The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

& others. Avery. Sept. 2016. 368p. photos. ISBN 9780399185045. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780399185069. REL
This narrative recounts a multiday meeting of two highly regarded spiritual leaders and dear friends—the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu—during which they discussed living a life filled with joy. Despite coming from two different spiritual traditions, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu approach the cultivation of joy in similar ways. Both believe that suffering is inevitable and serves as an obstacle to experiencing joy. In addition, they recognize the interconnectedness of human beings, and how a compassionate approach helps us to alleviate pain not only for others but also for ourselves. Joy, for them, is manifested internally and transcends happiness, which is often dependent upon external circumstances. Cowriter Douglas Abrams (God's Dream) weaves scientific findings related to emotions and the brain throughout the work. Several joy practices are included for those who are seeking a practical complement to the anecdotal, philosophical, and scientific perspectives presented.
VERDICT Not just for fans of the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu but for anyone seeking to cultivate compassion and joy in the face of daily reminders of divisiveness around the world.
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