 2/5

I'm having a hard time listening to this CD - not that the information is useful - I find my mind wandering anytime I try to listen to it.

Not well put together

Written by Matthew Metzgar on December 23rd, 2006

  • Book Rating: 2/5

Well..maybe it was just me, but I found this book to be a hard listen. For me it did not lay out "an art of happiness" and when listening to a self help type book you usually want the key concepts repeated / reviewed and it did not seem to do this......ended up FFW through some parts.

Worth a Listen

Written by Jan Bartrop-Babbitt on November 2nd, 2006

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Inspirational,Motivational, and at times funny. This was worth the listen.

Ways to happyness

Written by Comuter Roger from Fairfax, VA on October 19th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 5/5

As I continue on my own Spiritual journey I have yet to find the perfect path laid out for me. As complex as I am, I have to find bits of enlightenment wherever I can. I found several enlightening things, including the mediations. The Dalai Lama claims that the purpose of life is to be happy. He is a Buddhist I am a Christian. I see a different purpose in life. A number of the ideas that he talks about are universal. Hate and anger tend to destroy the subject person, not the object of the anger. The presentation was well done with the voice moving back and forth between the Dalai Lama and reader. The book is a compellation of talks that the Dalai Lama had with Mr. Cutler, who should be listed as the author.

Art of Happines

Written by Nannette Durieux Keegan on October 3rd, 2006

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Although the book is sold and marketed as written by the Dalai Lama this is not completely true. This book is a summary of talks with Mr.Cutler.

Not as enlightened as expected

Written by BClark on September 22nd, 2006

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I liked the narrator's voice. Most of the messages were common place that we just do not make time to do or enjoy. I was expecting something a little more.......but maybe that is the point. It isn't that difficult and there is no magic to it. We just need to re-evaluate our perspectives and enjoy the good that is in everything.

Art of Happiness

Written by Gina Williams on August 30th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 1/5

Honestly, this might be a great book. The more I listened to the book, all I could think was how EASY it is to be peaceful & loving, patient & kind when you have money. If I didn't have to work for a living, and still meet with Presidents, and Heads of State, I probally could also write a book on how to have inner peace.

A good start

Written by Ursula Natusch on September 16th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I enjoyed this book. You can get as much as you want out of it. I believe that the more you listen to it, the better it becomes. For me, it definitely is a good start to the spiritual journey that lies before us.

Art of Happiness

Written by Pauline Cheng from Corona, CA on August 23rd, 2005

  • Book Rating: 3/5

No offense to Dalai, this book is too preachy for me. I didn't find the elightenment that I hoped for.

Author Details

Author Details

Dalai Lama, The

His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetan people. He was born in a small village called Takster in northeastern Tibet. Born to a peasant family, His Holiness was recognized at the age of two, in accordance with Tibetan tradition, as the reincarnation of his predecessor the 13th Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lamas are the manifestations of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, who chose to reincarnate to serve the people. Dalai Lama means Ocean of Wisdom. Tibetans normally refer to His Holiness as Yeshin Norbu, the Wish-fulfilling Gem, or simply, Kundun, meaning The Presence.

He began his education at the age of six and completed the Geshe Lharampa Degree (Doctorate of Buddhist Philosophy) when he was 25. At 24, he took the preliminary examination at each of the three monastic universities: Drepung, Sera and Ganden. The final examination was held in the Jokhang, Lhasa, during the annual Monlam Festival of Prayer, held in the first month of every year. In the morning he was examined by 30 scholars on logic. In the afternoon, he debated with 15 scholars on the subject of the Middle Path, and in the evening, 35 scholars tested his knowledge of the canon of monastic discipline and the study of metaphysics. His Holiness passed the examinations with honours, conducted before a vast audience of monk scholars.

In 1950, at 16, His Holiness was called upon to assume full political power as Head of State and Government when Tibet was threatened by the might of China. In 1954 he went to Peking to talk with Mao Tse-Tung and other Chinese leaders, including Chou En-Lai and Deng Xiaoping. In 1956, while visiting India to attend the 2500th Buddha Jayanti, he had a series of meetings with Prime Minister Nehru and Premier Chou about deteriorating conditions in Tibet. In 1959 he was forced into exile in India after the Chinese military occupation of Tibet. Since 1960 he has resided in Dharamsala, aptly known as "Little Lhasa", the seat of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile.

