I’ve been chugging along on my reading train (7/25 for 2017) and I’m going to share with you one of my favorite recent reads that I really enjoyed!
Last week, I completed “The Book of Joy,” by Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and Douglas Abrams. I found this book while browsing the Target bookshelves and the cover photograph totally jumped out at me. It’s a picture of the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu smiling at each other. I’ve always enjoyed books and teachings by the Dalai Lama so buying the book was a no brainer.
The goal of this book is to share with the masses the teachings of joy from a buddhist (the Dalai Lama) and the Christian Archbishop of South Africa, Desmond Tutu. While two very different religions, this book highlights the commonalities between the deep seeded desire in all people from all backgrounds, to find joy. This book provides practical steps on how to cultivate joy in your life. These steps and exercises are a great way to reset when you may feel you’re off balance and get back in touch with joy.
Personally, the biggest lesson I took away was that of compassion for your fellow human. While that seems simple (duh, we’re all human) for me hearing the Dalai Lama share experiences connecting with other world leaders and how he bonded with President Bush over their discussion of which cookie was best when they met really helped the lesson sink in. He made it clear that while he does have an important role as a world leader, he is still a human who is not immune to the same suffering of humans all over our planet. He is just another 1 out of 7 billion living on this earth. Grounding himself in this truth helps him to experience joy and connect with others so genuinely. If the Dalai Lama can be so humble, so can I (or we.)
Many messages in this book stopped me in my tracks and made me look at strangers a little bit longer as I passed them. It reminded me that this life isn’t solely about me and my mission, my goals and my drive. It’s about being there for others, being more selfless and being engaged in the present moment.
This is the kind of book you want to keep on your shelf and review from time to time. There are so many great lessons and nuggets of insight readers could take away from this book that I highly recommend it!