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The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  44,793 ratings  ·  4,363 reviews
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 th
Hardcover, 354 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Avery (first published September 20th 2016)
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Kerri Now you see, we are guests here on this planet, visitors who have come for a short time, so we need to use our days wisely, to make our world a little…moreNow you see, we are guests here on this planet, visitors who have come for a short time, so we need to use our days wisely, to make our world a little better for everyone.(less)
Shashank Singh The stories of the Tibetan kids who had to bid farewell to their parents at age four or five.

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Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I simply loved this book. The Book of Joy is a conversation between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu about finding joy and happiness in the face of suffering and grief. The two old friends met in India for the Dalai Lama's 80th birthday, and they had long discussions over several days.

Writer Douglas Abrams helped facilitate the dialogue, asking questions and taking detailed notes. The reader gets the benefit of both the wisdom of the spiritual leaders and an outside perspective on how
Nov 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh, they are rascals! Impish spirits, the both of them, who giggle and joust and tease their way through this late-in-life meeting; evincing in almost every moment the very joy they've gathered to discuss.

The friendship of these illustrious men, who've met a mere half dozen times and then only briefly, calls to mind that deep and instantaneous bond so frequently formed by children - back when our hearts were filled with trust and our world with potential companions in adventure. Clearly kindred
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing

“Wherever you have friends that’s your country, and wherever you receive love, that’s your home.”
― Dalai Lama XIV, The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

When two people, both Nobel Peace Laureates, are as world-renowned as His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu it takes an event for them to travel. In this case, the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday offered them a chance to gather together and discuss their lives, their beliefs and to enjoy each other’s company in
Gerri Leen
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
I expected to like this more than I did. There is an old writing rule of "Show, don't tell" and this book, with it's third person narrator describing everything and very much inserted into the thing, is pretty much all tell. And there's a lot of repetition. The overall message is good but frankly a bit light on content. ...more
Zoe's Human
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who'd like to be happier
The Book of Joy started out in an ordinary enough manner. It was well-written, interesting, at times humorous, and full of truth. But then . . . right book, right time, it guided me to closure on something I'd been struggling with for a decade. This is literally a life changing book for me.

Even if you don't experience an epiphany like me, this book still has the potential to make your life better. You can already be happy and take something from this. You don't have to be Christian or Buddhist f
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World provides countless insight from Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, two spiritual masters and moral leaders, as the book synopsis appropriately characterizes them. These two well-known and highly respected men are friends, and their interaction throughout the book had a playful tone while still showing great admiration and respect for one another.

I enjoyed the book overall as a whole, yet found the greatest enjoyment and takeaways i
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Powerful, exquisite, full of love and friendship between Archbishop Tutu and the Dalai Lama. I listened to this on audio; incredible to hear the different voices (narrators were actors, very good actors) and quotes from these two enlightened friends. I will refer back to with frequency the helpful practice chapters at the end on meditation/thought changes. This is the premier "book of joy" I've read thus far. Empowering and thought provoking with humor and love for self and others. ...more
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Enjoyed multiple parts of this book, but spent more time frustrated with the collaborator who just couldn't seem to get out of the way. For a book that multiple times stressed that people who use the word, "I," more often die earlier, he certainly seemed to get a lot in. If you skim for quotation marks so you can focus on the Dalai Lama and the Archbishop's discussion, as well as where you see some discussion of the psychology and neuro-science, there's a good book in there. ...more
Read this book.

I so desperately needed to read this book but I didn't know it until tears were running down my face. Not from sadness, but from the opportunity it presents. Suffering is unavoidable. But practicing joy is a choice that we can control when so much is out of our control. It's a simple concept but potentially life changing nonetheless. The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World is self-help in nature with elements of documentary, spiritualism, and world culture. It teach
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
‘Wherever you have friends that’s your country, and wherever you receive love, that’s your home.’” --Tibetan Proverb

Two Nobel Peace laureates meet for a week in Dharamsala, India and engage in a spiritual dialogue and these talks will become the basis for a book. Sounds a bit lofty and just a smidge dull except that the two men at the heart of these discussions are his Holiness the Dalai Lama, he of the beatific smile, and the Honorable Archbishop Desmond Tutu, himself a bit mischievous. The res
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Five Stars because there are just 5.
I said it before but I mention it again: this was THE most beautiful book I have read the last years. So touching, sometimes so funny, and so deeply true.
It took me a while to finish it because every time I would read some pages I just wanted to stop and think about it or it would take me to think about situations that I lived.

