70 Top Quotes From The Book Of Joy

"The Book of Joy" is a captivating dialogue between two iconic spiritual leaders, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as they share their wisdom on finding lasting happiness in the face of life's challenges. Through their deep friendship and shared experiences, they explore the nature of joy and its connection to compassion, gratitude, and forgiveness. The book weaves together profound insights, personal stories, and practical exercises, offering readers a roadmap to cultivate joy and inner peace.

Despite the world's adversities, the Dalai Lama and Tutu exemplify the power of resilience and the human capacity to find joy even in the midst of suffering. As they guide readers on a journey to understand the nature of joy, they also emphasize the importance of interconnectedness and the shared responsibility to create a more compassionate and joyful world. "The Book of Joy" is a heartwarming and enlightening read that reminds us of the simple yet profound truths that can lead to a more joyful and fulfilling existence. (The Book Of Joy Summary).

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The Book Of Joy Quotes

"We create most of our suffering, so it should be logical that we also have the ability to create more joy. It simply depends on the attitudes, the perspectives, and the reactions we bring to situations and to our relationships with other people. When it comes to personal happiness there is a lot that we as individuals can do.” •”

"The three factors that seem to have the greatest influence on increasing our happiness are our ability to reframe our situation more positively, our ability to experience gratitude, and our choice to be kind and generous.”

"The more time you spend thinking about yourself, the more suffering you will experience.” (Meaning)

"The Dead Sea in the Middle East receives fresh water, but it has no outlet, so it doesn't pass the water out. It receives beautiful water from the rivers, and the water goes dank. I mean, it just goes bad. And that's why it is the Dead Sea. It receives and does not give. In the end generosity is the best way of becoming more, more, and more joyful.”

"Wherever you have friends that’s your country, and wherever you receive love, that’s your home.”

"Seek to be an oasis of caring and concern as you live your life.”

"If you are setting out to be joyful you are not going to end up being joyful. You’re going to find yourself turned in on yourself. It’s like a flower. You open, you blossom, really because of other people. And I think some suffering, maybe even intense suffering, is a necessary ingredient for life, certainly for developing compassion.”

"There are going to be frustrations in life. The question is not: How do I escape? It is: How can I use this as something positive?”

"Marriages, even the best ones—perhaps especially the best ones—are an ongoing process of spoken and unspoken forgiveness. •”

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"Much depends on your attitude. If you are filled with negative judgment and anger, then you will feel separate from other people. You will feel lonely. But if you have an open heart and are filled with trust and friendship, even if you are physically alone, even living a hermit’s life, you will never feel lonely.”

"We are fragile creatures, and it is from this weakness, not despite it, that we discover the possibility of true joy.”

"You show your humanity by how you see yourself not as apart from others but from your connection to others.”

"Joy is the reward, really, of seeking to give joy to others. When you show compassion, when you show caring, when you show love to others, do things for others, in a wonderful way you have a deep joy that you can get in no other way. You can’t buy it with money. You can be the richest person on Earth, but if you care only about yourself, I can bet my bottom dollar you will not be happy and joyful. But when you are caring, compassionate, more concerned about the welfare of others than about your own, wonderfully, wonderfully, you suddenly feel a warm glow in your heart, because you have, in fact, wiped the tears from the eyes of another.”

"One of my practices comes from an ancient Indian teacher. He taught that when you experience some tragic situation, think about it. If there’s no way to overcome the tragedy, then there is no use worrying too much."

"There’s a Tibetan saying: ‘Wherever you have friends that’s your country, and wherever you receive love, that’s your home."

"Meditative practice allows us to quiet the distracting thoughts and feelings so that we can perceive reality, and respond to it more skillfully. The ability to be present in each moment is nothing more and nothing less than the ability to accept the vulnerability, discomfort, and anxiety of everyday life.”

"It probably takes many years of monastic practice to equal the spiritual growth generated by one sleepless night with a sick child.”

"As the Dalai Lama put it, “In fact, taking care of others, helping others, ultimately is the way to discover your own joy and to have a happy life.”

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"Adversity, illness, and death are real and inevitable. We chose whether to add to these unavoidable facts of life with the suffering that we create in our own minds and hearts... the chosen suffering. The more we make a different choice, to heal our own suffering, the more we can turn to others and help to address their suffering with the laughter-filled, tear-stained eyes of the heart. And the more we turn away from our self-regard to wipe the tears from the eyes of another, the more- incredibly- we are able to hear, to heal, and to transcend our own suffering. This is the true secret to joy.”

