The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World
His Holiness the Dalai Lama & Archbishop Demond Tutu with Douglas Abrams
Between our weekly gatherings, participants commit to:
- Read and reflect on The Book of Joy. Topics and readings are below. An optional PDF study guide is available here the webpage version of the study guide is here.
- Meditate daily. The Book of Joy includes Joy Practices that correspond to chapters starting on page 307. You are strongly encouraged to do these practices during the week.
- Journal your gratitude daily in the Gratitude Journal
Topics and Readings
Week 1: Part 1 – The Nature of True Joy
- The Invitation to Joy ix
- Introduction 1
- Arrival: We Are Fragile Creatures 11
- Why Are You Not Morose? 29
Week 2: Part 2 – The Nature of True Joy
- Nothing Beautiful Comes Without Some Suffering 43
- Have You Renounced Pleasure? 51
Week 3: Part 3 = The Nature of True Joy
- Our Greatest Joy 59
- Lunch: The Meeting of Two Mischievous People Is Wonderful 67
DAYS TWO and THREE
Week 4: Part 1 – Obstacles to Joy
- You Are A Masterpiece in the Making 83
- Fear, Stress and Anxiety: I Would Be Very Nervous 93
- Frustration and Anger: I Would Shout 101
Week 5: Part 2 – Obstacles to Joy
- Sadness and Grief: The Hard Times Knit Us More Closely Together 109
- Despair: The World Is in Such Turmoil 115
- Loneliness: No Need for Introduction 125
- Envy: That Guy Goes Past Yet Again in His Mercedes-Benz 135
Week 6: Part 3 – Obstacles to Joy
- Suffering and Adversity: Passing through Difficulties 145
- Illness and Fear of Death: I Prefer to Go to Hell 159
- Meditation: Now I’ll Tell You a Secret Thing 171
DAYS FOUR and FIVE
Week 7: Part 1 – The Eight Pillars of Joy
- Perspective: There are Many Different Angles 193
- Humility: I Tried to Look Humble and Modest 203
- Humor: Laughter, Joking Is Much Better 275
Week 8: Part 2 – The Eight Pillars of Joy
- Acceptance: The Only Place Where Change Can Begin 223
- Forgiveness: Freeing Ourselves from the Past 229
- Gratitude: I Am fortunate to Be Alive 241
Week 9: Part 3 – The Eight Pillars of Joy
- Compassion: Something We Want to Become 251
- Generosity: We Are Filled with Joy 263
Week 10: A Final Goodbye
- Celebration: Dancing in the Streets of Tibet 277
- Departure: A Final Goodbye
- What Will You Take Away? What Practices and Skills Will You Continue?
Structure of Our Weekly Classes
Each class will focus on key concepts from a few chapters of the book. Each two-hour class will be divided into three parts:
- Meditate on a concept from the book and discuss your experience with the meditation
- Interactively learn about and experience elements of what is in those chapters
- Discuss and practice skills to cultivate joy
In order to make sure everyone has an opportunity to participate, discussions will be facilitated. Please make every effort to follow these guidelines.
- One speaker at a time
- Speak mindfully to the topic at hand.
- Respect that each of us comes from different traditions and listen to understand.
- Listen mindfully. When your mind wanders, bring it back to the speaker
- Be mindful of time, recognizing others also have insights to share.
- Keep stories to a minimum. If you need an illustration to clarify, keep it short.
- Pause when you are speaking so others can jump in.
- Encourage and support each other. Avoid advice giving or trying to convince others.
- Mute your microphones when you are not speaking.
- Commit to attend all sessions
- Email or text if you will be late, need to leave early or miss a session
- Arrive a few minutes early so we can start on time
- Take care of your own needs during group sessions. (We will not have formal breaks)
- Find a quiet space where you can participate uninterrupted
- Turn off phones & other media in the background
- Contact me anytime with questions or concerns. We can “talk” by email or schedule a time for Zoom, FaceTime or phone.