“The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World” has been selected as the Virginia Yerxa Community Read for 2018. Co-author Douglas Abrams summarizes a rich and delightful week-long conversation between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who came together in April 2015 in Dharamsala, India to celebrate the 80th birthday of the former with the hope of creating a lasting gift for others. In the midst of laughter and tears, the two spiritual leaders grapple with the enduring question: How do we find joy in the face of life’s inevitable suffering?
Despite their years of hardship–decades of exile (for the Dalai Lama, from his homeland of Tibet) or violence and racism (as Tutu experienced in South Africa) – these two Nobel Laureates nonetheless lead lives of exceeding joy. In The Book of Joy, the two men emphasize a shift in perspective – from oneself and toward others, from anguish to compassion, from counting your burdens to counting your blessings. They also share the daily Joy Practices that anchor their own spiritual and emotional lives.
Now in its ninth year, the Virginia Read is a book-in-common project for Colusa County that draws members of the community around the same literary work. This year’s VYCR selection is in response to several community members who suggested The Book of Joy.
Book discussions and events for the spring are in the planning stages, leading up to the annual Virginia Read Day, scheduled for Saturday, April 28, 2018. Readers are invited to follow the Virginia Yerxa Community Read Facebook page or online at www.virginiaread.net. ■