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The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World Hardcover – September 20, 2016
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Winner of the 2016 Books for a Better Life Award in Spirituality
“The question may be timeless, but their answer has urgent significance.”
"[An] exquisite book...An intimate glimpse into the minds of two of the world's spiritual guides, and their foundation for an attainable and practical approach to experiencing a more enriching and sustainable life of abundant joy."
"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."
"The world needs joy and compassion more than ever before – and who better than Archbishop Tutu and the Dalai Lama to show us how it is done. This beautiful book takes us on the journey of their friendship and gives us the gift of their wisdom. A bright spot of hope and love in this world."
—Sir Richard Branson
"It's a book that transports you deep within the intimate friendship that binds these two incredible souls. And it’s a book that vividly probes the very nature of joy itself — the illusions that eclipse it, the obstacles that obscure it, the practices that cultivate it, and the pillars that sustain it."
—Rich Roll, The Rich Roll Podcast
About the Author
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. He is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan People and of Tibetan Buddhism. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 and the US Congressional Gold Medal in 2007. Born in 1935 to a poor farming family in northeastern Tibet he was recognized at the age of two as the reincarnation of his predecessor, the 13th Dalai Lama. He has been a passionate advocate for a secular universal approach to cultivating fundamental human values. For over three decades the Dalai Lama has maintained an ongoing conversation and collaboration with scientists from a wide range of disciplines, especially through the Mind and Life Institute, an organization that he co-founded. The Dalai Lama travels extensively, promoting kindness and compassion, interfaith understanding, respect for the environment, and, above all, world peace. He lives in exile in Dharamsala, India. For more information, please visit www.dalailama.com.
Desmond Mpilo Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Southern Africa, became a prominent leader in the crusade for justice and racial reconciliation in South Africa. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. In 1994, Tutu was appointed chair of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission by Nelson Mandela, where he pioneered a new way for countries to move forward after experiencing civil conflict and oppression. He was the founding chair of The Elders, a group of global leaders working together for peace and human rights. Archbishop Tutu is regarded as a leading moral voice and an icon of hope. Throughout his life, he has cared deeply about the needs of people around the world, teaching love and compassion for all. He lives in Cape Town, South Africa. For more information please visit tutu.org.za.
Douglas Abrams is an author, editor, and literary agent. He is the founder and president of Idea Architects, a creative book and media agency helping visionaries to create a wiser, healthier, and more just world. He is also the co-founder with Pam Omidyar and Desmond Tutu of HumanJourney.com, a public benefit company working to share life-changing and world-changing ideas. Doug has worked with Desmond Tutu as his cowriter and editor for over a decade, and before founding his own literary agency, he was a senior editor at HarperCollins and also served for nine years as the religion editor at the University of California Press. He believes strongly in the power of books and media to catalyze the next stage of global evolutionary culture. He lives in Santa Cruz, California. For more information, please visit ideaarchitects.com and humanjourney.com.
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An unexpected delight of this book is the frequency and ease with which these two men bring forth their playfulness, wit, wisdom, and laugh-out-loud humor, even when they are immersed in profoundly deep discourse.
What I found personally most rewarding was the teaching that ran through the book that had to do with the many ways in which it is possible to find joy even in the most difficult of times. Both of these men have endured great hardship and adversity both in their own lives and in the lives of millions of their countrymen, women and children, and yet their extraordinarily brilliant spirit shines brightly through every page of this amazing book. How do they do it? The Book of Joy truly fulfills its promise to answer that question.
I give this book five stars only because I can’t give it six!
The book is a series of discussions between the two clerics, moderated by Douglas Abrams. The format is informal, and a little different than what many of us are used to, but the words, oh, the words!
"I believe everyone has the responsibility to develop a happier world. We need, ultimately, to have a greater concern for others' well-being. In other words, kindness or compassion, ..." (HH the Dalai Lama). This book shows us how to develop a happier world—starting with ourselves. Love your neighbor as you love yourself (Mark 12:31, the Holy Bible)—after all, if you don't love yourself, you cannot love anyone else. "The ultimate source of Happiness is within us." (HH)
In the back of this book are meditations and prayers to help us on our daily journey to find true joy, the ultimate source of our happiness, and once found, we'll know how to share it with one and all.
The only quibble I have with this book is there is no index. I heartily and unequivocally recommend this book to everyone, no matter where they are on their spiritual journey—just starting out or finishing a life long quest. I further suggest you buy a hard copy you can make notes in, so you can find things at a glance when you want to. Yes, I know, writing in books is a big no-no – but it makes me happy.
If you have not listened to the book on audio, treat yourself. It takes on a new dimension all together.