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The Art of Happiness

The Art of Happiness

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Published by: edyshahidam on Jun 26, 2010
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11/25/2012

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Wisdom in a Nutshell
isdom in a Nutshell
 
About the Author
bout the Author
The Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual leader of millions ofTibetan Buddhists. Born in 1935 as the son of a peasant family innortheastern Tibet, he has been exiled and living in India since theChinese invaded Tibet in 1950. In 1989 the Dalai Lama won the NobelPeace prize for his worldwide mission in search of a peaceful solutionto the Chinese repression of Tibet. The title ‘Dalai Lama’ meansteacher whose wisdom is as vast as the ocean. This book is anexcellent overview of some of the main ideas of Buddhism along withthe Dalai Lama’s advice on a variety of topics. Howard Cutler does agood job of asking penetrating questions and translating the answers.
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A Handbook for Living
Handbook for Living
 Author:
The Dalai Lama & Howard Cutler 
Publisher:
Riverhead Books
Date of Publication:
November 1998
ISBN:
1573221112
No. of Pages:
322 pages
His Holiness the
Dalai Lama
,is the spiritual and temporalleader of the Tibetan people.His tireless efforts on behalf ofhuman rights and world peacehave brought him internationalrecognition. He is a recipient ofthe Wallenberg Award(conferred by the U.S.Congressional Human RightsFoundation), the AlbertSchweitzer Award, and theNobel Peace Prize.
Howard C. Cutler, M.D.
, is adiplomate of the AmericanBoard of Psychiatry andNeurology. He first met theDalai Lama in 1982, whilevisiting India on a researchgrant to study Tibetanmedicine. He maintains aprivate psychiatric practice inPhoenix.
The Dalai Lama& Howard Cutler 
 
Published by BestSummaries.com, Building 3005 Unit 258, 4440 NW 73rd Ave, Miami, Florida 33166 © 2003 BestSummaries.com. All rights reserved. No part of this summary may be reproduced or transmittedin any form or by any means, electronic, photocopying, or otherwise, without prior notice ofBestSummaries.com. Copyright © 1998 by The Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler.
 
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The Big Idea
Plasticity
The Dalai Lama believes that the pursuit ofhappiness is important. Unhappy people are oftenmore self-focused, antagonistic and less able totolerate life's daily frustrations.At this moment we have a mind, which is all the basicequipment we need to achieve complete happiness:we don't need more money, success, etc.University experiments showed that people canincrease or decrease their sense of life satisfactionby changing their perspective (after being showedpictures of harsh living situations).The brain can design new patterns, combinationsand wiring according to new thoughts andexperiences. The brain is constantly adapting anddeveloping. By mobilizing our thoughts andpracticing new ways of thinking, we can reshape ournerve cells and change the way our brain works(forming new neural circuits). Thus, training the mindfor happiness becomes a very real possibility.Bringing about discipline within one's mind is theessence of the Buddha's teaching.The Dalai Lama sees anger and violence as areaction to our frustration in our efforts to achievelove and affection, not as part of our basic underlyingnature. He looks for each individual's positiveaspects, creating a feeling of affinity and connection.He believes in approaching others with the mostbasic things that we have in common- for example,we each have a physical structure, a mind, emotions,each wants happiness, etc. Respect their naturalright to fulfill this fundamental aspiration.Approaching others with the thought of compassion:a wish for others to be free of their suffering. Developa sense of commitment, responsibility and respecttowards others.
Field of Merit (Buddhist doctrine).
Positiveimprints on one's mind or 'mental continuum' that
The Big Idea
Plasticity
occurs in one's mind as a result of positive actions(kindness, generosity, tolerance) and a constantrestraint from negative actions (killing, lying,stealing).An athlete loves training but other work is oftenconsidered to be a chore. Transform our attitudetowards suffering by seeing it as a natural and helpfulsignal from our body to help it go back into balance.See suffering as part of a greater spiritual path ofpurifying the mind and ultimately achieving a state ofmind in which there is no suffering. The practice ofshifting perspective and realizing that many othershave gone through similar experiences. Compare itwith a greater event, look at my problem from adistance, it appears smaller and less overwhelming.Make an effort to see the problem from another'sperspective. Avoid seeing others with 100% negativeor positive qualities. Train myself to see newviewpoints before getting into a difficult situation.Three poisons of the mind are craving, hatred andignorance (fundamental misperception of true natureand of the self and all phenomena).Guilt arises when we convince ourselves that wehave made an irreparable mistake. Realize thatchange is constant and appreciate the impermanent,transient nature of our existence. Contemplation ofimpermanence and change serves to increase myresolve to use my time to it's best advantage.Investigate my resistance to change and avoid linking
Mental attitude makes a tremendousdifference
Mental attitude makes a tremendousdifference
 
