Drawing from works of fiction and poetry, Western philosophy, Buddhist beliefs, scientific research, and personal experience, Ricard weaves an inspirational and forward-looking account of how we can begin to rethink our realities in a fast-moving modern world. With its revelatory lessons and exercises, Happiness is an eloquent and stimulating guide to a happier life.
Paperback , pages. Published January 5th by Little, Brown and Company first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Happiness , please sign up. How is it so far??? Gyurme I would say it is a very good book for anyone who contemplates on "how can I lead a happy life? The reviews here at goodreads platform seem somehow divided but the liking for the book and the ideas in it do not seem to be sharply deviated among the readers as some of the books are prone to. This should indicate that book is fine enough to read.
The praises and the criticisms from readers are correct in their own right and this is nothing unusual considering the subjective matter the book deals with. Actually, debate is always a healthy phenomenon when it comes to ideas and how to be happy has been a subject of inquiry as long as people have existed. I would recommend this book to be read, re-read and contemplate upon the ideas in it.
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Lists with This Book. Mar 30, Tatiana rated it it was amazing Shelves: I can imagine reading this book at some other life juncture and thinking "ah, that's nice" and moving on. That is, I can imagine reading it and not taking it seriously, and not getting very much out of it. But a number of things have come together just at this point in my life to cause me to pay special attention to this idea. It's very scientific and it's very simple. Brains are quite plastic. But even more than that, we can transform our experience of the world in positive ways, we can learn to get ever so much more from everyday life, from each passing moment, than we may ever have imagined possible.
In fact, the experience of enlightenment in the Buddhist sense consists in exactly that. This book, then, describes the science of enlightenment. It's important not just to people who are struggling with depression or other mental illness, not just to those who have significant trauma in their past or abuse from which they'd like to recover, but to all of us who live in this world day by day, to all who want the world to be a better place, who want to spread happiness and joy to those around them, who wish for strength with which to confront adversity and for triumph over the ills of mortal existence.
This is the real thing. Chapter by chapter Ricard lays out his thesis. The emotions that foster well-being and flourishing in humans are compassion, loving kindness, respect, appreciation, thoughtfulness, humility, mindfulness, etc. The emotions that foster misery are anger, jealousy, addictive desire, pride, contempt, strong grasping, and so on.
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We can through practice train our minds to engender the former and let go of the latter so consistently that the tendency for the latter even to arise becomes insignificant, and the habit of the former becomes the very texture and landscape of our lives. Studies of EEGs of trained meditators for meditation is simply mind-training show positive brain responses far outside the normal bell-curve of ordinary subjects.
Not only can we change from a normally melancholy or splenetic personality to a normally happy one, but we can become extraordinarily way-outside-the-bell-curve happy, serene, joyful, patient, respectful, kind, loving, and well. Is such a thing even desirable? Yes it is, and there are chapters laying out the reasons why.
Coming from a scientific perspective, there's nothing mysterious here. Just as I can become a better piano player by practice, so I can become a better person, a better moral agent, by practice as well. Coming from a religious perspective, this is the transformation we seek that's available through Christ's atonement. When we clear the hurdles to begin, when we feel the desire to pursue this and are willing to devote our efforts to it, when we're convinced that it's worthwhile and it matters, which convincing comes through grace, then are we remade as new beings through God's grace and our best efforts.
Coming from a specifically LDS perspective, this is eternal progression, this I believe is our divine nature, that by exercising our agency in any direction we consistently choose, we can become not just good humans, but we can go completely beyond normal human experience and become someone with strength and spiritual power beyond ordinary human abilities.
We can become as gods. The scientific way to express our potential godhood, then, is "brain plasticity". We all knew these were plain and precious truths. We all knew that they were factually true in the real world, not some crazy mythological dream, you know? I mean, through Christ is myth made real, and each of us is made a hero, a priest, a being of enormous potential and potency, a god.
Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill
The question arises, why if we have such potency do we even need Christ? The answer I see to that question is we need him to show us in which direction to head, what aspects of ourselves to develop and which to let go of. It doesn't matter so very much having the answer to any question if you don't know what questions to ask.
