“The Book of Joy” is written by his Holiness, Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Abrams.

In 2015, Archbishop Tutu traveled to the Dalai Lama’s home is Dharamsala, India to celebrate His Holiness’ 80th birthday.  The goal of this book was to create a gift for others. “How do we find joy in the face of life’s inevitable suffering?”

Both Archbishop Tutu and the Dalai Lama have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts in support of peace in the world.  Both have suffered tremendous hardships in their lives.  The Dalai Lama was forced into exile by the Chinese government.  Archbishop Tutu was oppressed by the South African government.  Both men, despite the pain and turmoil in their lives, have filled their lives with peace, joy and courage.  Both are an inspiration to me and I believe the entire world.

Douglas Abrams, a Jewish man, who had worked previously with Archbishop Tutu, asked questions and listened to these two incredible men discuss joy.  He then compiled their conversations into this book.

They address the topics of The Nature of True Joy, Obstacles to Joy from fear, stress, anger, grief, illness and death.  They discuss the Eight Pillars of Joy and offer us a foundation for lasting happiness.  The book provides an appendix of Joy Practices, that they use in their own emotional and spiritual lives.

While I have long been a huge fan of both men, my admiration grew even more when reading this book.  The book is full of stories along with the good-natured teasing of the two men who are long-time friends.  So it is a fast-paced book to read.

It also illustrates the similarities both religions share.

For Example:

If something can be done about it,
What need is there for dejection?
And if nothing can be done about it,
What use is there for being dejected?
–   Shantideva, The way of the Bodhisattava

God, give us the grace to accept with serenity
The things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
Which should be changed
And the wisdom to distinguish
The one from the other.
–  Reinhold Niebuhr, The Serenity Prayer.

I loved the book and my husband and I have given it to family and friends. When I considered doing a review of it on this Mystery blog, I considered saying that it is a true Mystery how men who have suffered so much could be so positive and joyous.  But I have decided instead to say that I am just recommending the book during the Holiday Season as my wish of Joy for all of you.

For more information and for video footage from the week see Bookofjoy.org

Five Star out of Five.


In accordance with FTC guidelines for reviewers, I would like to clarify that this book was not provided to me by the publisher or author free of charge.  I am not compensated by the author or publisher for my review. All they expect is an honest review of the work