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In a world consumed by the pursuit of material success and external appearances, this book offers a profound exploration of what it truly means to be happy.

The author, a Buddhist monk, also known as the happiest person in the world, shares his insights on happiness from a scientific, philosophical, and personal perspective.

Understanding that we are neither perfect nor completely happy is not a weakness.

Right from the start, Ricard clarifies that this book isn’t strictly about Buddhism, yet the essence of Buddhist teachings permeates through every page. This didn’t bother me, but I want to warn you of this.

In alignment with Buddhist philosophy, the central idea of the book is that happiness resides within our minds and can be cultivated as a skill over time.

The inability to manage our thoughts proves to be the principal cause of suffering.

Unlike conventional self-help literature, this book is not a light read and requires intellectual engagement, so I don’t think it’s easily accessible. But despite being a challenging reading experience, it was overall gratifying.

Title: Happiness. A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill
Author: Matthieu Ricard
Year First Published: 2003

From Goodreads:

Although we are materially better off than ever before, surveys show that we are depressed and listless. In his revolutionary book, Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard shows that happiness is not just an emotion, but a skill that can be developed.

Free of jargon, Happiness contains simple exercises that will train the mind to recognize and pursue happiness by concentrating on the fundamental things in life and in doing so change the way we view the world.