"Discovering more joy does not, I’m sorry to say,” the Archbishop added, as we began our descent, “save us from the inevitability of hardship and heartbreak. In fact, we may cry more easily, but we will laugh more easily, too. Perhaps we are just more alive. Yet as we discover more joy, we can face suffering in a way that ennobles rather than embitters. We have hardship without becoming hard. We have heartbreak without being broken.”

"The problem is that our world and our education remain focused exclusively on external, materialistic values. We are not concerned enough with inner values. Those who grow up with this kind of education live in a materialistic life and eventually the whole society becomes materialistic. But this culture is not sufficient to tackle our human problems."

"I’ve sometimes joked and said God doesn’t know very much math, because when you give to others, it should be that you are subtracting from yourself. But in this incredible kind of way—I’ve certainly found that to be the case so many times—you gave and it then seems like in fact you are making space for more to be given to you.”

"The most important quality to have toward your day is gratitude for what you have experienced, even for what was hard and what allowed you to learn and grow.”

"You are made for perfection, but you are not yet perfect. You are a masterpiece in the making.”

"From the moment of birth, every human being wants to discover happiness and avoid suffering. No differences in our culture or our education or our religion affect this. From the very core of our being, we simply desire joy and contentment. But so often these feelings are fleeting and hard to find, like a butterfly that lands on us and then flutters away.”

"Despair can come from deep grief, but it can also be a defense against the risks of bitter disappointment and shattering heartbreak. Resignation and cynicism are easier, more self-soothing postures that do not require raw vulnerability and tragic risk of hope. To choose hope is to step firmly forward into the howling wind, baring one's chest to the elements, knowing that, in time, the storm will pass.”

"The goal is not just to create joy for ourselves but, as the Archbishop poetically phrased it, “to be a reservoir of joy, an oasis of peace, a pool of serenity that can ripple out to all those around you.” As we will see, joy is in fact quite contagious. As is love, compassion, and generosity. So being more joyful is not just about having more fun. We’re talking about a more empathic, more empowered, even more spiritual state of mind that is totally engaged with the world.”

"Joy is in fact our birthright and even more fundamental than happiness.”

"Acceptance, it must be pointed out, is the opposite of resignation and defeat.”

"So what is true physically is, in a wonderful way, true spiritually as well. Deep down we grow in kindness when our kindness is tested.”

"Suffering is inevitable, they said, but how we respond to that suffering is our choice. Not even oppression or occupation can take away this freedom to choose our response.”

"Forgiveness does not mean you forget what someone has done, contrary to the saying “Forgive and forget.” Not reacting with negativity, or giving in to the negative emotions, does not mean you do not respond to the acts or that you allow yourself to be harmed again. Forgiveness does not mean that you do not seek justice or that the perpetrator is not punished.”

"One of the key paradoxes in Buddhism is that we need goals to be inspired, to grow, and to develop, even to become enlightened, but at the same time we must not get overly fixated or attached to these aspirations. If the goal is noble, your commitment to the goal should not be contingent on your ability to attain it, and in pursuit of our goal, we must release our rigid assumptions about how we must achieve it. Peace and equanimity come from letting go of our attachment to the goal and the method. That is the essence of acceptance."

"If something can be done about the situation, what need is there for dejection? And if nothing can be done about it, what use is there for being dejected?”

"It is not happiness that makes us grateful. It is gratefulness that makes us happy. Every moment is a gift.”

"Large meta-analysis by Morris Okun and his colleagues have found that volunteering reduces the risk of death by 24 percent.”

"Without forgiveness, we remain tethered to the person who harmed us. We are bound to the chains of bitterness, tied together, trapped. Until we can forgive the person who harmed us, that person will hold the keys to our happiness, that person will be our jailor. When we forgive, we take back control of our own fate and our feelings. We become our own liberator.”

"Mudita is based on the recognition of our interdependence, or Ubuntu. The Archbishop explains that in African villages, one would ask in greeting, “How are we?” This understanding sees that someone else’s achievements or happiness is in a very real way our own.”

"The Archbishop cradled his right hand in his left. He hung his head in concentration. The goal was meditation, but I've never been quite sure where meditation ends and prayer begins, or where prayer ends and meditation begins. I have heard it said that prayer is when we speak to God, and meditation is when God answers.”

"As for suffering I do not wish even the slightest; as for happiness I am never satisfied. In this, there is no difference between others and me. Bless me so I may take joy in others’ happiness.”

"When things go smoothly, then we can pretend we are something very special. But something happens, something unexpected, then we are forced to act like normal human beings.”

