Adult Book Report: The Book of Joy

In 2020, I (Nikki) have a goal of reading 10 books. Being a mother of two young children, I read many books – but they just so happen to be kids books. So this year, I’m trying to accomplish reading the stack of books I have built up.

Book #1

The Book of Joy – by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams

This book was a gift given to me by my friend and work colleague Amanda Miller. 🙂

I enjoy ear marking pages. It take me some time to get through books I always like to go back to those pages and feel the inspiration again.  Below are a few of the snippets that I earmarked. Really the whole book is full of amazing quotes and snippets.

These two people – two of the most joyful on the planet – have been through so much that could cause them to be the opposite. I loved reading their respectful conversations and playful banter. Humor is always a space that I have felt comfortable with.

I admit that there are many things I am naïve about. There is a large amount of politics and history that I would put into the category. I enjoyed learning a little bit more about the history of Tibet and South Africa. I appreciated hearing their individual stories and the stories of others share in the book.

Earmarked pages:

Page 61-62

“How do we create more friends?” “Trust. How do you develop trust? It’s simple, you show your general sense of concern for their well-being. Then trust will come. But if behind an artificial smile, or a big banquet, is a self-centered attitude deep inside of you, then there will never be trust.” “Without trust, there is no friendship.” – Dalai Lama

Page 258

“…evolutionary science has come to see cooperation, and its core emotions of empathy, compassion, and generosity, as fundamental to our species’ survival.” Compassion is contagious

Page 261

They both “revealed throughout the week one of the core paradoxes of happiness: We are most joyful when we focus on others, not on ourselves.

Page 264

“And there is a very physical example. 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. And we are made much that way, too. I mean, we receive and we must give. In the end generosity is the best way of becoming more, more, and more joyful.” – Archbishop Tutu

Page 288

Tibetan Endless Knots – symbols for impermanence and interdependence of all life and the union of wisdom and compassion.


Right now podcasts are all the rage. Often I see friends post and ask for others favorite podcasts. But there is a podcast for EVERYTHING. You like shoes, there is a podcast about it. You like crime stories, there are a million podcasts for that. I have found that I like to hear people’s stories. I like to learn from others and I feel like I grow as a person by hearing others stories.

This book teaches about the obstacles of Joy and the 8 pillars of joy. They admit that life is not perfect and will not be without pain, but provide a roadmap of reflection that any individual no matter what they have been through can work towards. There may not be an end result, but it is about the path and the journey and the presence.

Do any of your 2020 Goals involve reading more books? Please share!

Cheers, Nikki

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