In the early years of exile, His Holiness appealed to the United Nations on the question of Tibet, resulting in three resolutions adopted by the General Assembly in 1959, 1961 and 1965. In 1963, His Holiness promulgated a draft constitution for Tibet which assures a democratic form of government. In the last two decades, His Holiness has set up educational, cultural and religious institutions which have made major contributions towards the preservation of the Tibetan identity and its rich heritage. He has given many teachings and initiations, including the rare Kalachakra Initiation, which he has conducted more than any of his predecessors.

His Holiness continues to present new initiatives to resolve the Tibetan issues. At the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in 1987 he proposed a Five-Point Peace Plan as a first step towards resolving the future status of Tibet. This plan calls for the designation of Tibet as a zone of peace, an end to the massive transfer of ethnic Chinese into Tibet, restoration of fundamental human rights and democratic freedoms and the abandonment of China's use of Tibet for nuclear weapons production and the dumping of nuclear waste, as well as urging "earnest negotiations" on the future of Tibet and relations between the Tibetan and Chinese people. In Strasbourg, France, on June 15, 1988, he elaborated on this Five-Point Peace Plan and proposed the creation of a self-governing democratic Tibet, ""in association with the People's Republic of China."" In his address, the Dalai Lama said that this represented "the most realistic means by which to re-establish Tibet's separate identity and restore the fundamental rights of the Tibetan people while accommodating China's own interests." His Holiness emphasized that "whatever the outcome of the negotiations with the Chinese may be, the Tibetan people themselves must be the ultimate deciding authority."

Unlike his predecessors, His Holiness has met and talked with many Westerners and has visited the United States, Canada, Western Europe, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, Mongolia, Greece, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Nepal, Costa Rica, Mexico, the Vatican, China and Australia. He has met with religious leaders from all these countries.

His Holiness met with the late Pope Paul VI at the Vatican in 1973, and with His Holiness Pope John Paul II in 1980, 1982, 1986 and 1988. At a press conference in Rome, His Holiness the Dalai Lama outlined his hopes for the meeting with John Paul II: "We live in a period of great crisis, a period of troubling world developments. It is not possible to find peace in the soul without security and harmony between the people. For this reason, I look forward with faith and hope to my meeting with the Holy Father; to an exchange of ideas and feelings, and to his suggestions, so as to open the door to a progressive pacification between people."

In 1981, His Holiness talked with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Robert Runcie, and with other leaders of the Anglican Church in London. He also met with leaders of the Roman Catholic and Jewish communities and spoke at an interfaith service in his honour by the World Congress of Faiths. His talk focused on the commonality of faiths and the need for unity among different religions: "I always believe that it is much better to have a variety of religions, a variety of philosophies, rather than one single religion or philosophy. This is necessary because of the different mental dispositions of each human being. Each religion has certain unique ideas or techniques, and learning about them can only enrich one's own faith."

Since his first visit to the west in the early 1970s, His Holiness' reputation as a scholar and man of peace has grown steadily. In recent years, a number of western universities and institutions have conferred Peace Awards and honorary Doctorate Degrees upon His Holiness in recognition of his distinguished writings in Buddhist philosophy and of his distinguished leadership in the service of freedom and peace.

During his travels abroad, His Holiness has spoken strongly for better understanding and respect among the different faiths of the world. Towards this end, His Holiness has made numerous appearances in interfaith services, imparting the message of universal responsibility, love, compassion and kindness. "The need for simple human-to-human relationships is becoming increasingly urgent... Today the world is smaller and more interdependent. One nation's problems can no longer be solved by itself completely.

Thus, without a sense of universal responsibility, our very survival becomes threatened. Basically, universal responsibility is feeling for other people's suffering just as we feel our own. It is the realization that even our enemy is entirely motivated by the quest for happiness. We must recognize that all beings want the same thing that we want. This is the way to achieve a true understanding, unfettered by artificial consideration.

Dalai Lama, His Holiness The

Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. He frequently describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. Born in northeastern Tibet in 1935, he was as a toddler recognized as the incarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and brought to Tibet's capital, Lhasa. In 1950, Mao Zedong's Communist forces made their first incursions into eastern Tibet, shortly after which the young Dalai Lama assumed the political leadership of his country. He passed his scholastic examinations with honors at the Great Prayer Festival in Lhasa i