Updated: Sep 9
The Art of Happiness is a book that I would highly recommend to read. It was co-written by the Dalai Lama and a psychiatrist Howard Cutler. Dr. Cutler poses questions to the Dalai Lama about various elements of happiness, through his knowledge and wisdom about life. It helps to put into perspective what are the most important aspects that can lead to a happy life. It is based on the foundation and tenets of Buddhism, however described through real-life examples.
The book explores how training the human outlook on life can alter one's perception. It illustrates that one's state of mind is much more heavily influenced by internal peace than external factors, conditions, circumstances, or events. One of the factors that is consistent discussed through the book is the importance of human contact and connection. This is one factor that I believe is on a decline as we live within isolated bubbles "pseudo-connected" through technology. However, reduction in face-to-face contact seems to be a rare occurrence at time.
One of the aspects of life that I observe is how disconnected we can be from one another. I think that any type of technology has its pros and cons, however it is humans that can alter how such technology would influence one's life. I find myself often enjoying a random conversation with a stranger, which I believe is very important. I had an interesting conversation with an older gentleman that other day that had various questions about my race, ethnicity, and culture. It was nice to share aspects of myself with a complete stranger who appeared to desire contacting with another human being. It was interesting to learn about his life and various chapters that existed within his sense of happiness.
Source: Vilash Reddy, MD