The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama & Desmond Tutu


The Book of Joy how simple and concise. This book changed my life. I read it almost two years ago in a very dark period of my life and mind. When I read it's title I thought to myself "This is exactly was I'm searching for!". So I bought it and start reading it.

From the first pages it captured me. It is book for everyone. Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people and is a buddhist and Desmond Tutu is widely known for his work as an anti-apartheid and as a human rights activist and a christian. Both religions, Buddhism and Christianity are discussed and other religions too, but all of them are discussed from a place of deep, true and pure love for life and human kind. So don't be afraid to read it. They teach you only beautiful and helpful things for everyday life.

A very joy filling part of the book is the great friendship between the two spiritual leaders of different worlds. The way they speak to each other and how they relate to each other is so different from what we see around us and are thought. The level of respect and love transcend all their differences. This two men could easily see only the differences between them, but they consciously and steadily choose to see only the similarities. Is very beautiful and calming only to read how they speak to each other.

The book is a transcription of a week long interview moderated by Douglas Abrams with Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, who rejoin in Dharamsala, India at the Dalai Lama's residence in exile, to celebrate Dalai Lama's birthday. Desmond Tutu is very sick, suffering from cancer, and they know that this might be the last time they see each other. But there is no trace of sadness or sorrows. The two people lived very hard times. If you don't know, you should do a Google search on them. They lived times of war and great injustice. And still, they only have joy to give to the world.

The book is structured, as the author says, like a three layer cake: in the first the two holy men share their teachings on joy, the second talks about the science on joy, and the third is about their meeting in India. And in deed is like a cake, it leaves you full, grateful and joyful but in a spiritual and mindful way.

The book has also photos from their meeting and you can see them always laughing with love and serenity all over their faces.

In their interview they talk about joy and suffering and how to cope with injustice and sorrow in every situation. The name of the three parts of the book are suggestive and revealing: The Nature of True Joy, The Obstacles of Joy and The Eight Pillars of Joy. I won't get any deeper into the subjects of each part, because I don't want to ruin it for you and I believe you should discover them by yourself. The titles should be enough to make you curious or to make you see if this book is what you are searching for or not.

As I said in the beginning, The Book of Joy changed my life. Changed my perspective on what joy means and how to reach it. Through it I discovered and understand the importance of spirituality, meditation and mindfulness.It taught me that being happy and joyful is possible during any time and under any circumstance. This book pushed me to try yoga and meditation. And from that moment on, my hole life changed for the better.

I strongly encourage you to read this book. For now, I only found it in English, in Romanian not, but I hope some day it will be translated so that more people could teach it's teachings.

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Bucharest, Romania

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