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The Art of Happiness

Dalai Lama world renowned spiritual leader needs no introduction; he is guide to giving happy life. A symbol of serenity, goodness, compassion, kindness, generosity, and love; a being endowed with an immeasurable openness of spirit, great intelligence and also a great sense of humor.

The Art of Happiness: happiness is the purpose of all existence, so why not let ourselves be inspired by the reflections and practical advice of an unconditionally happy man, the Dalai lama.

PART 1: THE PURPOSE OF LIFE

1: The Right To Happiness – for the Dalai Lama, “the real purpose of life is happiness; we are all looking for a better life”. He adds that this quest can succeed if we put our minds to it. In the western world, happiness is still a fuzzy and elusive concept, a mysterious blessing that falls from the sky. Under these conditions, how is it possible to cultivate happiness through “exercising the mind”?

2: The Sources Of Happiness – our state of mind, more than external events, determines happiness; regardless of what happens to us (success or tragedy), sooner or later our psychological state will stabilize (in psychology, it is known as a process of adaptation.) For example, the excitement and good mood that follow a salary increase fade after a certain amount of time).

3: Training The Mind For Happiness – the ability to be happy is in everyone’s nature. Happiness is found through love, affection, closeness and compassion. Not only do humans have the capability of being happy, but also the Dalai Lama believes that each human naturally has a gentle quality within them.

PART 2: HUMAN WARMTH AND COMPASSION

5: A New Model For Intimacy – Dalai Lama says compassion and intimacy are two of the strongest emotions a person can achieve. It is impossible to find these emotions solely within ourselves. We are constantly trying to search for another to be compassionate about, or intimate with. One needs to approach others with a positive attitude, to create an open and friendly atmosphere. Being openly friendly with others, allows one to be compassionate.

PART 3: TRANSFORMING SUFFERING

6: Self-Created Suffering – Dalai lama says that some kind of sufferings are natural while some sufferings are self-made, for instance, how the refusal to accept suffering as a natural part of life can lead to viewing oneself as a perpetual victim and blaming others for our problems—a surefire recipe for a miserable life.

7: Finding Meaning In Pain And Suffering – finding meaning in suffering is certainly a powerful method to deal with the darkest problems of existence, but it is not an easy task. When everything goes wrong, we say why me? That is why we should seek the hidden sense of suffering when everything is going well, in order to have the best possible chance of reaping the benefits. Suffering can strengthen and toughen us.

PART 4: OVERCOMING OBSTACLES

8: Bringing About Change-  when asked to Dalai Lama, what are the approaches one should take in order to shift their negative mindset to a positive mindset, for this Dalai lama replied, to bring positive changes within oneself, learning is only the first step? There are other factors as well: conviction, determination, action, and effort. So the next step is developing conviction. Learning and education are important because they help one develop conviction of the need to change and help increase one’s commitment.

9: Dealing With Anger And Hatred – all the negative mental views act as barriers to happiness; the most powerful obstacles to compassion and altruism are anger, rage, and hostility. They can cause illness (or even death according to studies and are destructive of all virtue and serenity.

10: Dealing With Anxiety And Building Self-Esteem –  the human brain is equipped with an elaborate system designed to register fear and worry. It mobilizes us so that we can react when faced with danger. But excessive worry and anxiety can have devastating effects, mentally and physically. Anxiety can impair judgment, increase irritability and hinder effectiveness; it can also generate physiological problems.

PART 5: CLOSING REFLECTIONS ON LIVING A SPIRITUAL LIFE

11: Basic Spiritual Values – this is how the Dalai Lama puts the final touches on his definition of a happy life: the spiritual dimension. Recent studies seem to confirm that faith contributes substantially to happiness and confirm that people who are enlightened by whatever faith it may generally feel happier than atheists.

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