0

Dalai Lama: The Art of Happiness Book Summary

★★★ Sign up to the Weekly Book Summary Newsletter by CLICKING HERE

★★★ Get any FREE audiobook of your choice by CLICKING HERE

★★★ View the Hottest Products of the month by CLICKING HERE


  • The purpose of life is happiness.
  • Happiness is determined more by the state of one’s mind than by one’s external conditions, circumstances, or events, at least once one’s basic survival needs are met.
  • Happiness can be achieved through the systematic training of our hearts and minds, through reshaping our attitudes and outlook.
  • The key to happiness is in our own hands.
  • Purpose of life: to seek HAPPINESS, by lingering on the things that make you happy and eliminating the things that make you suffer.
  • Sources of happiness – it’s based on:
    • peaceful state of mind: how we perceive ourselves –> inner compassion and serenityunaffectedby changes in external material circumstances –> calm, peace of mind –> inner discipline to achieve it;
    • not (only) on external events: health, wealth, friendships/relationships, affections….
  • If I have peace of mind, I don’t care for external material things –> discipline to be happy in the moment, enjoy the moment, carpe diem.
  • Instead of trying to have what we want, let’s want what we have: contentment! –> inner sense of worth–> liberation = no sense of suffering.
  • Ask myself: “WILL THIS ACTION BRING ME HAPPINESS (in the long run)?”
  • Learn to eliminate negative emotions and negative states of mind; and increasethe positive
  • Don’t miss the opportunity: the law of cause and effect implies that we have to eliminate the causes for unhappiness (negative emotions) –> classify causes in positive and negative –> we need to learn how to recognize them –> positive emotion: compassion = loving kindness–> use each day positively, every moment! And at night critique the day to see if I took full advantage of it (with the purpose of improving the next day, not for self-blame!) –> self-disciplined mind to act as a role model. The power is in my own hands.
  • Feelings of love, affection, closeness, and compassion bring happiness –> “Buddha nature”. Be gentle, not aggressive.
  • Aggressions come because of frustration to achieve/get love.
  • Worthwhile activities (proper utilization of time): we work on the future on the basis of the HOPE that we’ll be here tomorrow! SERVE others in order to value life. Be a good person, with good positive feelings: compassion, serenity, love.
  • You never feel lonely if you have compassion: belief in opennessto others, to give and receive affection, to feel untouched by rejection, judgment, fear, anger, doubt, indecision.
  • Self-reliance is actually an illusion: we all depend on others (for food, clothes, etc.) –> we’re all interconnected!
  • Relationships need to be based on mutual respect. Appreciate the other and their dignity, have genuine affection but don’t idealize the other (more is less…).
  • Compassion = state of mind that’s non-violent, non-harming and non-aggressive. Let others be free. Be committed, responsible, and respectful of others.
  • Start with the wish to be free of suffering, and then embrace others in this wish.
  • Compassion is different from attachment (which implies the tendency of controlling others – especially friends and loved ones). Compassion is towards everybody(as human beings), not only friends. Don’t be attached: everybody strives to be happy, regardless of being my friend or not –> genuine, universal compassion towards the right of other people to be free from suffering.
  • By understanding suffering and embracing the suffering of others in myself, with empathy, I can generate compassion (nobody wants to suffer: reflect on the suffering of others and apply it to myself –> compassion is generated).
  • Knowthat there are problems in life that are inevitable (ill health, old age, death) –> suffering and fear arise by wanting to struggle against the sad things of life –> we instead need to ACCEPT them as a part of life.
  • Directly confront old ageill health, and death. Preparefor them and they won’t be so shocking.
  • Suffering: accept it as natural –> be more tolerant towards it as part of a life that hasn’t reached illumination yet. Remove the causesof suffering: ignorancecravings, and hatred (know yourself).
  • Death of others: carry on their wishes, and check your feelingsin order to keep living in happiness. Don’t get depressed: others had and have similar or worse tragedies.
  • Don’t fear, avoid or reject suffering; it’s natural and needs to be dealt with:
  1. Don’t self-create suffering!
  2. I’m responsiblefor my own suffering and can do something about it. Don’t be a victim.
