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Publisher's Summary

The Dalai Lama is probably one of the only people 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 the "the very motion of our life is toward happiness." How to get there 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 meditation, 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, abiding source of inner peace. Based on 2,500 years of Buddhist meditations and with a healthy dose of common sense, The Art of Happiness is a program that crosses the boundaries of all traditions to help listeners with the difficulties common to all human beings.

©1998 His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, M.D., All Rights Reserved (P)1998 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"... this is one of the best how-to books a reader will ever find." (Booklist)
"[It]is not only an excellent supplement to daily self-awareness practices, it is also an indispensable educational tool." (AudioFile)

Featured Article: How to Be Happier, According to These Smile-Inducing Audiobooks


"Happiness" seems like this abstract concept we keep reaching for but will never be able to actually grasp, right? Wrong—at least according to the following authors. Here is a list of the best audiobooks to help you find your pathway to happiness. Some are step-by-step guides; others are personal accounts of finding the way to a genuinely happy life. Whichever style you prefer, there's an audiobook about happiness that will fit your journey.

What listeners say about The Art of Happiness

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Great ideas...poorly read.

I found this to be a real tough listen. Honestly I never finished it. I love the Dalai Llama. I embrace eastern thought. I am college educated. I have listened to about 15 audible books. This one was a disappointment because of the performance. The reader sounded like a bad science teacher in high school reciting the periodic table. I would recommend titles by Tich Nhat Hanh instead if you want to hear some inspirational buddhist thoughts. Or maybe some Dalai llama titles read by the Llama himself.

51 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

very good listen

This was an introduction to buddhism for me--I bought it out of curiosity along with The Open Heart. The reviewer who says that the book wants us to see things through a psychoanalytic lens didn't listen very closely. Really what the book wants to do is find points of both divergence and commonality with psychology to help a Western reader understand some of what the Dalai Lama has to say. The psychologist (perhaps deliberately so) comes across as the naive party who has something to learn here.

Although I had to struggle a little *not* to think of some of the principles as naive--I wish there were more philosophical depth in this rendering of Buddhism--I enjoyed listening to this book. It helps to know some of the background of the Dalai Lama's life and things he has suffered--this is in The Open Heart, which I also bought and enjoyed.

The voice of the psychologist is a little annoying at times--listen to the excerpt and see if it will bother you.





45 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Listen and listen again

The back and forth between the author's comments and the D.L's communication make his messages easy to understand. I would be lost without it. I do, however, need to listen to it over and over. Each time I learn something new.

32 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

The Art of Happiness

It was with great effort that I managed to listen to this to the end. There are some great books about spiritual growth for both western and eastern thought but this is not one of them. This book is nothing more then a common sense and practical approach to finding happiness. I suppose I wouldn't trash the book so bad if the narrator wasn't such a geek. The guy really got on my nerves with his over bearing reverence to the Dalai Lama.

25 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I 'd recommend a text version...

While the content was good, I'd recommend a text version for 2 reasons:

1) Both narrators distracted from the content for me, albeit for opposite reasons: the author / main narrators reading was dry, dull, and non-conversational; the man reading for the Dalai Lama felt over the top, almost trying too hard to make the words sound profound.

2) For me, it helps to be able to read and re-read passages and concepts that deserve particular attention. Even with the ability to fast forward, bookmark audio passages, etc -- I feel like I would've had a more effective experience with paper and a highlighter.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

The Art of Happiness is not Psychoanalysis

I was looking for a book with insight; instead i received, a psychological banter, circling and backlighting a very spiritual guide. Are we who live in the early 21st century, so dense to the spiritualization of thought, that we need synthetic thinkers to interpret, psychologically speaking?

My question would actually be, do we need the frosted glass of pseudo-Freudian thought to see the truth of snow, through that glass more clearly? Who is viewed and what is viewing in the book is so confusing and contrary in thought, that for minutes i began to seek a paradox within the attempt to co-join Western and Eastern philosophy.

We are not philosphers or great spiritual thinkers if we succumb to basic psycho-rhetoric, for this rhetoric cannot proscribe or inscribe the beauty of holiness. It rings false and unctious.....stay away from this tome! Choose to read more primary texts and less secondary source materials -- like this one.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved It!

I do agree to some extent that the author paled in comparison to the Dalai Lama as a storyteller. He was a bit monotone. Hearing the Dalai Lama speak was wonderful.

I am currently in the middle of a World Religions class, which piqued my interest in this title. I do not regret my decision for a single moment and would highly recommend this title.

The truths are simple, yes. Oftentimes, we need to be reminded of this though.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Try another book?

I was so disappointed with this book. The Dalai Lama offers a wealth of wisdom and yet I often found myself frustrated with the limited viewpoint of the questions asked him. Additionally, when applause and sound is added more care needs to be taken so it doesn't drown out the voices.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of those life-changing books

Can't say enough great things about this book. First of all, this is one of those books that is better in audiobook. The book is laid out in a question and answer format, which is narrated by two different people and done very well. The content of this book is great for anyone looking to make positive changes in their life or seek happiness. This book gives helpful tips on how to be happy and get the most out of life in ways that seem manageable.

While reading this I wrote down a lot of quotes and put them on my mirror as daily inspiration. One I can remember..."Genuine change doesn't happen over night"

Like I said, great for anyone seeking self improvement, but I also think that if everyone would listen to this book and implement changes into their lives, the world would be a better place.

Starting with you! :)

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Full of Insights and Wisdom

The author picked topics that he was interested in (such as happiness, intimacy, romance, depression, and self-hate) and asked the Dalai Lama for his thoughts on those topics. The book is not focused on happiness. It seems the author wrote the book to fill in gaps in those topics that psychiatry doesn't fully address for him. However, the book is still good in that regardless of the topics, the Dalai Lama is full of insights and wisdom.

7 people found this helpful