The Book of Joy/ By The two most joyful people on the planet.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have survived more than fifty years of exile and the soul-crushing violence of oppression. Despite their hardships – or, as they would say, because of them – they are two of the most joyful people on the planet.
In April 2015, Archbishop Tutu travelled to the Dalai Lama’s home in Dharamsala, India, to celebrate His Holiness’s eightieth birthday and to create this book as a gift for others. They looked back on their long lives to answer a single burning question: how do we find joy in the face of life’s inevitable suffering?
Written with co-author Douglas Abrams, The Book of Joy chronicles a discussion between the two friends after Tutu, 85, flew to Dharamsala to see his old friend last year and mark the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday. A few years earlier, the Dalai Lama was prevented from attending Tutu’s 80th birthday party after South African officials bowed to pressure from China.
“I was very sad to miss your birthday,” the Dalai Lama says to Tutu, in an extract published on Buddhist website Lion’s Roar. In an online video to promote the book, the two friends often hold hands or poke each other in playful displays of affection.
“He’s always teasing me,” Tutu laughs in the extract published on Lion’s Roar, recalling how His Holiness likes to steal his hat. In the published extract, the Dalai Lama talks about how much he misses the ailing Tutu when the he and the other Nobel Peace Prize laureates meet.
“But when you are not there, something [is] missing, really,” said the Dalai Lama.
“Thank you. I paid him,” the Archbishop responds.
The “spiritual brothers”—as they call each other—believe that people are innately good, with a deep desire to find “lasting happiness in a changing world,” according to the book’s subtitle. The Dalai Lama and Tutu know just how violently one’s world can change. Tutu spent decades outside South Africa fighting apartheid and is still considered the country’s moral compass. The Dalai Lama remains exiled from Tibet, but leads the call for compassion and peace in the world.
They traded intimate stories, teased each other continually, and shared their spiritual practices. By the end of a week filled with laughter and punctuated with tears, these two global heroes had stared into the abyss and despair of our times and revealed how to live a life brimming with joy.
This book offers us a rare opportunity to experience their astonishing and unprecedented week together, from the first embrace to the final goodbye.