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Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

The Book of JOY

Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

By His Holiness the Dalai Lama


Archbishop Desmond Tutu

With Douglas Abrams

“A Buddhist, a Christian and a Jew walk into a bar,” Douglas Abrams writes in his introduction to “The Book of Joy,” a dialogue between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Abrams, who conceived and helped write the book, is taking some liberties here in the name of comedy — he actually identifies as secular despite his Jewish roots, and the participants really met not in a bar but in the Dalai Lama’s residence in Dharamsala, India, over the course of a week last year. But when the subject is joy, a little humor is allowed. “See if you can chuckle at your problem, at your shortcomings, at your frailties,” the book advises toward the end. “Even if it is a very grave or serious situation, there is often some humor that can be found. The human drama is often a comedy, and laughter is the saving grace.”

I found these quotes to be very thought-provoking… sharing with you in case they resonate in any way:

“…taking care of others, helping others, ultimately is the way to discover your own joy and to have a happy life.”

  • The Dalai Lama, The Book of Joy

8 Pillars of Joy:









“You can think about others who are in a similar situation or perhaps even a worse situation, but who have survived, even thrived, it does help quite a lot to see yourself as part of a greater whole.”

  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu, The Book of Joy

“The more time you spend thinking about yourself, the more suffering you will experience.”

  • The Dalai Lama, The Book of Joy

“Rejoicing in others’ good fortune really brings a lot of positive benefits.”

  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu, The Book of Joy

One commentator noted that both of the authors faced oppression and exile and yet have been able to maintain their compassion and forgiveness despite this. The commentator also noted the theme of the book is that fear, anger, and hatred exist internally as much as externally.

Overall, the main theme is:

Solidarity in Humanity. On a basic level, this book is offered as a guide to achieving lasting happiness in a changing world, as the title phrases. Arguably the most important factor to creating lasting happiness is to recognize that there is a physical, mental, and spiritual solidarity among human beings.

The Book Of Joy Summary - Four Minute Books



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