The Book of Joy

The Book of Joy

Lasting Happiness in A Changing World

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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.
Publisher: New York : Avery, [2016]
ISBN: 9780399185045
Branch Call Number: 294.3444 BSTAN-'D
Characteristics: x, 354 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Feb 08, 2018

An exceptional book!!!!
I highly suggest the audio version -- which uses multiple voices to express the words of the three different authors and really brings the material to life, in a way that did not happen for me reading the printed version.
I listened to this in the car on some recent long drives and each time arrived at my destination feeling calmer, and less anxious than when I started out. I also have felt inspired in some personal relationship challenges to take the high road. I am grateful to have this influence.
There was an added challenge/benefit -- possibly particular to me in this material as well. Here are two extraordinary spiritual leaders -- The Dalai Lama and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who have each experienced tragedies greater than almost anyone I know personally and then used their trauma to develop more compassion and commitment to help others.
And some great American abolitionists of the 1800s who opposed woman voting, or how some people of faith today, who support civil rights for people of color but then oppose marriage equality for LGBTQ identifying individuals...The Dalai Lama and Archbishop still have blinders on to certain injustices that they have been educated to NOT see as well.
For me, this does not invalidate their wisdom or work on behalf of justice. But rather reminds me to never discount wisdom or calls to expand my matter what the, "blocks" may be of the person encouraging it.
If you'd like to know more about what I might be referring to as their, "blocks" (which are peppered throughout the book -- but probably would not be noticed by many of those who love the material) take a look at this essay:

Nov 13, 2017

I would wager that whether you believe that this is an oustanding, mediocre or uninspiring book will depend on your personal state of awareness. There is value in it in terms of understanding the source of joy. It is difficult not to find the Dalai Lama an inspiring and delightful human; which comes through in the book. I did find it a bit repetitive.

Bottom line, read it yourself and judge.

Sep 13, 2017

Many people refuse to pick up this book because there is a “religious aspect” however I am not from either Dalai Lama or Tutu’s religion and can still enjoy this book and appreciate the raw happiness and mindfulness that erupts out of the pages. This book is basically conversations; the real words and actions of Dalai Lama and Tutu as they discuss the world, joy, and equality in our modernized living. There is humor, affection and peace amongst the words of two leaders in our society. I loved reading this book, there is nothing more to say other than it should be read by everyone I know! You genuinely will feel happy and there are parts that, depending on the reader, may bore you.
- @jewelreader of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

Jul 23, 2017

This unique tome is an excellent example of soporific sophistry. A few pages in one will realize what a great source of vacuous platitudes it is.
This is fine reading for the fidget spinning, popcorn munching masses. Enjoy.

Apr 23, 2017

This book is not just another "inner peace" book. The advice from The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu highlights the importance of not dwelling on self, but being a part of a whole. Being part of a community and having compassion and empathy are more conducive to our joy than financial status or fame. This should be mandatory reading in our high schools.

The dynamics of the friendship between these 2 extraordinary individuals was beautiful! No matter your choice of religion or lack thereof, this is a must-read!

Apr 12, 2017

Your holiness Dalai Lama is fighting each time he makes a public appearance.
Forgiving does not mean forgetting. He is right.

There will always be battles to fight with injustice and evil; kindness, mercy and love can not exist without the ability to say no and to defend your cause when you need to. It is in defining each of our purpose in life that we need to work and polish on the most. The human race as a whole will never agree on a universal treaty in what to believe and how to behave. So, prepare to fight, and learn how to fight, people. Love Thy Enemy is part of it but certainly not the full picture and the end.

Mar 07, 2017

The authors are not listed correctly here. It's a terrific book and good medicine, for all who think that their own life is difficult. While it's subjective, this discussion shows how faith and/or philosophy can allow anyone to transcend circumstance.

Mar 06, 2017

This book is basically a conversation between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu about finding joy and happiness when faced with fear and grief. It is an absolute joy to read. It is well written, occasionally funny and will leave you a better person for having read it. I would highly recommend it.

Cynthia_N Feb 22, 2017

This book was a joy to read! The authors have lived lives full of trouble and they have every right to be bitter and vindictive but instead they are loving and filled with joy. I am inspired!

Dec 04, 2016

A delight to read. Some of Dalai Lama's other books were more in detail but this book prominently displayed the affection, humor, and importance of communicating joy in one another as part of a greater whole. What greater example than through Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu authored by Douglas Abrams.


Add a Quote

ellensix Oct 18, 2016

The Dalai Lama used the terms wider perspective and larger perspective. They involve stepping back, within our own mind, to look at the bigger picture and to move on beyond our limited self-awareness and our limited self-interest. Every situation we confront in life comes from the convergence of many contributing factors. The Dalai Lama had explained, "We must look at any given situation or problem from the front and the back, from the sides, from the top and bottom, so from at least six angles. This allows us to take a more complete and holistic view of reality, and if we do, our response will be more constructive." (p. 196)

ellensix Oct 18, 2016

"I think it takes time to learn to be aid-back," he continued. "You know, it's not something that just comes ready-made for you. No one ought to feel annoyed with themselves. It just adds to the frustration. I mean, we are human beings, fallible human beings. As the Dalai Lama points out, there was a time… I mean, we see him serene and calm. Yet there were times when he, too, felt annoyed and perhaps there still are. It's like muscles that have to be exercised to be strong. Sometimes we get too angry with ourselves thinking we ought to be perfect from the word go. But this being on earth is a time for us to learn to be good, to learn to be more loving, to learn to be more compassionate. And you learn, not theoretically. "The Archbishop was pointing his index fingers at his head. "You learn when something happens that tests you." (pp. 91-92)

ellensix Oct 18, 2016

We concluded, "There is nothing wrong with faiths. The problem is the faithful."
(P. 70 Desmond Tutu)


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at LPL

To Top