An instant New York Times bestseller
Two spiritual giants. Five days. One timeless question.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have survived more than fifty years of exile and the soul-crushing violence of oppression. Despite their hardships—or, as they would say, because of them—they are two of the most joyful people on the planet.
In April 2015, Archbishop Tutu traveled to the Dalai Lama's home in Dharamsala, India, to celebrate His Holiness's eightieth birthday and to create what they hoped would be a gift for others. They looked back on their long lives to answer a single burning question: How do we find joy in the face of life's inevitable suffering?
They traded intimate stories, teased each other continually, and shared their spiritual practices. By the end of a week filled with laughter and punctuated with tears, these two global heroes had stared into the abyss and despair of our time and revealed how to live a life brimming with joy.
This book offers us a rare opportunity to experience their astonishing and unprecendented week together, from the first embrace to the final good-bye.
We get to listen as they explore the Nature of True Joy and confront each of the Obstacles of Joy—from fear, stress, and anger to grief, illness, and death. They then offer us the Eight Pillars of Joy, which provide the foundation for lasting happiness. Throughout, they include stories, wisdom, and science. Finally, they share their daily Joy Practices that anchor their own emotional and spiritual lives.
The Archbishop has never claimed sainthood, and the Dalai Lama considers himself a simple monk. In this unique collaboration, they offer us the reflection of real lives filled with pain and turmoil in the midst of which they have been able to discover a level of peace, of courage, and of joy to which we can all aspire in our own lives.
Cultivating joy was the subject of a five-day conversation between the Dalai Lama and Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of South Africa, held in 2015 at the former's residence in exile in Dharamsala, India. The two Nobel Peace Prize recipients argued for a "true joy that was not dependent on the vicissitudes of circumstance," writes Abrams, who moderated the rare meeting between the two friends on the occasion of the Dalai Lama's 80th birthday. Highlighting the men's playful joking and delight in each other's company, Abrams carefully balances their strong voices during intense discussions on the many obstacles to joy (including fear, anger, and adversity) and ways to cultivate greater well-being, using as a framework the "eight pillars of joy" (perspective, humility, humor, acceptance, forgiveness, gratitude, compassion, and generosity). Throughout, Abrams skillfully incorporates information about each leader's life and work, basic Buddhist principles undergirding the Dalai Lama's perspectives, and current scientific research. The dialogue intentionally focuses on areas of common ground accessible to readers of any faith or none, though Christians can be assured that Tutu's contributions are infused with his deep love of God. This sparkling, wise, and immediately useful gift to readers from two remarkable spiritual masters offers hope that joy is possible for everyone even in the most difficult circumstances, and describes a clear path for attaining it.
Life changing book
This book makes you rethink how we perceive joy and happiness, suffering and pain, and many more emotions. You do not need to be spiritual nor religious to have a deep connection with this book and its ideas. Religious, spiritual, and scientific ideas are shared, but most importantly the Dali Lama and Archbishop’s thoughts and teachings come from deep thought, years of philosophizing, and a true desire to spread joy to others in the most open and accepting way.
Wit balanced with ageless wisdom...
When I watch a master of a craft I remind myself I'm watching decades of hard-earned knowledge shaped by repetitious practice in action. The master chef who makes slicing and dicing looking like a ballet between cutting and cooking. The master artist who with what appears to be a few simple strokes of their arms, brush, legs or pen creates a feeling that opens my heart and feeds my soul. The master wordsmith who molds words into meaning such that the meaning I feel leaves me speechless.
The depth and breadth of skill, wit and wisdom displayed between the front and back cover of The Book Of Joy crafted by Douglas Abrams is mastery in motion. Abrams encyclopedic alchemy mixes science with spirit, knowledge with wisdom bound by stories both personal and profound. Each page offers a banquet of insights such that I'm glad I put down the pencil I usually use to underline meaningful passages. Every page is littered with notable quotes. Quotes that'll most likely show up in social memes as more readers embrace more joy inspired by this book of joy!
I live a simple life. My worldly possessions fit in three standard suitcases. I travel the world to learn, laugh and grow while I teach classes focused on re-awakening one's sense of worth. The printed edition of the Book Of Joy will now travel with me. True an e-book consumes less space. A printed book requires no batteries or wifi access!
May your journey into the breadth and depth of joy lead by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his compassion compatriot the Archbishop Desmond Tutu skillfully served by Douglas Abrams inspire an ear-to-ear endless smile!
I felt like I was there with these great men as they shared their stories and wisdoms. Grateful for this read— especially, a deep dive of the 8 pillars and the mediation practices at the end.