"We inherited the reactivity of this part of our brain, and particularly the sensitive amygdala, from our skittish fight-or-flight ancestors. Yet so much of the inner journey means freeing ourselves from this evolutionary response so that we do not flip our lid or lose our higher reasoning when facing stressful situations. The real secret of freedom may simply be extending this brief space between stimulus and response. Meditation seems to elongate this pause and help expand our ability to choose our response.”

"A compassionate concern for others’ well-being is the source of happiness.”

"Many, many millions in the world today are hungry. It’s not your fault, but you woke up from a warm bed, you were able to have a shower, you put on clean clothes, and you were in a home that is warm in the winter. Now just think of the many who are refugees who wake up in the morning, and there’s not very much protection for them against the rain that is pelting down. Perhaps there is no warmth or food or even just water. It is to say in a way, yes, it is to say really, you do want to count your blessings.”

"If your mental health is sound, then when disturbances come, you will have some distress but quickly recover.”

"According to the Archbishop and the Dalai Lama, when we see how little we really need—love and connection—then all the getting and grasping that we thought was so essential to our well-being takes its rightful place and no longer becomes the focus or the obsession of our lives. We”

"It is not happiness that makes us grateful, it’s gratefulness that makes us happy.”

"Perhaps more sobering, it has also hardwired us to cooperate with and be kind to those who look like our caregivers, who presumably kept us safe. We are more wary of others who look different: these are the unconscious roots of prejudice. Our empathy does not seem to extend to those who are outside our “group,” which is perhaps why the Archbishop and the Dalai Lama are constantly reminding us that we are, in fact, one group—humanity.”

"So, personally, I prefer the last five decades of refugee life. It’s more useful, more opportunity to learn, to experience life. Therefore, if you look from one angle, you feel, oh how bad, how sad. But if you look from another angle at that same tragedy, that same event, you see that it gives me new opportunities. So, it’s wonderful. That’s the main reason that I’m not sad and morose. There’s a Tibetan saying: ‘Wherever you have friends that’s your country, and wherever you receive love, that’s your home.”

"So many wars have been fought and so much injustice has been perpetrated because we've banished others from our group and therefore our circle of concern.”

"And even when our lives are good, how do we live in joy when so many others are suffering: when crushing poverty robs people of their future, when violence and terror fill our streets, and when ecological devastation endangers the very possibility of life on our planet?”

"So then I set my intention for the day: that this day should be meaningful. Meaningful means, if possible, serve and help others. If not possible, then at least not to harm others. That’s a meaningful day.”

"As our dialogue progressed, we converged on eight pillars of joy. Four were qualities of the mind: perspective, humility, humor, and acceptance. Four were qualities of the heart: forgiveness, gratitude, compassion, and generosity.”

"Joy,” as the Archbishop said during the week, “is much bigger than happiness. While happiness is often seen as being dependent on external circumstances, joy is not.”

"Much of traditional Buddhist practice is directed toward the ability to see life accurately, beyond all the expectations, projections, and distortions that we typically bring to it.”

"Symptoms of chronic stress are feelings of fragmentation and of chasing after time—of not being able to be present. What we are looking for is a settled, joyful state of being, and we need to give this state space.”

"Grief is the reminder of the depth of our love. Without love, there is no grief. So when we feel our grief, uncomfortable and aching as it may be, it is actually a reminder of the beauty of that love, now lost. I’ll never forget calling Gordon while I was traveling, and hearing him say that he was out to dinner by himself after the loss of a dear friend “so he could feel his grief.” He knew that in the blinking and buzzing world of our lives, it is so easy to delete the past and move on to the next moment. To linger in the longing, the loss, the yearning is a way of feeling the rich and embroidered texture of life, the torn cloth of our world that is endlessly being ripped and rewoven.”

"From the moment of birth, every human being wants to discover happiness and avoid suffering.”

"The very best is being able to ask yourself, ‘Why do I want to have a house that has seven rooms when there are only two or three of us? Why do I want to have it?”

"Joy, it seemed, was a strange alchemy of mind over matter. The path to joy, like with sadness, did not lead away from suffering and adversity but through it.”

"Gratitude is the recognition of all that holds us in the web of life and all that has made it possible to have the life that we have and the moment that we are experiencing. Thanksgiving is a natural response to life and may be the only way to savor it.”

"New studies conducted by psychology researcher Joseph Forgas show that mild sadness can actually have a number of benefits that could reflect its value. In his experiments, people who were in a sad mood had better judgment and memory, and were more motivated, more sensitive to social norms, and more generous than the happier control group.”