Christ, then, points us to the right questions. But isn't this just more selfishness, to want such happiness for ourselves, such power and peace? The answer I see to that is that we ache for the world, we suffer because of the world's hurts, and we wish to heal the world of its wrongs. But until we heal ourselves what do we have to offer the world?
Unless we're made whole, how can we bring wholeness to others? Part and parcel of the wish to be a better person is the desire to help everyone who hurts, to have strength and joy from which to give to others to help empower them to become who they truly are. Our ability to help others is severely limited by our own hurts.
By freeing ourselves we also touch all those around us with freedom, and we're given strength to mourn with those who mourn, joy to share with those in need of comfort, and abundance for those who lack. In fact, the only person we have direct power to free is our own selves. So then this is our life's work, to do that. Along with developing our own compassion and independence, part of that very process is aiding and empowering others.
As Ricard points out, the weak and injured person is mainly concerned with her own emotional reaction to the suffering of others. We're too concerned with our own suffering to have the ability to relieve that of others. How often in my life have I shied away from tackling seemingly intractable problems like slavery or street children because the very idea is too painful for me to contemplate for long?
So this book is to me one of the most important books I've ever read. The work is still all to be done, of course. Now it's time for me to begin training in earnest. Everything so far has been preparation, what I needed in order to get me to the point that I could recognize the importance of this and choose to start working on it. From here forward it's all new territory, dripping with promise like dew on a spring morning, bursting with life like a dogwood blossom on Easter. If i picked up this book earlier in my life , i would have left it unfinished , because I used to think i'm such a happy person.
But after being through a lot , picking this book up and reading it couldn't get any better. This book is not addressed only to people suffering from mental illness , it could be read by anyone , litterally any one who's searching for a better , happier and healthier life.
I loved how he made complicated explanations seem easy and simple and how he managed to change my If i picked up this book earlier in my life , i would have left it unfinished , because I used to think i'm such a happy person. I loved how he made complicated explanations seem easy and simple and how he managed to change my perspective on happiness. Though I don't quite like Budhism nor i'm interested in learning it , I really enjoyed this spiritual aspect of it , it seemed logic , flawless and exactly what i've been needing and searching for. But to be completely honest with you guys , I got bored sometimes since it's a clinical self-help book and i got used to reading this genre only when it's written in a story-kind-of-way , you know with characters and all.
Plaidoyer Pour le bonheur is not the kind of books that will make you happy right after you read it , unless you really do believe in self help books and their powerful yet blind impact on readers , however , it will make you think and change the way you see happiness. Aug 24, Happyreader rated it really liked it Shelves: Ricard strongly emphasizes that diligent practice is the key to happiness, that we confuse pleasure and desire with happiness, and that true happiness is constant and maintained from within, not reliant on external circumstances.
Also emphasized are that the positive emotions need to be cultivated and that they don't simply arise out of the absence of the negative amotions such as anger or hatred. Some good practices are given to handle the more difficult emotions and to cultivate the more posit Ricard strongly emphasizes that diligent practice is the key to happiness, that we confuse pleasure and desire with happiness, and that true happiness is constant and maintained from within, not reliant on external circumstances.
Some good practices are given to handle the more difficult emotions and to cultivate the more positive emotions. I especially appreciated the chapter on the remedies for disturbing emotions - contemplating the antidotes patience for anger, altruistic love for hatred, inner freedom for desire , feeling the emotion separate from the storyline, and using the emotions as catalysts once the fixation has been dropped.
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While I enjoyed the book, the scientific studies discussed near the end slow the book down since they're focused more on proof than on actual practices to enhance happiness. The key strength of this book are those practices. Nov 30, Jonathan rated it it was amazing Shelves: Without succumbing to his arguments in favor of pacifism, or his simplistic exaltation of places like Tibet and Bhutan, I think Ricard has written a brilliant treatise on human flourishing.
This is a great read. And it will challenge the way you think. Dec 20, Joshua rated it it was amazing. This is the most inspiring book I have read recently. I picked it up when I was feeling depressed and I was starting to get into learning about Buddhist thought. It is amazing and inspiring and I have started to re-read it. I also sent it to my sister who seemed rather down and is "searching" for happiness right now.
