Two great spiritual masters share their own hard-won wisdom about living with joy even in the face of adversity.
The occasion was a big birthday. And it inspired two close friends to get together for a talk about something very important to them. The friends were His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The subject was joy. Both winners of the Nobel Prize, both great spiritual masters and moral leaders of our time, they are also known for being among the most infectiously happy people on the planet, despite having experienced great personal and national suffering.
From the beginning the book was envisioned as a three-layer birthday cake, the first being their personal stories and teachings about joy. Both the Dalai Lama and Tutu have been tested by extraordinary adversity, oppression, and conflict. The second layer consists of the exciting research into joy as well as the other qualities essential for any enduring happiness, like gratitude, humility, humour, compassion, generosity, and forgiveness. And the third encompasses practical exercises and guidance based on the Dalai Lama's and Tutu's own daily practices, which anchor their emotional and spiritual lives.
Most of all, during that landmark week in Dharamsala, they demonstrated by their own exuberance, compassion, and even wise-cracking humour, how joy can be transformed from a fleeting emotion into an enduring way of being.