The Book of Joy

The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu talk about JOY

The two great spiritual masters and moral leaders met in Dharamsala for the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday to talk about something very important to them: joy. Both winners of the Nobel Prize, they are also known for being among the most infectiously happy people on the planet.

Pedram Shoji of Urban Monk interviews Douglas Abrams who spent a week with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The two world leaders had never been able to spend much time together. Abrams was there to capture the moments while writing “The Book of Joy” with both of them. Watch this fascinating, in-depth interview as Adams relates stories of that momentous event.

From the beginning, the book was envisioned as a three-layer birthday cake: their own stories and teachings about joy, the most recent findings in the science of deep happiness, and the daily practices that anchor their own emotional and spiritual lives. At the 22:00 mark Adams talks about forgiveness: “We can’t be in joy if we’re constantly in bitterness and seeking revenge and thinking about how we’ve been wronged. The Dalai Lama said, ‘Forgiveness is not weak, forgiveness is strength!’ and Tutu said, ‘Anyone that thinks forgiveness is weak hasn’t tried it.’”

From the Dalai Lama website: The two spiritual leaders laughed a great deal as they explored what joy is in terms of happiness, love, and compassion. Archbishop Tutu pointed out that despite the pain involved in giving birth, mothers cradle the newborn with joy. He challenged His Holiness to explain how he remains so joyful in the face of trouble and His Holiness replied by quoting the Indian philosopher who said that you need to assess the situation and if something can be done, there’s no need to worry. What you need to do is take action. And if there’s nothing to be done, worrying won’t help.

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