Cultivating Joy

Cultivating Joy in the Midst of Suffering

A 10-Week No Cost Book Study 
to meditate, learn & practice

What is joy?
Obstacles to joy
The 8 pillars of joy

based on concepts from
The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World
His Holiness the Dalai Lama & Archbishop Desmond Tutu
with Douglas Abrams

Tuesdays, September 22 – November 24
1:00 – 3:00 pm Central Daylight Time
Mindfulness Classroom @ Meditation Chapel

Publisher’s Notes on The Book of Joy

“In April 2015, Archbishop Desmond Tutu travelled to the Dalai Lama’s home in Dharamsala, India, to celebrate His Holiness’s 80th birthday and to create this book as a gift for others. They looked back on their long lives to answer a single burning question: how do we find joy in the face of life’s inevitable suffering?

“They traded intimate stories, teased each other continually and shared their spiritual practices. By the end of a week filled with laughter and punctuated with tears, these two global heroes had stared into the abyss and despair of our times and reveal how to live a life brimming with joy.”

Cultivating Joy

Joy is a byproduct. “If you set out and say, I want to be happy, clenching your teeth with determination, this is the quickest way of missing the bus,” explains the Archbishop. To feel joy, we must cultivate “the positive qualities that allow us to experience more joy.” The Dalai Lama calls these positive qualities “skills” we can learn through practice. In this class you will learn and practice skills to cultivate joy.

The class will be divided into three sections:

  • His Holiness and the Archbishop discuss what joy is (and is not). They differentiate between fleeting happiness from external sources, feelings of joy and states of joy. Key concepts introduced in the first section are woven throughout the book. Four weeks are devoted to this section.
  • They identify eight obstacles to joy, including fear, anger, sadness, despair, loneliness, envy, adversity and illness and death. Three weeks are devoted to this section.
  • They identify eight positive qualities that increase joy. They call these the eight pillars of joy. The first four pillars are qualities of the mind and include perspective, humility, humor and acceptance. The next four are qualities of the heart and include forgiveness, gratitude, compassion and generosity. Three weeks are devoted to this section.

What to Expect

Each class will focus on key concepts from a few chapters of the book. This is not a book group where we will discuss the book. This is a directed study where you will interactively learn, experience and practice concepts from 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 between classes, you are asked to meditate daily and maintain a gratitude journal. Each class will be limited to 10 participants to facilitate discussion and to encourage participants to connect meaningfully with each other over time.


Book StudyCultivating Joy in the Midst of Suffering

Book: The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World
Authors: His Holiness the Dalai Lama & Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Dates: Tuesdays, September 22 – November 24, 2020
Time: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm (CDT)
Where: The Mindfulness Classroom of Meditation Chapel
Maximum Enrollment: 10 participants per class
Instructor: Sandra Miller, MSW, LCSW
To Register: Register Here


Email Sandra Miller at

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