The Art of Happiness at Work

Version: Unabridged
Author: Howard C. Cutler , His Holiness The Dalai Lama
Narrator: Howard C. Cutler
Genres: Business & Economics, Self Development, Buddhism
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Published In: August 2003
# of Units: 6 CDs
Length: 5 hours, 30 minutes
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For the first time since "The Art of Happiness," His Holiness the Dalai Lama has teamed up with psychiatrist Howard Cutler to continue the discussion about what makes life meaningful.

In conversations with the Dalai Lama over the past several years, Howard Cutler has asked the questions we all want answered about how to find happiness in the place we spend most of our time -- work. Beginning with the basic need to find satisfaction in our careers, Dr. Cutler questions His Holiness about the nature of work. In psychiatry and according to the Dalai Lama, our motivation for working determines our level of satisfaction. "The Art of Happiness at Work" explores these three levels of focus:

• Survival: focus on salary, stability, food and clothing • Career: focus on advancement • Calling: focus on work as a higher purpose

Dr. Cutler probes the Dalai Lama's wisdom by posing these questions: What is the relationship between self-awareness and work? How does lack of freedom at work affect our levels of happiness? How can we deal with boredom or lack of challenge? Job change and unemployment? How much of our misery comes from our identity being tied up with work?

Dr. Cutler walks us through the Dalai Lama's reasoning so that we may know how to apply his wisdom to daily life. "The Art of Happiness at Work" is an invaluable source of strength and peace for anyone who earns a living.

Reviews (17)

Art of Happiness at Work

Written by Liqa Moin on May 18th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 2/5

I misread the title - so to be clear, this is a book about being content literally, at your workplace. Therefore, I was a bit disappointed in the narrow focus of the book. Also, the author provides way too much of a context for each piece of wisdom uttered by the Dali Lama, and hindering the ultimate message.

Zen at Work

Written by Michael from Los Angeles, CA on August 14th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Very helpful for the working American. Some of our problems are still too complex for anyone to solve or ameliorate. This book helped me pause and look at the bigger picture of where I was headed and where I actually wanted to end up. I felt like this was a more applicable version to city life than "The Art of Happiness".

Narration was bad

Written by Cocoapuff on April 24th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 2/5

My main issue with this book was the narration. Dr. Cutler does not have the ability to read this book and keep it interesting. I kept thinking about how bad he was, rather than actually listening to the points. And the guy who does the Dalai Lama...bad. His mouth was so full of spit, it was gross.

Narratoin was the problem

Written by Shane Nixon from Whitsett, NC on March 14th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 2/5

i guess this was ok. As other readers have pointed out, not sure how a guy with "no profession" can give practical advice to those of us in a dog eat dog world, but it was humours and interesting at points. But the narration, and for my money BOTH GUYS, stinks on ice! I couldn't handle them, and stopped solely for that reason.

The Art of Happiness at Work

Written by Shellee Martin from Carson City, NV on April 23rd, 2008

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I really enjoyed this thought-provoking book. The reader who "played" the Dalai Lama was amazing, and really captured his essence. While it may seem that the Dalai Lama would be out of touch with a working western society being a Buddhist monk, Howard Cutler is able to align the thoughts and beliefs of the Dalai Lama with the difficulties experienced by working people to bring relief and understanding to whatever situations may arise. It would be even better to have an unabridged version, but I would listen to it again.

Not happy on the way to work

Written by Anonymous on February 28th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 2/5

The points made by the Dalai Lama in this book (first half, anyway) were interesting, and maybe useful, but could have been summed up in less than half the time I spent on the first half of this book. I could have done without the additional, clarifying comments by Cutler after the Dalai Lama made a good point - that just annoyed me. What annoyed me most was the reading of Dr. Cutler. He should have chosen someone else to narrate - someone with more tone and inflection. His reading left me feeling like someone was reading from a text, instead of carrying on a conversation, talking with someone. That left me feeling bored, and I found myself tuning him out, which made finishing this book pointless, if I wasn't going to actually listen to it. I finished the first half, but opted to not even try the second.


Written by Jenn from Ashburn, VA on November 6th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 2/5

I tired really hard to make it through this book, but it was so incredibly boring. I did give it 2 stars becuase in between the boredom I did gain a small ounce of insight. The narrator who is also the co-author has an extremely boring voice.

Driving around with the Dalai Lama

Written by Ben from Austin, TX on March 9th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Who doesn't want to drive around with the Dalai Lama all day long? This was a great book for people who aren't very familiar with the Lama's work. He's inspirational, insightful and entertaining.

Very worthwhile

Written by Scott Sherman on December 7th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I wasn't expecting too much, but I really enjoyed this book. I thought having two different readers made it easier to listen to.

Great listening on the way to work when you need an attitude adjustment

Written by Anonymous on May 27th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I wish I could edit it down to 10 minutes of the most salient points and listen to it on my way to work each day so I could start it off on a better foot.

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