Name of Book : Zen and the Art of Happiness
Author : Chris Prentiss
Publisher : Manjul Publishing House
Price : Rs. 299/-
Reviewer : Advait Berde
Advait Berde is working as Automobile Content Specialist with Moneycontrol. Apart from being a quirky and intriguing individual, he spends most of his time capturing random moments, people and surroundings in his camera. Being an amateur writer and poet, he is a dedicated book-lover and everything that satisfies his desire to learn. Someone who has been a companion through every journey and has contributed enormously to his travel experiences is his bike. He aspires to devote his creativity and passion of doing something different, in good use.
~ Review ~
Zen and the Art of Happiness seeks to redefine happiness in a person’s life, and to give a holistic perspective to the meaning of life. The narrative follows a simple interactive flow, with the author speaking directly to the reader using anecdotes and also puts himself in the reader’s place, at times where he suspects that the reader might be in doubt.
This book is not targeted at any specific demography. It is for everyone who considers happiness to be just a phase in their lives. This book tells the readers that though happiness is a fickle friend, the means to seek it are eternal. This does not mean it is easy to be happy, instead the book tries to explain to the reader the true meaning of happiness.
As the concept adheres mostly to Chinese philosophy, the book is richly laden with quotes from various Chinese scholars and philosophers. As these quotes might seem abstract or vague to the casual reader, the author has been meticulous enough to describe what the quotes stand for. For example, the author has quoted the Buddha by stating, “Know all things to be like this: A mirage, a cloud castle…. Nothing is as it appears.” Though this quote might have a difficult metaphor to catch, the author has specified that this quote denotes the passing of good times, and bad times. Many more such quotes garnish the well cooked stew of philosophy, spirituality and cutting edge science, to give us the “Chicken soup” of happiness.
As this book reaches out to the reader and aims to connect with his soul, it will definitely act as a shard of solitude in a castle of chaos.
Zen and the Art of Happiness helps the reader understand the very essence of life. Taking the readers through a journey which covers topics such as “The Inner Road”, “Adapting to Change” and “The Language of the Universe”, the book charms its audience through and through. The reader is sure to be enticed, albeit mystified by the workings of God.
The book cover sports a rich Yellow shade, bordered by a Navy blue band in the lower quarter. The colours are peaceful to look at, with soothing fonts used for the title. The cover has a prominent picture of the pot bellied laughing Buddha, who is a classic symbol of happiness, peace and prosperity. The cover also sports three Chinese letters, which mean Good Luck, Prosperity and Longevity; and which when combined spell out..
You guessed it, Happiness.
When I sat down to read this book, I was a bit sceptical, as I considered emotions and logic to be two different branches. But as I went through the book I realized that after all they are connected. Science can lead to spirituality, and spirituality can show you true happiness. As the author says, “Happiness comes from within. It is a state that is produced by our minds.”