The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World


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Notes From Your Bookseller

If you were given the chance to ask two people how to find true happiness in the face of suffering, you’d probably choose the two people who sat down to answer that exact question in this book. So grab a copy and get ready to get your happy on.

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 hero's 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399185045
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/20/2016
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 12,176
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)

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

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. For more information please visit

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. 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 and

Read an Excerpt

“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?”

Excerpted from "The Book of Joy"
by .
Copyright © 2016 Dalai Lama.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

The Invitation to Joy ix

Introduction 1

Arrival: We Are Fragile Creatures 11

Day 1 The Nature of True Joy 27

Why Are You Not Morose? 29

Nothing Beautiful Comes Without Some Suffering 43

Have You Renounced Pleasure? 51

Our Greatest Joy 59

Lunch: The Meeting of Two Mischievous People Is Wonderful 67

Days 2&3 The Obstacles to Joy 81

You Are a Masterpiece in the Making 83

Fear, Stress, and Anxiety: I Would Be Very Nervous 93

Frustration and Anger: I Would Shout 101

Sadness and Grief: The Hard Times Knit Us More Closely Together 109

Despair: The World Is in Such Turmoil 115

Loneliness: No Need for Introduction 125

Envy: That Guy Goes Past Yet Again in His Mercedes-Benz 135

Suffering and Adversity: Passing through Difficulties 145

Illness and Fear of Death: I Prefer to Go to Hell 159

Meditation: Now I'll Tell You a Secret Thing 171

Days 4&5 The Eight Pillars of Joy 191

1 Perspective: There Are Many Different Angles 193

2 Humility: I Tried to Look Humble and Modest 203

3 Humor: Laughter, Joking Is Much Better 215

4 Acceptance: The Only Place Where Change Can Begin 223

5 Forgiveness: Freeing Ourselves from the Past 229

6 Gratitude: I Am Fortunate to Be Alive 241

7 Compassion: Something We Want to Become 251

8 Generosity: We Are Filled with Joy 263

Celebration: Dancing in the Streets of Tibet 277

Departure: A Final Goodbye 291

Joy Practices 307

Acknowledgments 349

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