  3. Don’t think/act negatively. Think positive. Choose HOW TO respond to a difficult event: I’m not the only one who’s suffering this; I CAN find a solution.
  • On unfairness: it’s the result of the law of attraction –> I’m still responsible! Often unfairness, when contextualizedand with detachment (e.g. noisy kids & his father doesn’t say anything because their mom died…) can be reframed and accepted without feeling hurt and suffering. Don’t blame myself or others.
  • Suffering = resistance to change(most of the time; more in general: a situation that has an outcome that is not as we want(ed) –> it generates anger, frustration, suffering…) –> but life is always changing!
  • Think on events from different perspectives, to reach calmness of mind. Everything is an opportunity.
    • Law of attraction for things related to me.
    • Law of attraction (invoked by others) for things related to others (e.g. loss or ill health of others: I didn’t “ask” for it, they did…).
    • Others have suffered more and survived (e.g. Jewish in concentration camps).
    • –> Be flexible and adaptable (but know what you want!).
  • End the suffering by finding the meaningof it: hope that my suffering is of help to others so that they won’t go through the same suffering again (e.g. Jesus)…
  • Pain (physical: good to protect ourselves) ≠ suffering (mental: to connect with others).
  • Visualization/meditation: open ourselves to others’ suffering. Don’t be selfish. Wish and transmute my positive qualities to people who are suffering: we’re all human beings –> COMPASSION–> learn(suffering and its causes: habits to change), conviction (of change towards positive thoughts), determination (to change), actioneffort (towards enthusiasm and sense of urgency to change [life is short!]).
  • Bad things contain good… Control them by knowing them, don’t be controlled by them.
  • Negative behaviour = destructive–> don’t do it. Discomfort (go out of comfort zones) to condition myself to change (out of routine).
  • Change and mental development takes time and a consistent effort.
  • Take the long term view.
  • Learn and train to go from negative (anger, hatred, attachment) to positive (love, compassion, forgiveness) emotions.
  • Negative emotions destroy us, and they have no valid foundationsdeep down: they’re based on ignorance –> WISDOM FACTOR: learn that negative emotions are caused by ignorance.
  • Cultivate the positiveto counteract the negative, and the positive will beat the negative whenever I feel negative emotions. Concentration and discipline.
  • RESHAPE THE NEGATIVE: anger brings generally to hatred and let you unable to judge properly. Hatred is my only real enemy, and works 24hrs/day against me! –> leave him no opportunity –> cultivate the antidotes: patience and tolerance–> I’m fighting and seeking victory and I might lose sometimes. Generally directly confront and analyze anger and hatred. Is it an appropriate response? Is it constructive or not? Cultivate the positive!
  • If I get hurt by someone, and on top I get mad, I add destruction over me! –> be strong and think positive: humility (you can retaliate, but you don’t) and patience).
  • Sometimes strong countermeasures need to be taken if people are hurting us, but take them always out of compassion towards the others –> patience and tolerance that bring to forgiveness.
  • Getting angry = I lose my composure and peace of mind, and I become ugly and unpleasant (as others do when they get angry…): visualize it in order not to get mad again!
  • Be determined notto let others make me angry (or suffer), it doesn’t matter what they do or how they treat me. It only matters the result I want (have it clear): peace of mind + reaching my current objective.
  • All people have the Buddha nature (in potential) –> it’s not possible to have self-hatred, or to self-punish ourselves. Besides, we can change what we don’t like in ourselves…!
  • Think of the illuminations I had –> try to have more and keep the thought in my mind! And keep it also and especially when with others, even if they didn’t reach it yet.
  • Spirituality: to benefit one-self (calmness, happiness) –> each religion is fine and should make people and the world better.
  • Consider prayers as remindersof my values (compassion, forgiveness, kindness, caring), everyday (to start right); but don’t make it a nightmare… =)  Then I can pray 24hrs/day by LIVING following my values. Translate disciplined state of mind into one’s daily actions.
  • Meditate on my mind: feel it! Meditate: have NO thoughts but be mindful. Feel my conscience in the NOW (in a neutral state). Breathe…

 

Shout out to Alvaro for Alvaro’s Blog for doing this written summary

 

To buy the book, click the link in the image below to purchase from Amazon

 

Leave a Reply

Scroll to top