The Art of Happiness Summary

Dalai Lama,Howard Cutler
- 1998
This book is good to read when you feel sad, grateful.

Key Takeaways

  1. Happiness is determined more by one's state of mind than by external events.
  2. Compassion and strong social relationships are fundamental to happiness.
  3. Self-awareness is key to understanding the sources of one's own happiness and suffering.
  4. Training the mind in positive emotions like kindness and empathy can lead to lasting happiness.
  5. Acceptance and resilience are crucial in overcoming obstacles to happiness.


The book presents a series of conversations between Howard Cutler, a psychiatrist, and the Dalai Lama, as they explore the concept of happiness and the ways to achieve it. Cutler provides the context and the Dalai Lama provides the spiritual insight.

They discuss various psychological theories and how they align or differ from Buddhist practices. The Dalai Lama shares his thoughts on how happiness can be achieved through mental and emotional training, not just by changing external circumstances.

The conversations cover practical strategies for overcoming negative emotions such as anger and jealousy, which are seen as major obstacles to happiness.

Overall, 'The Art of Happiness' is a guide to cultivating a happier life by fostering the qualities of compassion, empathy, and mindfulness. The insights offered are both practical and profound, providing readers with tools to better manage their emotional lives.

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