"Symptoms of chronic stress are feelings of fragmentation and of chasing after time - of not being able to be present. What we are looking for is a settled, joyful state of being, and we need to give this state space. The Archbishop once told me that people often think he needs time to pray and reflect because he is a religious leader. He said those who must live in the marketplace - business people, professionals and workers - need it even more.”

"The English word courage comes from the French word coeur, or heart; courage is indeed the triumph of our heart’s love and commitment over our mind’s reasonable murmurings to keep us safe.”

"You want to make the person feel really as they are, special. And accepted as they are and help to open them. I can very well understand the incredible anguish and pain that someone must feel who is cooped up in a room because they are scared of going out and being rejected. And you just hope and pray that they will find a fellowship of people who will embrace and welcome them. It’s wonderful to see people who were closed down open up like a beautiful flower in the warmth and acceptance of those around them.” What”

"Do you wake up with this joy?” I asked. “Even before coffee?”

"Forgiveness is a sign of strength.”

"If we see a person who is being crushed by a rock, the goal is not to get under the rock and feel what they are feeling; it is to help to remove the rock.”

"The things that divide us (our ethnicity, our race, our nationality, even our gender) are much less significant than the things that unite us: our common humanity, our human emotions, and our fundamental desire to be happy and avoid suffering.”

"Too much self-centered thinking is the source of suffering. A compassionate concern for others’ well-being is the source of happiness.”

"To tease someone is a sign of intimacy and friendship, to know that there is a reservoir of affection from which we all drink as funny and flawed humans. And yet their jokes were as much about themselves as about each other, never really putting the other down, but constantly reinforcing their bond and their friendship.”

"It’s about humility. Laugh at yourself and don’t be so pompous and serious. If you start looking for the humor in life, you will find it. You will stop asking, Why me? and start recognizing that life happens to all of us. It makes everything easier, including your ability to accept others and accept all that life will bring.”

"Now, hope is different in that it is based not on the ephemerality of feelings but on the firm ground of conviction. I believe with a steadfast faith that there can never be a situation that is utterly, totally hopeless. Hope is deeper and very, very close to unshakable. It’s in the pit of your tummy. It’s not in your head.”

"There’s no other choice but for followers of the world’s religions to accept the reality of other faiths. We have to live together.”

"Motivation to improve our situation is certainly better than envy of someone else’s.”

"At the rational level, we accept that this is a serious problem that we have to deal with, but at the deeper, emotional level, we are able to keep calm. Like the ocean has many waves on the surface but deep down it is quite calm. This is possible if we know how to develop mental immunity.”

"In other words, experiments with large numbers of people show that if you are kind and compassionate, your friends, your friends’ friends, and even your friends’ friends’ friends are more likely to become kind and compassionate.”

"There’s a Tibetan saying: ‘Wherever you have friends that’s your country, and wherever you receive love, that’s your home.”

"One of my favorite quotes that we included in Mandela’s book Notes to the Future was on courage: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. I felt fear more times than I can remember, but I hid it behind a mask of boldness. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

"Hope is the antidote to despair. Yet hope requires faith, even if that faith is in nothing more than human nature or the very persistence of life to find a way. Hope is also nurtured by relationship, by community, whether that community is a literal one or one fashioned from the long memory of human striving whose”

"Stress and anxiety often come from too much expectation and too much ambition”

"Stress and anxiety often come from too much expectation and too much ambition,” the Dalai Lama said. “Then when we don’t fulfill that expectation or achieve that ambition, we experience frustration. Right from the beginning, it is a self-centered attitude. I want this. I want that. Often we are not being realistic about our own ability or about objective reality. When we have a clear picture about our own capacity, we can be realistic about our effort.”

"Every moment is a gift. There is no certainty that you will have another moment, with all the opportunity that it contains. The gift within every gift is the opportunity it offers us.”

― Quotes from the book The Book Of Joy by Dalai Lama

The Book Of Joy Author

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is a spiritual leader and Nobel laureate whose teachings embody compassion, peace, and interfaith harmony. As the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama has dedicated his life to promoting human values, understanding, and religious tolerance. Through numerous books like "The Art of Happiness" co-authored with Howard Cutler, he imparts profound insights on achieving genuine happiness and inner peace. His writing reflects his unwavering commitment to fostering a more compassionate and altruistic world, urging readers to cultivate warm-heartedness and empathy. Beyond his spiritual teachings, the Dalai Lama serves as an advocate for the Tibetan people and their cultural heritage, earning global recognition as a symbol of peace and nonviolence. His influence extends far beyond religious boundaries, inspiring individuals from diverse backgrounds to seek harmony and understanding in an increasingly interconnected world.

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Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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