The Zen and Art of Happiness by Chris Prentiss for someone she knew. She said he was a very negative person and this book aims to teach about being positive and looking at the brighter side of things.
I have had just about enough of this book, I was thinking. I mean it's everywhere you look. On TV, in someone's hands, or on someone's living room table. So what is it about this book that makes it so special? What was it that made The Secret such a phenomenon? What is it in fact about all these happiness books that makes people just run rampid to go buy them?
So I began thinking about all the books that have made the trend of happiness, the art of living, and having inner peace pretty much a cultural trend. For the next couple of weeks I want to talk about ten books that have made an impact on how people look at their lives, how they view inner contentment about themselves and surroundings, and ultimately how they view happiness. They are: Zen and Art of Happiness by Chriss Prentiss, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz, The Joy of Living by Yongey Mingur Rinpoche, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, The Art of Living by Sharon Lebell (& Epictetus), and lastly The Conquest of Happiness by Bernhardt Russell.
Take a look at what these books are about. You will find there are obvious similarities, as well as some distinguishing features that place each one of these books in a perspective of their own.
ReView of Zen and Art of Happiness by Chris Prentiss
The "Zen" of doing anything is doing it with a particular state of mind that brings the experience of enlightenment-and through that experience, happiness.Cutting-edge science and spirituality tell us that what we believe, think, and feel actually determine the makeup of our body at the cellular level. In this book, you will learn how to think and feel so that what you think and feel creates happiness and vibrancy in your life rather than gloominess and depression.The gentle wisdom of Zen and the Art of Happiness will show you how to invite magnificent experiences into your life and create a philosophy that will sustain you through anything. A timeless work about the art of happiness, the inner game of happiness.
ReView of The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
Fragments of a Great Secret have been found in the oral traditions, in literature, in religions and philosophies throughout the centuries. For the first time, all the pieces of The Secret come together in an incredible revelation that will be life-transforming for all who experience it.In this book, you'll learn how to use The Secret in every aspect of your life -- money, health, relationships, happiness, and in every interaction you have in the world. You'll begin to understand the hidden, untapped power that's within you, and this revelation can bring joy to every aspect of your life.
The Secret contains wisdom from modern-day teachers -- men and women who have used it to achieve health, wealth, and happiness. By applying the knowledge of The Secret, they bring to light compelling stories of eradicating disease, acquiring massive wealth, overcoming obstacles, and achieving what many would regard as impossible.
ReView of The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. "The days are long, but the years are short," she realized. "Time is passing, and I'm not focusing enough on the things that really matter." In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.
In this lively and compelling account of that year, Rubin carves out her place alongside the authors of bestselling memoirs such as Julie and Julia,The Year of Living Biblically, and Eat, Pray, Love. With humor and insight, she chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.
Rubin didn't have the option to uproot herself, nor did she really want to; instead she focused on improving her life as it was. Each month she tackled a new set of resolutions: give proofs of love, ask for help, find more fun, keep a gratitude notebook, forget about results. She immersed herself in principles set forth by all manner of experts, from Epicurus to Thoreau to Oprah to Martin Seligman to the Dalai Lama to see what worked for her—and what didn't.
Her conclusions are sometimes surprising—she finds that money can buy happiness, when spent wisely; that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that "treating" yourself can make you feel worse; that venting bad feelings doesn't relieve them; that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference—and they range from the practical to the profound.
Written with charm and wit, The Happiness Project is illuminating yet entertaining, thought-provoking yet compulsively readable. Gretchen Rubin's passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire you to start your own happiness project.
The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer
What would it be like to free yourself from limitations and soar beyond your boundaries? What can you do each day to discover inner peace and serenity? The Untethered Soul—now a New York Times bestseller—offers simple yet profound answers to these questions. Whether this is your first exploration of inner space, or you’ve devoted your life to the inward journey, this book will transform your relationship with yourself and the world around you. You’ll discover what you can do to put an end to the habitual thoughts and emotions that limit your consciousness.
By tapping into traditions of meditation and mindfulness, author and spiritual teacher Michael A. Singer shows how the development of consciousness can enable us all to dwell in the present moment and let go of painful thoughts and memories that keep us from achieving happiness and self-realization. Copublished with the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS)The Untethered Soul begins by walking you through your relationship with your thoughts and emotions, helping you uncover the source and fluctuations of your inner energy. It then delves into what you can do to free yourself from the habitual thoughts, emotions, and energy patterns that limit your consciousness. Finally, with perfect clarity, this book opens the door to a life lived in the freedom of your innermost being.
