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The joyful insights of two spiritual friends, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Miranda Penn Turin
The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu



The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu are both in their 80s. During a week in 2015, the two spiritual leaders came together in Dharamsala, India to reflect. They discussed joy in the face of hardship, a topic both men know well.

The Dalai Lama has spent close to 60 years in exile from his homeland of Tibet, while Archbishop Tutu helped lead the fight against apartheid in South Africa and is now undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. The result of their week-long discussion is the New York Times bestseller, The Book of Joy, co-written by Bay Area author Douglas Abrams. KALW’s Judy Silber spoke with Abrams about his experiences with these two important world leaders, and their advice on how to cultivate a joyful mind.


ABRAMS: Archbishop Tutu turns to the Dalai Lama and wags his finger at him and says, “Act like a holy man!” They were just ribbing each other and teasing each other the whole time.