As a side note, the brain activity which signals someone is happy was tested in the author and he scored off the charts. They also tested others who meditate and practice loving-kin This is the most inspiring book I have read recently. They also tested others who meditate and practice loving-kindness and they all scored super high. I don't know how scientific it is even the author admits this but I do believe meditation is beneficial and this book is a great introduction. Interestingly, Ricard was on his way to being an academic and biologist when he decided to become a Buddhist monk.
If you aren't sure how to be happy or even what happiness really is, read this! May 04, Suhrob rated it liked it.
My longer term flirtations with buddhism led me to finally try to read a book on this topic. I picked Ricard because of his scientific credentials, he is an ex-molecular biologist gone monk, interfacing now with scientists on studies of meditation.
Unfortunately the book didn't really grab me on any level. It mixes basics of buddhist teaching and metaphors with little bits of western, analytic psychology, some anecdotes and entry level introduction into meditation practice. All however feels f My longer term flirtations with buddhism led me to finally try to read a book on this topic.
All however feels for me lukewarm and I don't think I learn anything beyond a few nice quotes. Dec 16, Rubina rated it it was amazing Shelves: This has to be one of my favourite books on happiness and positive psychology. Being happy is a skill which can only be acquired through practice, and this This has to be one of my favourite books on happiness and positive psychology.
Being happy is a skill which can only be acquired through practice, and this book is an excellent guide. Jun 17, Barbara Usak rated it it was amazing. A very thorough and life-changing book, I will certainly re-read it to fully absorb all the concepts and understand the complex ideas, it has already changed the way I think about quite a lot of things.
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Mar 06, Kelsy rated it really liked it Shelves: This is a sort of holistic look at happiness from the perspective of a Buddhist monk who was originally formally trained as a scientist and grew up around philosophers. There's a lot to wade through, here, but at its heart, the main goal seems to be to convince us that meditation is really what we should all be doing to improve our general wellbeing. I, for one, am totally sold on this.
Ricard details various studies done where scientists are able to measure brainwaves of trained meditators vs. There's also a lot of anecdotal discussion of meditators dealing with extreme circumstances, specifically Tibetan monks who were imprisoned and tortured for years but showed very little psychological trauma upon their freedom.
The research presented is incredibly fascinating, indeed. The only real negative here is that at times this can get quite in the weeds, so to speak. This is not a typical "pop psych" or "self help" book. There are a lot of very poignant sentences like, "What really matters is the nature of our living experience, whether it is optimal or afflictive. To be fair, I think all of this stuff is worth unpacking and would be worth a second readthrough, but some of the bits towards the end seem like they would be better looked at in depth in a separate book.
I did notice that he has an entire book dedicated to altruism Altruism: I did really enjoy the sections where Ricard details "afflictive mental states" such as hatred and envy and discusses how we can learn to deal with these emotions, using a combination of meditation and Buddhist philosophy. I find myself more intrigued by Buddhism now and want to pick up some more books on the topic.
Ultimately, I imagine nearly everyone needs to read this book or one like it. I say "one like it" because there are plenty of books out there telling you why you should really be meditating, so at this point, I think we all need to just convince ourselves to do it. I, personally, am going to attempt to go through Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World , which seems a little more "pop psych" and "self-helpy", and might be an alternative if you're not interested in all of the Buddhist philosophy bits.
Sep 18, Bastian Greshake Tzovaras rated it liked it Shelves: It's hard to write a review about this one. While I liked the general idea that happiness is a skill that can be learned and would agree with it, the book itself doesn't seem to helpful with that. Ricard has an interesting biography, but he seems pretty oblivious how this might have shaped him. In the introduction he gives a brief overview on his youth as the son of a renowned philosopher, doing his PhD in mol.
I'm glad that this worked for him, but somehow I doubt that this is something that is reproducible by many people. Though Ricard states that he sees this book isn't 'Buddhist' but from a perspective of 'secular spirituality' it's pretty thick with Buddhism. Which wouldn't be too bad in itself, but it pretty often drifts away in some pretty useless metaphors be water, my friend!
