- Alisha Barnes
I decided to read this book because I’ve always been interested in the Dalai Lama. I really thought The Art of Happiness would be more focused on understanding Buddhist principles; instead, it’s a peculiar mix of Eastern religion meets Western medicine.
Co-author Dr. Howard Cutler is a psychiatrist with a private practice in Phoenix, and the Dalai Lama is a Buddhist monk. It’s amusing to see two very different approaches to achieving happiness. The Dalai Lama’s approach to achieving happiness is more of a holistic, spiritual system that focuses on improving oneself using the power of the mind. Dr. Howard Cutler takes more of a back-seat approach in which he listens to the Dalai Lama’s suggestions and gives input about modern psychological approaches used in the United States.
The Art of Happiness is an entertaining clash of Eastern and Western traditions. It can be seen as a self-help book; however, it also provides great facts about the life of the Dalai Lama, as well as techniques used to improve mental health through both Eastern and Western rituals. Personal anecdotes from both Cutler and the Dalai Lama make The Art of Happiness a personal guide to achieving happiness through both religious and medical practices.