Library Journal Review
This narrative recounts a multiday meeting of two highly regarded spiritual leaders and dear friends-the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu-during which they discussed living a life filled with joy. Despite coming from two different spiritual traditions, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu approach the cultivation of joy in similar ways. Both believe that suffering is inevitable and serves as an obstacle to experiencing joy. In addition, they recognize the interconnectedness of human beings, and how a compassionate approach helps us to alleviate pain not only for others but also for ourselves. Joy, for them, is manifested internally and transcends happiness, which is often dependent upon external circumstances. Cowriter Douglas Abrams (God's Dream) weaves scientific findings related to emotions and the brain throughout the work. Several joy practices are included for those who are seeking a practical complement to the anecdotal, philosophical, and scientific perspectives presented. VERDICT Not just for fans of the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu but for anyone seeking to cultivate compassion and joy in the face of daily reminders of divisiveness around the world.-Amanda Folk, Univ. of Pittsburgh Lib., Greensburg © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Cultivating joy was the subject of a five-day conversation between the Dalai Lama and Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of South Africa, held in 2015 at the former's residence in exile in Dharamsala, India. The two Nobel Peace Prize recipients argued for a "true joy that was not dependent on the vicissitudes of circumstance," writes Abrams, who moderated the rare meeting between the two friends on the occasion of the Dalai Lama's 80th birthday. Highlighting the men's playful joking and delight in each other's company, Abrams carefully balances their strong voices during intense discussions on the many obstacles to joy (including fear, anger, and adversity) and ways to cultivate greater well-being, using as a framework the "eight pillars of joy" (perspective, humility, humor, acceptance, forgiveness, gratitude, compassion, and generosity). Throughout, Abrams skillfully incorporates information about each leader's life and work, basic Buddhist principles undergirding the Dalai Lama's perspectives, and current scientific research. The dialogue intentionally focuses on areas of common ground accessible to readers of any faith or none, though Christians can be assured that Tutu's contributions are infused with his deep love of God. This sparkling, wise, and immediately useful gift to readers from two remarkable spiritual masters offers hope that joy is possible for everyone even in the most difficult circumstances, and describes a clear path for attaining it. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.