Book Review: The Book of Joy

The Book

Title – The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

Authors –  Dalai Lama XIV, Desmond Tutu, Douglas Carlton Abrams.

Published in 2016 by Cornerstone Publishers

Genre / Category

Self-help / Personal Growth / Philosophy

What is the Book About

The Book of Joy is a conversation between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It is about finding joy and happiness in the face of suffering, grief, and adversity.

The week-long engagement took place in Dharamsala, India. The Archbishop flew to India, despite his health problems, to attend the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday celebrations.

The Characters / Authors

From the get-go, you can pick up on the strong bond of friendship that exists between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, even though one of them is a Buddhist and the other a Christian. They have also only met a couple of times in real life.

Both the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu are Nobel Prize Winners. They are also both great spiritual and moral leaders.

I love how even though they are these great spiritual leaders, they never judge other people who have different believes than they do.

Both these men have gone through terrible hardships, yet they are among the most infectiously happy people on the planet. They do not take anything too serious and they never think of themselves as better than anyone else.

What I Thought of the Book

I really enjoyed reading this book.  Once I started reading it, it was difficult to put it down.

I have laughed out loud a couple of times while reading it. I especially loved how the Dalai Lama would sometimes wish for something “bad” to happen when he is with people who think too much of themselves, just so that they can act like “normal” people.

I found the parts in the book that tells a bit about the history of the Dalai Lama and his people as well as of the Archbishop very interesting and wouldn’t mind reading more about the history of especially the Dalai Lama. Being a South African I know a lot more about Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his history.

At the Back

At the back of the book, there are useful step-by-step guides to prayer and meditation practices that anyone can use if they want to.

Quote from the Book

“We create most of our suffering, so it should be logical that we also have the ability to create more joy. It simply depends on the attitudes, the perspectives, and the reactions we bring to situations and to our relationships with other people. When it comes to personal happiness there is a lot that we as individuals can do.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

Out of 5 – ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


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