How to be happy is one of life's great enduring mysteries. Nicola Silva takes heed and heart from a master on the subject.
I have a penchant for reading obituaries in the daily paper. Some might consider it a touch weird but I find a compelling symmetry in the lives of teachers, painters, doctors and diplomats neatly laid out on the page, from birth to death. None of their lives was free from hardship; all made a significant contribution to their community. Were they happy, I wonder?
Happiness is so important in our lives it is practically our birthright. It is truly delightful to see how happiness bubbles up spontaneously in babies, when their basic needs are met. For us adults, it is rather more elusive. As we look out on the world with its myriad problems and conflicts and then consider our personal worries, it is easy to feel less and less of the positive emotions such as happiness.
It was timely, therefore, to receive The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World, the latest collaboration between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler, a psychiatrist with a special interest in the science of human happiness. From tranquil Dharamsala, India, to the vivid desert landscape of Arizona, Tenzin Gyatso and Dr Cutler have engaged in a series of discussions on happiness, which form the basis of this book.
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