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Two Icons of Spirituality. Five Profound Days. One Timeless Question.

In a world marked by strife and suffering, Nobel Peace Prize laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu stand as beacons of resilience and unwavering joy. These two spiritual giants have endured over half a century of exile and the soul-crushing weight of oppression, emerging not as victims but as two of the most joyful souls on Earth.

In April 2015, a historic meeting took place when Archbishop Tutu journeyed to His Holiness’s residence in Dharamsala, India, to celebrate the Dalai Lama’s eightieth birthday. Their intent was to craft a gift for humanity, one that would illuminate the path to joy amidst life’s inexorable suffering.

Amidst shared laughter, heartfelt stories, and a tapestry of spiritual practices, they embarked on a profound exploration of a singular question: How can we discover and nurture joy in the face of life’s inevitable hardships?

This remarkable book offers readers an intimate glimpse into their extraordinary week together, from the warm embrace of their first meeting to the bittersweet farewell.

As we delve into their conversation, we gain insight into the Nature of True Joy and the challenges that obstruct it, ranging from fear and stress to anger, grief, illness, and the specter of death. The Archbishop and the Dalai Lama then unveil the Eight Pillars of Joy, the foundational principles that underpin enduring happiness. Their wisdom is further enriched with poignant stories and supported by scientific insights. Finally, they generously share their daily Joy Practices that anchor their own emotional and spiritual lives.

While Archbishop Tutu shies away from any claim to sainthood, and the Dalai Lama embraces the identity of a humble monk, their unique collaboration offers us a profound reflection on real lives steeped in adversity. Within the crucible of pain and turmoil, they have unearthed a reservoir of peace, courage, and joy that serves as an inspiration for us all in our individual journeys.

This book is an invitation to discover the reservoir of joy within ourselves, to confront life’s challenges with grace and resilience, and to aspire to the kind of enduring happiness that transcends circumstances. In the voices of these two spiritual luminaries, we find not just a philosophy but a roadmap—a path to joy, resilience, and inner peace that beckons us to tread with purpose and grace.