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Are you and your spouse speaking the same language? While love is a many splendored thing, it is sometimes a very confusing thing, too. And as people come in all varieties, shapes, and sizes, so do their choices of personal expressions of love. But more often than not, the giver and the receiver express love in two different ways. This can lead to misunderstanding, quarrels, and even divorce.
Quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch are the five basic love languages. Dr. Gary Chapman identifies these and guides couples towards a better understanding of their unique languages of love. Learn to speak and understand your mate's love language, and in no time you will be able to effectively love and truly feel loved in return. Skillful communication is within your grasp!
ReView of The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz
In The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, the Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love. The Four Agreements are: Be Impeccable With Your Word, Don't Take Anything Personally, Don't Make Assumptions, Always Do Your Best.
The Joy of Living by Yongey Mingur Rinpoche
For millennia, Buddhists have enjoyed the limitless benefits of meditation. But how does it work? And why? The principles behind this ancient practice have long eluded some of the best minds in modern science. Until now.
In this groundbreaking work, world-renowned Buddhist teacher Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche invites us to join him in unlocking the secrets behind the practice of meditation. Working with neuroscientists at the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, Yongey Mingyur provides clear insights into modern research indicating that systematic training in meditation can enhance activity in areas of the brain associated with happiness and compassion. He has also worked with physicists across the country to develop a fresh, scientifically based interpretation of the Buddhist understanding of the nature of reality.
With an infectious joy and insatiable curiosity, Yongey Mingyur weaves together the principles of Tibetan Buddhism, neuroscience, and quantum physics in a way that will forever change the way we understand the human experience. Using the basic meditation practices he provides, we can discover paths through everyday problems, transforming obstacles into opportunities to recognize the unlimited potential of our own minds.
With a foreword by bestselling author Daniel Goleman, The Joy of Livingis a stunning breakthrough, an illuminating vision of the science of Buddhism and a handbook for transforming our minds, bodies, and lives.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Ekhart Tolle's message is simple: living in the now is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment. And while this message may not seem stunningly original or fresh, Tolle's clear writing, supportive voice and enthusiasm make this an excellent manual for anyone who's ever wondered what exactly "living in the now" means. Foremost, Tolle is a world-class teacher, able to explain complicated concepts in concrete language. More importantly, within a chapter of reading this book, readers are already holding the world in a different container--more conscious of how thoughts and emotions get in the way of their ability to live in genuine peace and happiness.Tolle packs a lot of information and inspirational ideas into The Power of Now. (Topics include the source of Chi, enlightened relationships, creative use of the mind, impermanence and the cycle of life.) Thankfully, he's added markers that symbolise "break time". This is when readers should close the book and mull over what they just read. As a result, The Power of Now reads like the highly acclaimed A Course in Miracles--a spiritual guidebook that has the potential to inspire just as many study groups and change just as many lives for the better. --Gail Hudson
ReView of The Art of Living by Sharon Lebell
"Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can't control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible." The Stoic philosopher Epictetus was born on the eastern edges of the Roman Empire in A.D. 55, but The Art of Living is still perfectly suited for any contemporary self-help or recovery program. To prove the point, this modern interpretation by Sharon Lebell casts the teachings in up-to-date language, with phrases like "power broker" and "casual sex" popping up intermittently. But the core is still the same: Epictetus keeps the focus on progress over perfection, on accomplishing what can be accomplished and abandoning unproductive worry over what cannot.
The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell
Russell held progressive, often controversial views on social issues, including sexuality. Vigorously opposed to conventional or religious morality, he sets forth here a rationalist approach to achieving a happy life.
What these books all have in common is the following. They all talk about how what we believe, think, and feel actually determines the makeup of our body at a cellular level as well as create happiness and vibrancy in your life to overcome the impossible. All these books aim to create a philosophy that can sustain you through everything in your life. All of them in some form or another talk about improving your life as it is. Ultimately, every one of them points out what you can do to put an end to the habitual thoughts and emotions that limit your consciousness.
That's a very broad coverage of happiness and in so many books. There are of course, specific features that define each book form the others, so it's pointless to hit or miss. Which one do you actually read? Which book will actually tackle what you're truly looking to understand?
This is why I decided to start this series of posts on this site. I am going to read all of them. I'm curious. I have been curious for a long time about each and every one of these books. I want to break them down. I want to actually have a grasp on what each one of these books is helpful for, because it all just seems like a lot. I'm sure many of you also do. So for the next couple of weeks I will be reading and talking about each and every one of these books in their own specific and defining ways.