NO SPOILER REVIEW
The Dalai Lama is one of the most admired people in the world. I certainly find his story and his life to be both interesting and inspiring. He has participated in the creation of several books that could undoubtedly be categorized as “self-help”, including his newest collaboration, The Book of Joy. I read this book in two sittings, not because I didn’t like it or didn’t find it to be interesting, but because I really wanted to be able to get the most out of this book. I felt like reading it all at once would not have allowed me enough time to process the Dalai Lama’s wisdom. This book is very rich in content.
The book was edited by Douglas Carlton Abrams and features a week long interview between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu of South Africa. The book covers three broad topics, the nature of true joy, obstacles of joy and the eight pillars of joy. Each section is narrated by Abrams, he fills in missing back story and creates a sense of place for the book, but the teachings of the Dalai Lama and Archbishop are basically in interview format. You might be tempted to skim this book because of that, but you should plan to read this slowly, allowing time to reflect on the messages.
This is one of those books that you could read again and again and always come away with a new insight. The main philosophy that I gathered from the teachings was that joy comes through service to others. There is a lot more to this book, but the Dalai Lama and Archbishop warn against focusing on yourself and encourage everyone to turn outward not inward. Imagine the world, if we all lived to serve each other. There is definitely wisdom in that philosophy.
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