The book of joy Lasting happiness in a changing world

Bstan-ʼdzin-rgya-mtsho, 1935-

Book - 2016

Two leading spiritual masters share their wisdom about living with joy even in the face of adversity, sharing personal stories and teachings about the science of profound happiness and the daily practices that anchor their emotional and spiritual lives.

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New York : Avery [2016]
Physical Description
x, 354 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Main Author
Bstan-ʼdzin-rgya-mtsho, 1935- (author)
Other Authors
Desmond Tutu (author), Douglas Carlton Abrams
  • Arrival: we are fragile creatures
  • The nature of true joy
  • Why are you not morose?
  • Nothing beautiful comes without some suffering
  • Have you renounced pleasure?
  • Our greatest joy
  • Lunch: the meeting of two mischievous people Is wonderful
  • The obstacles to joy
  • You are a masterpiece in the making
  • Fear, stress, and anxiety: I would be very nervous
  • Frustration and anger: I would shout
  • Sadness and grief: the hard times knit us more closely together
  • Despair: the world Is in such turmoil
  • Loneliness: no need for introduction
  • Envy: that guy goes past yet again in his Mercedes-Benz
  • Suffering and adversity: passing through difficulties
  • Illness and fear of death: I prefer to go to hell
  • Meditation: now I'll tell you a secret thing
  • The eight pillars of joy
  • Perspective: there are many different angles
  • Humility: I tried to look humble and modest
  • Humor: laughter, joking is much better
  • Acceptance: the only place where change can begin
  • Forgiveness: freeing ourselves from the past
  • Gratitude: I am fortunate to be alive
  • Compassion: something we want to become
  • Generosity: we are filled with joy
  • Celebration: dancing in the streets of Tibet
  • Departure: a final goodbye
  • Joy practices.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Imagine being in the room for a conversation between two of the most recognizable spiritual leaders of modern times, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Thanks to this book, readers can do more than imagine. The two deeply spiritual and surprisingly jovial friends came together for several days to discuss a range of topics—compassion, suffering, loneliness, gratitude—but always ultimately came back to their primary theme, joy. Over the course of their protracted conversation, the duo provides insight into their faiths' guiding principles, gently disagreeing at times but more frequently finding common ground and spending some time teasing each other in the process. For all of their protestations that they are both just regular men, there is no doubt that each is something special. Readers will come away with great hope and gratitude for being welcomed into the conversation. Copyright 2016 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

This narrative recounts a multiday meeting of two highly regarded spiritual leaders and dear friends—the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu—during which they discussed living a life filled with joy. Despite coming from two different spiritual traditions, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu approach the cultivation of joy in similar ways. Both believe that suffering is inevitable and serves as an obstacle to experiencing joy. In addition, they recognize the interconnectedness of human beings, and how a compassionate approach helps us to alleviate pain not only for others but also for ourselves. Joy, for them, is manifested internally and transcends happiness, which is often dependent upon external circumstances. Cowriter Douglas Abrams (God's Dream) weaves scientific findings related to emotions and the brain throughout the work. Several joy practices are included for those who are seeking a practical complement to the anecdotal, philosophical, and scientific perspectives presented. VERDICT Not just for fans of the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu but for anyone seeking to cultivate compassion and joy in the face of daily reminders of divisiveness around the world.—Amanda Folk, Univ. of Pittsburgh Lib., Greensburg. Copyright 2016 Library Journal.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

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. (Sept.) [Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Two leading spiritual masters share their hard-won wisdom about living with joy even in the face of adversity, sharing personal stories and teachings about the science of profound happiness and the daily practices that anchor their emotional and spiritual lives.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Two leading spiritual masters share their wisdom about living with joy even in the face of adversity, sharing personal stories and teachings about the science of profound happiness and the daily practices that anchor their emotional and spiritual lives.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

An instant New York Times bestsellerTwo 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.