Dec 13, Shannon rated it liked it. I appreciate the mix of science and spirituality. I devoured this book in a matter of days. I like the feeling of empowerment Ricard wants his readers to leave with, but I do sense a bit of preaching from time to time. He claims that the book is not Buddhist, but it is. Ricard even chooses sometimes to compare Buddhism with monotheistic religions, outlining, in his opinion, the clear superiority of the Buddhist philosophy in leading a happy life.
Aside from these few instances, Ricard makes a tr I appreciate the mix of science and spirituality. Aside from these few instances, Ricard makes a tremendous effort to mix Eastern and Western philosophies for his audience. Un livre plein de sagesse: Feb 01, Vikas rated it it was amazing. Well, this book did change my life - I ended up going to a somewhat intensive meditation retreat of 9 days as a consequence of events that were triggered from this book.
And this is an activity I look forward to doing every year. I wasn't sad or depressed with my life - things were normal in the normal meaning of the word and neither was I looking forward to "happiness". I'm happy this book found out me as it was an accidental book that I picked up from library simply because the author looked in Well, this book did change my life - I ended up going to a somewhat intensive meditation retreat of 9 days as a consequence of events that were triggered from this book.
I'm happy this book found out me as it was an accidental book that I picked up from library simply because the author looked interesting a Buddhist monk with a PhD in molecular genetics under a Nobel prize winning scientist. Just to ensure that I got everything the book said, I went through it the second time and then third time - this is the first book that I did and I'm sure I will be going through it again. The book is not a traditional Buddhist book though it may have influences from Buddhist philosophy. A propos du Logoscope Les Tablettes d'Emeraude de Thoth. Immanuel Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision.
La lecture de ses livres me suffit. L'adolescence scellera le divorce d'avec la religion catholique: Moins encore aujourd'hui qu'hier Ils sont le fondement des toutes choses. On peut le nommer instrumentaliste. Il signifie l'absence d'existence propre. Le bouddhisme selon lui ne postule rien en ce domaine. Le quark et le jaguar. Voyage au coeur du simple et du complexe. Le peu est difficile. Le peu est plus proche de LUI Aussi longtemps que tu ressens un manque, c'est que tu veux recevoir L'histoire se termine tragiquement.
Les amis de Gitta Mallasz: Quel est ce guide spirituel qui compte tant pour vous? Aujourd'hui encore, je relis tous les premiers tomes de cet auteur extraordinaire. C'est pour qu'il leur atteste ces choses afin qu'ils ne viennent pas aussi dans ce lieu de tourments. Et Abraham lui dit: Quelques messages de Pastor: Comment aider les personnes qui vont quitter la terre. Savoir qui on est Gabriel Yared, voir chap. Joan Grant et Denys Kelsey: C'est ce qu'on appelle "la vie".
Ce concours de circonstances est trop extraordinaire pour pour que le hasard en soit seul responsable? Notre existence a t-elle un sens? Notre existence a-t-elle un sens Conclusion du livre existence a-t-elle un sens" htt p: Notre existence a-t-elle un sens? Un esprit qui est libre voit. Voir et agir ne font plus qu'un. Seul le semblable peut entrer dans le semblable. Quelques liens pour cet article: L'essence de son enseignement.
Sri Aurobindo et Satprem: La Vie Divine de Sri Aurobindo. Message de Sri Aurobindo: La Foi - Article en plusieurs parties - Partie 1. Le Supramental et la Vie Divine. Laissez venir le flou autour de vos doigts et observez de loin..
Laissez simplement le flou grandir en ignorant le reste. On ne le trouve pas couramment. Et - qui sait? L'art et la vie: Entretien avec Jean-Marie Pelt. Sommes-nous au contraire les enfants que le cosmos attendait? Le scientifique en moi exige des preuves rationnelles. Timothy Leary, a huge influence on Robert Anton Wilson, developed the 8 Brain Circuits of Consciousness during his experimental procedures to re-program a person's mind trough the use of LSD.
Take a look at the Circuits below and ask yourself which one you reside in This circuit is said to have first appeared in the earliest evolution of the invertebrate brain. It is the first to be activated in an infant's mind. Leary says this circuit is stimulated by opioid drugs. This circuit introduces a one-dimensional perception: This circuit appeared first in vertebrate animals.
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