Recommended Books

The books  below came to my attention as I looked in to the topic of happiness. During my reading about happiness, many references were made to Buddhist meditation. The meditation teachers and authors below have emphasized how our minds are overloaded with ideas and emotion that leave us confused and unhappy. Their descriptions of how we can calm our minds and become more clear on what is important to us is important reading.


Happiness is a Serious Problem

Author: Dennis Prager

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Over the years I have worked as a counsellor, I am often confronted with those who are unhappy. As I read Dennis Prager’s book, I realized I was also facing adults who were not mature – they were unwilling to face their everyday responsibilites of living a productive life and meeting the needs of daily situations that were facing them, while at the same time complaining about their miserable life or blaming others for their troubles.

Mr. Prager begins his book with a set of ideas that you will find interesting: Happiness is a Moral Obligation, Unhappiness is Easy- Happiness Takes Work, The Mind Plays the Central Role, There is No Good Definition of Happiness, and Life is Tragic.

Part 2 of this short book deals with obstacles to happiness and how one can deal with them. Part 3 outlines the attitudes and behavior that are needed to achieve happiness.

Dennis Prager is the host of the Dennis Prager Show in Los Angeles. You can access his website and programs at

Hector and the Search for Happiness

Author: Francois Lelord

After reading Happiness is a Serious Problem, my friend Paul, a bookstore owner, recommended Hector. The author, Dr. Francois Lelord,  wrote in this story that many of his patients were unhappy. The main character, Hector, embarks on a worldwide journey to understand what makes people unhappy or happy. On his travels, Hector shares lessons he learned about happiness. What a great story and useful lessons for our understanding of happiness.

Happiness is an Inside Job

Author: Sylvia Boorstein

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This book by Dr. Boorstein was a wonderful discovery for me. I had been under strain (some may call it stress) and this book was just what I needed. Dr. Boorstein, a Buddhist Meditation teacher and Psychologist, introduces the heart of Buddhist teachings as she describes a “best” way to live. As I read, I was very encouraged and experienced her kindness toward the reader.


        You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment       

 Thich Nhat Hanh has written several texts about issues that contribute to our unhappiness.