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The Book of Joy
Cover of The Book of Joy
The Book of Joy
Lasting Happiness in a Changing World
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Two great spiritual masters share their own hard-won wisdom about living with joy even in the face of adversity. The occasion was a big birthday. And it inspired two close friends to get together in...
Two great spiritual masters share their own hard-won wisdom about living with joy even in the face of adversity. The occasion was a big birthday. And it inspired two close friends to get together in...
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  • Two great spiritual masters share their own hard-won wisdom about living with joy even in the face of adversity.

    The occasion was a big birthday. And it inspired two close friends to get together in Dharamsala for a talk about something very important to them. The friends were His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The subject was joy. Both winners of the Nobel Prize, both great spiritual masters and moral leaders of our time, they are also known for being among the most infectiously happy people on the planet.
    From the beginning the book was envisioned as a three-layer birthday cake: their own stories and teachings about joy, the most recent findings in the science of deep happiness, and the daily practices that anchor their own emotional and spiritual lives. Both the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu have been tested by great personal and national adversity, and here they share their personal stories of struggle and renewal. Now that they are both in their eighties, they especially want to spread the core message that to have joy yourself, you must bring joy to others.
    Most of all, during that landmark week in Dharamsala, they demonstrated by their own exuberance, compassion, and humor how joy can be transformed from a fleeting emotion into an enduring way of life.
    Narration Credits:
    Douglas Carlton Abrams, read by the author
    Dalai Lama, read by Francois Chau
    Desmond Tutu, read by Peter Francis James
    From the Compact Disc edition.

Excerpts-

  • From the cover "Is joy a feeling that comes and surprises us, or is it a more dependable way of being?" I asked. "For the two of you, joy seems to be something much more enduring. Your spiritual practice hasn't made you somber and serious. It's made you more joyful. So how can people cultivate that sense of joy as a way of being, and not just a temporary feeling?"

    The Archbishop and the Dalai Lama looked at each other and the Archbishop gestured to the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama squeezed the Archbishop's hand and began. "Yes, it is true. Joy is something different from happiness. When I use the word happiness, in a sense I mean satisfaction. Sometimes we have a painful experience, but that experience, as you've said with birth, can bring great satisfaction and joyfulness."

    "Let me ask you," the Archbishop jumped in. "You've been in exile fifty-what years?"
    "Fifty-six."
    "Fifty-six years from a country that you love more than anything else. Why are you not morose?"
    "Morose?" the Dalai Lama asked, not understanding the word. As Jinpa hurried to translate morose into Tibetan, the Archbishop clarified, "Sad."

    The Dalai Lama took the Archbishop's hand in his, as if comforting him while reviewing these painful events. The Dalai Lama's storied discovery as the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama meant
    that at the age of two, he was swept away from his rural home in the Amdo province of eastern Tibet to the one-thousand-room Potala Palace in the capital city of Lhasa. There he was raised in opulent isolation as the future spiritual and political leader of Tibet and as a godlike incarnation of the Bodhisattva of Compassion. After the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950, the Dalai Lama was thrust into politics. At the age of fifteen he found himself the ruler of six million people and facing an all-out and desperately unequal war. For nine years he tried to negotiate with Communist China for his people's welfare, and sought political solutions as the country came to be annexed. In 1959, during an uprising that risked resulting in a massacre, the Dalai Lama decided, with a heavy heart, to go into exile. The odds of successfully escaping to India were frighteningly small, but to avoid a confrontation and a bloodbath, he left in the night dressed as a palace guard. He had to take off his recognizable glasses, and his blurred vision must have heightened his sense of fear and uncertainty as the escape party snuck by garrisons of the People's Liberation Army. They endured sandstorms and snowstorms as they summited nineteen-thousand-foot mountain peaks during their three-week escape.

    "One of my practices comes from an ancient Indian teacher," the Dalai Lama began answering the Archbishop's question. "He taught that when you experience some tragic situation, think about it. If there's no way to overcome the tragedy, then there is no use worrying too much. So I practice that." The Dalai Lama was referring to the eighth-century Buddhist master Shantideva, who wrote, "If something can be done about the situation, what need is there for dejection? And if nothing can be done about it, what use is there for being dejected?"

    The Archbishop cackled, perhaps because it seemed almost too incredible that someone could stop worrying just because it was pointless.

    "Yes, but I think people know it with their head." He touched both index fingers to his scalp. "You know, that it doesn't help worrying. But they still worry."

    "Many of us have become refugees," the Dalai Lama tried to explain, "and there are a lot of difficulties in my own country. When I look only at that," he said, cupping his hands into a small circle, "then I worry." He widened...

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.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, interviewed by Douglas Abrams, give enlightening advice on how to achieve joy even during difficult times. Douglas Abrams is both an excellent author and interviewer who knows how to present a question most effectively and how to relay the answers of these widely respected spiritual leaders clearly and informatively. All three voices are differentiated beautifully, with Francois Chau channeling the Dalai Lama's peacefulness and Peter Francis James providing a judicious tone to represent Desmond Tutu. These two Nobel Prize winners teach joy by sharing their own journeys and practices. The narration makes listeners feel like they're in the same room as these wise men, welcomed and at peace. The pillars of joy are clearly outlined and explained. D.Z. � AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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