I have this urge now to talk about it to everyone I know and I care, kind of trying to make them read it and take it serious. It would
Mijanur Rahman
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, religion
Buddhism always fascinates me. Not as a religion but as philosophy. Perhaps, of all religions (philosophical view) collectively, Buddhism effectively reaches the core of human nature, and thus promote its fellow believer to nurture their soul. This book is not about Buddhism or Christianity, though it features two topmost representatives of those religions/views. It talks about human nature, about joy, and obviously, it’s worth reading.
Kacey Kells
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Everyone (well, almost!) agrees that we should do our best to make this world a safer and better world… i.e.: “a happier, kinder, more compassionate world”. Sadly however, most people think it’s a beautiful but unattainable dream. In this book however, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu stated that it is in our Human Nature to seek happiness and joy; hence, since we are social animals, the only way to be happy and joyful is to look at others, to be compassionate. Indeed, if ...more
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, audiobook
This audiobook is life-changing. I know that sounds like a dramatization but it’s really not. This audiobook covers a week long conversation between dear friends His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. What a wonderful conversation to listen in on! These two men, from different religious backgrounds, come together and show the world that spirituality is universal and not defined by a specific religious context. Their messages are simple and straightforward which makes it even mo ...more
Alli Lubin
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am savoring this book. "The Dalai Lama and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu are two of the great spiritual masters of our time, but they are also moral leaders who transcend their own traditions and speak always from a concern for humanity as a whole..."JOY is much bigger than happiness. While happiness is often seen as being dependent on external circumstances, joy is not." This book is the result of a week they spent together talking about the "purpose of life -- the goal of avoiding suffering an ...more
Ann L.
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone looking for a more peaceful life
Definitely a must read in cultivating a peaceful, joyful and compassionate life. The world needs this book of wisdom, especially now with so much political division going on.

These two spiritual teachers, the Dalai Lama XIV and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have wonderful words of wisdom in how to deal with everyday struggles, especially in regards to our personal relationships and the world around us.

It doesn't matter what your religious beliefs are or where you are in the world, this book and the e
I love the Dalai Lama and everything he has to say. I feel so fortunate to have his words in todays age. He has seen many horrors and tragedies in his long life and he has this wonderful perspective. I admire him and I want to have his views on life.

I wish I could quote adequately from this book. There were so many quotes form the book that rang true for me. This book really made me think and exam my life. It was a joy to read a savor. Both of these men have lived amazing lives and they really
"The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World" by the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams is a book about the important things in life. The Dalai Lama (a Buddhist), Tutu (a Christian), and Abrams (a Secular Jew) spent a week together in dialogue - discussing the principles and values they considered most important. This book is the result of that week.

In their dialogue, they discussed principles and values such as compassion, generosity, forgiveness, acceptance, righteous an
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I was reading this book at the hairdressers and when I was paying, one of the hairdressers came to me to tell me she enjoyed watching me read as she saw me chuckling while reading it. Then I showed her the title and said that it must be working already! I like this quote "Wherever you have friends that's your country, and wherever you receive love, that's your home". And I like the concept of "mudita" which means "the practice of rejoicing in others' good fortune". I got a lot out of this book a ...more
Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob)
Finished 75% of this book and then decided I didn't need to finish the rest.

Unfortunately, this book ends up pretty repetitive which is probably great if you have a memory that doesn't work overly well. If you tend to pick up things on the first or second repetition, this book can start to feel a bit long. I kept double checking myself because it seemed like I had already read the part I was reading.

