• Dora

Be my Valentine – no, not the Cupid kind!

This year I would like to celebrate real love: joy, compassion, and empathy. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against Cupid and the roses and teddy bears, but to me, real love is not an event once a year. It is also not restricted to a passionate embrace.


There are many different kinds of love, the love of friends, family, culture, society. Love is what holds us together in harmony; love is compassion for a stranger, empathy for suffering. Love is holding space and support during times of difficulty. That is real love, and we need real love NOW more than ever.


I stumbled onto this little Book of Joy, also available audio with outstanding performance, and right away, I knew this is the perfect book for Valentine’s day.

Through conversations between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, you will find simple and effective ways to fill up your heart with genuine joy and resilience. I was surprised how much the topics in this book followed my 40 Days of Introspection; even the meditations at the end of the book resemble much of the exercises that we follow at Spira.


  1. The Book of Joy is perfect as a follow up to 40 days to help you firm up your meditation practice.

  2. It is a perfect book if you wish to find more profound joy in every day, even during tough times.

  3. It is the perfect book to remind us of the essence of love and the importance of Ubuntu – a Zulu phrase meaning that a person is a person through other people. We are all connected, and our joy is through one and another.




Here are two quotes from to book to encourage your curiosity to read more;


Celebrate Ubuntu by making meaningful connections:


“Sadness is in many ways the emotion that causes us to reach out to one another in support and solidarity. The Archbishop expressed it quite wonderfully when he explained, “We don’t really get close to others if our relationship is made up of unending hunky-dory-ness. It is the hard time, the sadness and the grief that knit us more closely together.” …. “We try so hard to separate joy and sorrow into their own boxes, but the Archbishop and Dalai Lama tell us that they are inevitably fastened together. Neither advocate the kind of fleeting happiness, often called hedonic happiness, that requires only positive states and banishes feelings like sadness to emotional exile. The kind of happiness that they describe is often called eudemonic happiness and is characterized by self-understanding, meaning, growth, and acceptance, including life’s inevitable suffering, sadness, and grief.”


Celebrate Mudita (Sympathetic Joy – being happy for other’s happiness) through this prayer:


“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.


May you have a lovely Valentine’s Day – May you spread love and joy through the universe – May you have patience, strength, and grace to hold others through suffering.


Peace be with you, Namaste,

Dora