I’m sensing a lot of positivity around of the first time in a long time! Maybe it’s the vaccines that are close to being delivered for Covid. Maybe it’s the onslaught of Christmas ads, or just maybe, it’s because I had a sausage for breakfast? Its often the simple things that keep you happy.
The Art of Happiness
On that note, that reminds of a great book I read a while back – The Art of Happiness – American writer and psychiatrist, Howard C Cutler was given access to the Dalai Lama over a series of days and the book summarises the conversations they had.
Whether you are a budding Buddhist or not, this really is a fascinating book, mainly for how light and easy it is to read. The Dalai Lama certainly has a way of taking big complex subjects and filtering them down into quite simple things, often with good humour or at the very least a big smile.
The mix of a very western psychiatrist, talking to the spiritual leader of Tibet is a really interesting one and what makes The Art of Happiness so engaging. The Dalai Lama believes that “the very motion of our life is towards happiness.” How to get there has always been the question, which is explored in quite a lot of detail.
Special emphasis is placed on how to overcome anxiety, insecurity, anger and discouragement. So if you feel any of these emotions are something you would like less of in your life, this is a great place to start. It’s not preachy, or even particularly Buddhist for that matter, but very grounded in the real world.
Personally, my happy place is by the fireside with a belly fully of sausages, after chasing a ball (or squirrel!) round the garden. As I say, it is often the simple things in life that make you happy, and losing sight of that is often where we go wrong. But what do I know, I’m a dog!
Happy reading and stay safe.
An extract from Goodreads
Nearly every time you see him, he’s laughing, or at least smiling. And he makes everyone else around him feel like smiling. He’s the Dalai Lama, the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet, a Nobel Prize winner, and an increasingly popular speaker and statesman. 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 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.