 Being honest with oneself and othersabout what you are or are not capableof doing can counteract the feeling olack of self-confidence
.
Being honest with oneself and othersabout what you are or are not capableof doing can counteract the feeling oflack of self-confidence
.
 
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By The Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler
 
my self-image to things in the past that have nowchanged.Consider our enemy as a great teacher and reverethem for giving us this opportunity to practicepatience. It is rare since there are so many people inthe world that we never interact with, and those whowe do, only a small percentage give us anyproblems. Our enemies test us and provide us withthe resistance necessary for growth. Remember-we don't hate all of them (their fingernail, theirknuckle, toe, etc.) Shift our perspective and allow asoftening in our attitude.By adopting a flexible, malleable approach to life, wecan maintain our composure even in the mostrestless and turbulent conditions. It is thorough ourefforts to achieve a flexible mind that we can nurturethe resiliency of the human spirit. The ability toreduce our value system to its most basic elements(everyone wants to be happy and not suffer, etc.)that allows us the greatest freedom and flexibility todeal with the vast array of problems that confront uson a daily basis.Victor Frankl, a Nazi concentration camp survivor,determined that survival wasn't based on youth orphysical strength but rather the strength derivedfrom purpose, and discovering meaning in one's lifeand experience. We must begin our search formeaning when things are going well. A tree withstrong roots can withstand the most violent storm,but the tree can't grow roots just as the stormappears on the horizon.The idea of seeing my suffering as an opportunity forthe practice of taking others' suffering upon myself.By experiencing an unpleasant event, I may be ableto save other beings from undergoing the same thing.Also, see pain as a remarkable, elegant, andsophisticated biological system that warns us ofdamage to our body and protects it (an examplewould be rats knawing off fingers of leprosy victimswho could not feel pain). Pain is the most effectiveway of the body to communicate about a vital topic.Learning is the first step, but alone is not enough. Youhave to increase the awareness until it leads to a firmconviction about the harmful effects and strengthensour determination to change. Finally, you must exertthe effort to establish new habit patterns.At the very instant when strong feelings of anger orhatred arise, no matter how hard the person tries topretend to adopt a dignified pose, it is very obviousthat the person's face looks contorted and ugly. thereis a very unpleasant expression, and the person givesout a very hostile vibration. Other people, and evenpets can sense it.Hateful thoughts collect inside a person and causeloss of sleep, appetite, etc. The practice of toleranceand patience can give anyone refuge and protectionfrom the destructive effects of anger and hatred.When anger does come, actively challenge it,analyze it logically and reappraising the thoughts thattrigger the anger can help dissipate it. Shiftingperspective or looking at different angles of thesituation can also be very effective. These things areoften easier at lower or moderate levels of anger, sopracticing early intervention is important.
Quitting smoking and overcoming other problems
Quitting smoking and overcoming otherproblems
 
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 By adopting a flexible, malleable approachto life, we can maintain our composureeven in the most restless and turbulent conditions.
By adopting a flexible, malleable approachto life, we can maintain our composureeven in the most restless andturbulent conditions.
 
When anger does come, actively challengeit, analyze it logically and reappraising thethoughts that trigger the anger canhelp dissipate it.
When anger does come, actively challengeit, analyze it logically and reappraising thethoughts that trigger the anger canhelp dissipate it.
 
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OF
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By The Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler
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OF
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By The Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler

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