The Book of Joy

The Book of Joy

Lasting Happiness in A Changing World

Book - 2016
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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 Library Staff

LPL_JillM Jun 30, 2018

The Book of Joy helped me to find ways to feel hopeful – while the world seems so unsettled and at times unkind. The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu are warm, loving, and very spiritual men who come from completely different spiritual traditions. And they are dear friends who laugh togethe... Read More »

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Jul 11, 2018

It's all about the brotherhood of humanity. Whoa, to be a "Schadenfreude" person! That's what they love to do, make people miserable. I guess we all need to go for the Mutida thing to be a better society. It states, that if we become more compassionate in life, we will gain a grounded joy. Let's face it, the world is not in the mode of a brotherhood of humanity at all. It probably would be a better place, if we all tried harder to be compassionate and at peace more often. Maybe, this book can help some people gain some level of peace and joy.

LPL_JillM Jun 30, 2018

The Book of Joy helped me to find ways to feel hopeful – while the world seems so unsettled and at times unkind. The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu are warm, loving, and very spiritual men who come from completely different spiritual traditions. And they are dear friends who laugh together and tease each other playfully. They came together for a week to celebrate the Dalai Lama’s birthday, and Douglas Abrams documented their visit in this powerful book. Compassion, forgiveness, and gratitude are strong themes throughout. These wonderful and very humble men – who have both suffered great injustices - exude joy and love. We are reminded that we all belong to each other and that no matter how bleak things look, there is always hope. Abrams provides valuable background and scientific information to augment the discussions. This is the most compelling book I have read in a long while.

May 14, 2018

This marvellous book follows a week-long conversation between two dear friends when Desmond Tutu visited the Dalai Lama at his adopted home in India in 2015. Both have experienced immense hardship but are able to model amazing joy. Writer Douglas Abrams brings to life their conversations on how that’s possible in a beautiful, often lyrical way. We’re given an intimate view into Dharamsala, the Dalai Lama’s refuge since his escape from Tibet in 1959. The book addresses a number of obstacles to joy, and then discusses eight “pillars” of joy: perspective, humility, humour, acceptance, forgiveness, gratitude, compassion, and generosity. It concludes with a series of meditation or prayer practices that can support a joyful life. Religious practices are not at the forefront, but appear in a completely inclusive way. Underlying all the wisdom offered here is the theme of compassion. Extending compassion to others and doing what we can to ease their suffering is shown as the essential gateway to joy.

mko123 Apr 12, 2018

Two luminaries, both of whom have suffered greatly, show us how we can live a joyful life, even in the midst of pain and injustice. The African concept of Ubuntu is a thread throughout this dialogue. Ubuntu means that a person is a person through other people.

This book is a week-long discussion between a Tibetan Buddhist, a Christian and a Jew. In this lively discussion, they give us the tools we can all use to cultivate compassion. They show, using scientific studies, how forgiveness and gratitude can lift us out of depression and anger. There are many real-life-examples of how we can release judgment. Re-framing difficulties in life and looking at the wider picture can help us to see lessons learned.

If you need help to keep you from going into despair and pessimism during these trying times, read this book.

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.

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May 14, 2018

“... everywhere in Dharamsala were reminders that this was a community that had been traumatized by oppression and exile. The town clings to winding hillside roads, and craft stalls hang over the edges of sheer cliffs. Like construction throughout India and so much of the developing world, building codes and security precautions were waved aside to make room for the exploding population. I wondered how these structures would fare in an earthquake, and feared that the whole city might be shaken off the back of these mountains like a leaf from a waking animal.” (p. 22-23)

May 14, 2018

“March 10, 2008 ... I could not do anything. I felt helpless. I knew that if they really carried out demonstrations, it would actually result only in more suffering, more problems. And that is exactly what happened, with the violent crackdown and the death and imprisonment of so many Tibetans who had participated in the process. Over the next few days, during my meditation, I actually visualized some of those Chinese local authorities and did one of our practices, called tonglen, literally meaning ‘giving and taking.’ I tried to take on their fear, anger, suspicion, and to give them my love, my forgiveness. Of course, this would have no physical effect on the ground. It would not change the situation. But you see, mentally, it was very, very helpful to keep a calm mind.” (p. 115)

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)


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