La Danse, Henri Matisse 1909
'La Danse', Henri Matisse, 1909
The Art of Living Guide is a network of citizens from all over the world, exploring ways, both old and new, to achieve a rewarding, harmonic, active, peaceful and sustainable life through sharing thoughts and experiences on those aspects of being alive which we all have in common. Read more
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A Wider Perspective

The Dalai Lama, Tibet

(Submitted by The Office of H.H. The Dalai Lama)

We can cultivate and achieve happiness, remove and eliminate suffering, provided we are able to engage in a practice which is in tune with the law of nature and in tune with how things actually exist. No matter how strong an individual is, we have to live as a human community.

A New Glasnost for the Planet

Mikhail Gorbachev, Russia

(Submitted by the author)

It may seem paradoxical, but despite having borne witness to the countless humanitarian and environmental disasters of recent decades, I am an optimist. But being an optimist does not mean simply looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses, like Voltaire’s Candide, and declaring everything to be for the best, despite an endless array of misfortunes.

Poetry and the Brahmaputra: Flowing Back to Nature

Tess Joyce, England

(Submitted by the author)

Three-fourths of philosophy and literature is the talk of people trying to convince themselves that they really like the cage they were tricked into entering. - Gary Snyder


Parvin Heydari Nassab, Iran

(Submitted by the author)

Calligraphy is the moment in which the harsh heat of the desert, the strivings of our peoples, the thoughts and apprehensions of the Orient, the harmony of sensibility and meditation, are all made manifest on the blank page, to reveal a message of divine love and earthly beauty.

Living life to the full

Richard Branson, England

(Submitted by the author)

Living life to the full is an often-used but misunderstood expression, but one which I truly believe in. To me there is no easy excuse for the words “can’t be done” uttered so often by people who really mean “I don’t want to do it and I don’t want to bother to find out if it can be done”.

The world is my home

Ismail Serageldin, Egypt

To be one with nature, with the universe and with all people. To rejoice in being human, and to cherish the capacity to think. To care for this wonderful world and to try to do something to leave it better than we found it. To be able to honor the past, to celebrate the present and to embrace the future. To be able to shout with joy and conviction:

The world is my home.
Humanity is my family,
Non-violence is my creed.
Peace, justice, equality and dignity for all is my purpose.
Engagement, rationality, tolerance, dialogue, learning and understanding are my means.

Give, give, give

Isabel Allende, Chile

(Submitted by the author)

Give, give, give - what is the point of having experience, knowledge, or talent if I don’t give it away? Of having stories if I don’t tell them to others? Of having wealth if I don’t share it? I don’t intend to be cremated with any of it! It is in giving that I connect with others, with the world, and with the divine.

The Role of a Lifetime

Michael Douglas, USA

(Submitted by the author and originally published in 'The Art of Living')

It’s hard to balance work and family. I work in an industry that has a relatively short window of opportunity, extremely long hours and can take you away from home for months at a time. The rewards can be fantastic: fame, wealth, artistic gratification, never standing in line for a table at a restaurant. But the guilt of shortchanging your family can gnaw away at you.


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