The Book of Joy ~ by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu

In my wanderings around the net I kept seeing this book and started wondering … and I listened to a bit and was intrigued …  so I got it from Audible.    And then I was listening as I drove and at about Chapter 2 (!)  I realized I needed to have it in my hands and see the words –  I downloaded the Kindle version.   And then I read and listened and listened and read deliberately going over parts twice and highlighting as I went.   Wonderful book,  meant to be studied and USED.

book of joy.jpeg
“The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World
by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu”  ~ as told by Douglas Carlton Abrams 
2016/  354 pages
read by Douglas Carlton Abrams and cast 10h 12m
rating 10 /  spiritual 

I’m not really a Christian,  I’d call myself a Jewish/Buddhist, and the authors of the substance of the book, the main participants in the discussions,   were a Tibetan Buddhist and an Anglican Christian with a Jewish translator or narrator.   This book was totally perfect for me.

The discussions on which the book is based took place at the Dalai Lama’s home in exile,  Dharamsala,  on the occasion of his holiness’ 80th birthday.  Archbishop Desmond Tutu , age 82 at the time,  came to visit and participate in a week-long series of discussions on the subject of joy.

Eight pillars of joy are identified,  divided by mind (perspective, humility, humor, acceptance) and heart (forgiveness, gratitude, compassion, generosity).   The daily lives of the men are told and some input about the personalities of these two Nobel Peace Prize winners.

I suppose it’s a sort of “self-help” book for those who want to learn about joy through enhanced meditation practices.   Kind of a guide to meditation in various ways,  beyond simple escape from the daily grind and aimed at joy.  The main sections include

  1.  The Nature of True Joy  (Day 1)
  2.  The Obstacles to Joy   (Days 2 and 3)
  3. The Eight Pillars of Joy  (Days 4 and 5)

Then there is an appendix kind of part (?)  which goes further and outlines what are called “Joy Practices”  very specifically but not in any way rigidly.

I’ve been trying some of the suggestions augmenting my old meditation ways,  especially “analytic meditation.”    I’ve done this kind of thing before but adding it to meditation will be powerful stuff.

I’ve discovered that I tend to read spiritual books and then procrastinate about actually doing what they say.  I’m not always that way but it’s happened.  We’ll see –  I’ll read this again if necessary.

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