Idea Architect Douglas Abrams: Cultivating Joy, Collaborating With Spiritual Masters & Elevating Consciousness

The Rich Roll Podcast

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Idea Architect Douglas Abrams: Cultivating Joy, Collaborating With Spiritual Masters & Elevating Consciousness

The Rich Roll Podcast

“No dark fate determines the future – we do. Each day and each moment, we are able to create and recreate our lives and the very quality of human life on our planet.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Nobel Peace Prize Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have both survived more than fifty years of exile. Both have endured the soul-crushing violence of oppression. And yet despite their hardships—or, as they would say, because of them—they are two of the most joyful people on the planet.

How is this possible? And what can we learn from their example to cultivate more joy in the face of life's inevitable suffering?

To answer this question, in 2015 Douglas Abrams united the two spiritual giants in Dharamsala, India on the occasion of the Dalai Lama's 80th birthday. During the course of what became a rare, five-day conversation on the nature of human happiness and suffering, the two Nobel Peace Prize recipients traded intimate stories, teased each other continually, and shared their spiritual practices. By the end of a week filled with laughter and punctuated with tears, these two global heroes had stared into the abyss and despair of our time and revealed how to live a life brimming with joy.

A beautiful synthesis of this transcendent union, it's no surprise that Abrams' The Book of Joy* became an instant New York Times bestseller. It's a book that deeply humanizes an Archbishop who has never claimed sainthood and a Dalai Lama who considers himself a simple monk. It's a book that transports you deep within the intimate friendship that binds these two incredible souls. And it's a book that vividly probes the very nature of joy itself — the illusions that eclipse it, the obstacles that obscure it, the practices that cultivate it, and the pillars that sustain it.

In addition to being a celebrated author, editor and literary agent, Doug is the founder and president of the creative book and media agency Idea Architects, where he works with true visionaries to create a wiser, healthier, and more just world. He is also the co-founder with Pam Omidyar and Bishop Desmond Tutu of HumanJourney.com, a public benefit company working to share life-changing and world-changing ideas. Doug has worked with Desmond Tutu as his co-writer and editor for over a decade, and before founding his own literary agency, he was a senior editor at HarperCollins and also served for nine years as the religion editor at the University of California Press.

I wanted to know more about what my Stanford classmate learned spending so much intimate time with two of the planet's most conscious and revered spiritual leaders. What was his biggest takeaway? How did he synthesize their wisdom into such an extraordinary book? And what impact has the experience had on how he lives his life today?

This conversation is the result. It's everything I was hoping for, and then some.

I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange.

Peace + Plants,

Listen & Subscribe on iTunes | Soundcloud | Stitcher | 

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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“No dark fate determines the future – we do. Each day and each moment, we are able to create and recreate our lives and the very quality of human life on our planet.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Nobel Peace Prize Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have both survived more than fifty years of exile. Both have endured the soul-crushing violence of oppression. And yet despite their hardships—or, as they would say, because of them—they are two of the most joyful people on the planet.

How is this possible? And what can we learn from their example to cultivate more joy in the face of life's inevitable suffering?

To answer this question, in 2015 Douglas Abrams united the two spiritual giants in Dharamsala, India on the occasion of the Dalai Lama's 80th birthday. During the course of what became a rare, five-day conversation on the nature of human happiness and suffering, the two Nobel Peace Prize recipients traded intimate stories, teased each other continually, and shared their spiritual practices. By the end of a week filled with laughter and punctuated with tears, these two global heroes had stared into the abyss and despair of our time and revealed how to live a life brimming with joy.

A beautiful synthesis of this transcendent union, it's no surprise that Abrams' The Book of Joy* became an instant New York Times bestseller. It's a book that deeply humanizes an Archbishop who has never claimed sainthood and a Dalai Lama who considers himself a simple monk. It's a book that transports you deep within the intimate friendship that binds these two incredible souls. And it's a book that vividly probes the very nature of joy itself — the illusions that eclipse it, the obstacles that obscure it, the practices that cultivate it, and the pillars that sustain it.

In addition to being a celebrated author, editor and literary agent, Doug is the founder and president of the creative book and media agency Idea Architects, where he works with true visionaries to create a wiser, healthier, and more just world. He is also the co-founder with Pam Omidyar and Bishop Desmond Tutu of HumanJourney.com, a public benefit company working to share life-changing and world-changing ideas. Doug has worked with Desmond Tutu as his co-writer and editor for over a decade, and before founding his own literary agency, he was a senior editor at HarperCollins and also served for nine years as the religion editor at the University of California Press.

I wanted to know more about what my Stanford classmate learned spending so much intimate time with two of the planet's most conscious and revered spiritual leaders. What was his biggest takeaway? How did he synthesize their wisdom into such an extraordinary book? And what impact has the experience had on how he lives his life today?

This conversation is the result. It's everything I was hoping for, and then some.

I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange.

Peace + Plants,

Listen & Subscribe on iTunes | Soundcloud | Stitcher | 

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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