The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World
By the Dalai Lama & Desmond Tutu
2016, 321 pages
20 thoughts from The Book of Joy:
The purpose of life must be to find happiness (joy) because every human being seeks that.
- The purpose of life must be to find happiness (joy) because every human being seeks that.
- Joy is somehow bigger than pleasure or fun or even happiness.
- Why worry about problems? If they are solvable, there is no need to worry. Get to work on solving them. If they are not solvable, why worry?
- An old Tibetan saying: Wherever you have friends is your country. Wherever people love you is your home.
- Nothing beautiful in the end comes without a measure of pain and suffering. That is the nature of things.
- A disagreement: How much control do we have over our emotions? The Dalai Lama says much. Desmond Tutu says not much.
- All dharma teachings agree on one point: We must strive to lesson our self-absorption. (Dharma is a key concept in Hinduism and Buddhism that deals with the basic principles of existence.)
- According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychologist, our happiness depends upon our ability to reframe situations we are in more positively, our ability to feel gratitude, and our choice to be kind and generous.
- We can’t give up pleasure. We have to learn to enjoy it without attachment.
- Pay more attention to the mental aspects of pleasure than the physical and your joy will be deeper and last longer.
- Everyone knows that physical pain is bad and tries to avoid it. We should recognize that spiritual pain, too, is bad and do what we can to avoid it.
- To become a better/happier/more joyful person you must first accept yourself as you are and thus avoid the guilt and shame that makes improvement harder.
- The Buddha once said that he teaches only one thing: suffering (dukkha) and the cessation of suffering (sukha).
- Courage is not the absence of fear but the triumph over it.
- Hiding your fear behind a mask of boldness is one way to triumph over it.
- But sometimes it is better (more helpful) to show your fear and pain unashamedly.
- Stress and anxiety (dukkha) often come from too much expectation and too much ambition.
- Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist Elizabeth Blackburn found that constant stress wears down our telomeres, the caps on our DNA that protect our cells from illness and aging.
- The path of joy is through connection. The path of sorrow is from separation.
- When you are angry or fearful of someone, remind yourself that they are made in the image of god, which is to say in your image.