This is really good as an audiobook though, as the recording are the actual people reading the
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is really a book by a fan of Archbishop Tutu and the Dalai Lama. If you take out the author's gushing praise and his comments on what the holy men mean, it's a 100 page work, maybe less. ...more
Lubinka Dimitrova
I'll be never too cynical to be able to enjoy, appreciate and cherish the words of these two men which might seem syrupy and nonsensically naive, but are in fact utterly cheerful, lighten our load and help us put a smile on our face each and every day. I myself grew up as an agnostic, and it's difficult for me to grasp the deeper beliefs of their respective religions, but for me, they are two of the finest human beings on the planet and a model not only for any spiritual, political, or any other ...more
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
This low 2 star rating is purely based on my enjoyment of this book, not the content itself. The content was wonderful, just so boring because I feel like I've heard it all 500 times at church throughout my life. Nothing new or revelatory here. It felt like one big church lesson review and I couldn't wait for it to be over.

Here are a few random notes:

Meditate, particularly on compassion.

Be generous.

Pain and suffering will come. It's how we respond that matters. We control our response.

No env
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality, 2017
What an absolutely wonderful book. It does not matter what your spiritual beliefs are you cannot help but glean something from reading this book. These two men have the most touching and magnificent friendship. They laugh and tease each other. They enjoy each others thoughts and their ability to understand each other is what makes for such good reading. The book is filled with quotes. One of my favorites is:

Gratitude helps us catalog, celebrate and rejoice in each day and each moment before they
Brad McKenna
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buddhism
What happens when you put The Dalai Lama and The Archbishop Tutu in a room together to talk about Joy? Laughter, chuckles, chortles, and deep unbridled belly laughs. Not to mention good natured ribbing that would make any pair of siblings proud.

According to these two spiritual giants, joy is more than just plain happiness, it’s a state of being. They have suffered tremendously, the Dalai Lama being forced into exile and the Archbishop lived through Apartheid. They think that because of, not in
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
How beautiful and true, evoking, and expanding on, ideas which I notice are appearing in many other things I read!

“The real secret of freedom may simply be extending this brief space between stimulus and response” (179). As mentioned in ‘Shantaram’ - we always have the freedom of choice; of choosing our response based on our attitude. This freedom cannot be taken away from us as it is dictated by our mind and the perspective we take. That’s why in ‘Into the Magic Shop’ so much stress is put on p
Cheryl is busier irl atm.
Nothing new here for me except a chance to 'meet' these two amazing men. So charming; they almost persuade one that the things they say are universally true. And, on a Deep level, they are Truths. But the people who truly need to practice these wise meditations, to act with this level of compassion, to internalize the serenity prayer, etc., are not, I assume, the people who are reading the book.

I mean, I have felt sorry for Trump for a long time, especially since I learned that he Tweets late at
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Genres: Nonfiction, Philosophy, Spirituality

When I use the word "SWEET" it is usually a veiled dislike. But with this book.... it was truly sweet in a good way. The interaction between the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu was so innocent and kind....I can't think of a better word to describe it......So SWEET it is.

Together they talk about having and obtaining joy. I really liked this. Now I will say the first half was a little slow. The info wasn't new, but I felt it was a nice reminder...especially
I adored listening to this audiobook. (Not narrated by the Dalai Lama or Archbishop Tutu themselves, but skilled narrators with similar accents.). I never knew what a lovely friendship the two spiritual leaders had before this. Often laughing and teasing one another, they truly show how to live in the world with grace, joy, and equanimity. I’d like to buy this book and refer to it again when I need a spiritual lift. It made me feel calmer when I listened. Highly recommended!
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Anna by: Helen S
A friend gave me ‘The Book of Joy’ as a birthday present and told me she had found it life-changing. I can certainly see why - it’s an extraordinary and moving book, and one that I immediately want to recommend to others. In a series of discussions, revolving around ways in which humanity can live joyfully, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu manage the feat of transcending religion to find an underlying spirituality. The recommending friend is Christian and found the book’s philosophy de ...more
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Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (born Lhamo Döndrub), the 14th Dalai Lama, is a practicing member of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism and is influential as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the world's most famous Buddhist monk, and the leader of the exiled Tibetan government in India.

Tenzin Gyatso was the fifth of sixteen children born to a farming family. He was proclaimed the

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