“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”
Oh, 2020 – the year that has progressed in time, but seemingly not in anything else. With this year going a way none of us predicted, now (and all times, lets be honest) are an important time to channel our true nature and understand what is blocking us on our path to enlightened happiness.
It’s become easy to lose one’s way this year, where routine and schedule have fallen out from underneath themselves as we try and determine what it means to have a “new normal.” COVID coupled with the inability to travel to new destinations, and I’ve found it increasingly important to delve and dive inward on a personal manifest-destiny of the psyche.
From the esteemed brains of the His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, paired with the intricate introspection and psychological musings of Dr. Howard C Cutler comes ‘The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living.’
Through introspective, open-minded conversation and personal anecdotes – the pair provide a beautifully written manual for understanding, finding and securing your own personal happiness, as well as methods for producing a feeling a oneness with your external world, however chaotic or calm it may be.
As the world spins, we have a choice of either spinning with it or pushing against it, creating friction – throughout this fantastic read, I found bits and pieces of advice, much like the bread crumbs left by Hansel and Gretel, on how to live a more personally sound and fulfilling life. For anyone who is on that spiritual, personal journey – or is curious to delve into it, this book is a fantastic starter manual for a healthier, happier way of life.
As always, I’m going to leave you with some of my favorite quotes from the book; enjoy!
“…there is another source of worth and dignity from which you can relate to fellow human beings. You can relate to them because you are still a human being, within the human community. You share that bond, and that human bond is enough to give rise to a sense of worth and dignity.”
“…the ‘right choice’ is often the difficult one – the one that involves some sacrifice of our pleasure.”
“When life becomes too complicated and we feel overwhelmed, it’s often useful just to stand back and remind ourselves of our overall purpose, our overall goal…turning-toward happiness as a valid goal and the decision to seek happiness in a systemic manner can profoundly change our lives.”
“For our life to be of value…we must develop basic human qualities – warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful – happier.”
“….By broadening our definition of intimacy, we open ourselves to discovering many new and equally satisfying ways of connecting with others.”
“…the law of death is that among all living creatures, there is no permanence.”
“If you directly confront your suffering, you will be in a better position to appreciate the depth and nature of the problem.”
“..the root causes of suffering are ignorance, craving and hatred. These are called the ‘three poisons of the mind’.”
“…Unhappiness, I saw then, comes to each of us because we think ourselves at the center of the world, because we have the miserable conviction that we alone suffer to the point of unbearable intensity. Unhappiness is always to feel oneself imprisoned in one’s own skin, in one’s own brain.“
“If we carefully examine any given situation in a very unbiased and honest way, we will realize that to a large extend we are also responsible for the unfolding of events.”
“In fact, the enemy is the necessary condition for practicing patience. Without an enemy’s action, there’s no possibility for patience and tolerance to arise. Our friends to not ordinarily test us…only our enemies do this. So, from this standpoint, we can consider our enemy as a great teacher, and revere them for giving us this precious opportunity to practice patience.”
“It’s the very struggle of life that makes us who we are”
“A tree with strong roots can withstand the most violent storm, but the tree can’t grow roots just as the storm appears on the horizon.”
“Negative mental states are not an intrinsic part of our minds; they are transient obstacles that obstruct the expression of our underlying natural state of joy and happiness.”
Snag your copy today – and Pro Tip: Don’t pay full price on Amazon for a book, you can snag them through a third party retailer for nearly 60% off!
What books are currently on your nightstand? Let me know in the comments below!