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Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama Paperback – Illustrated, March 30, 2004
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From the Inside Flap
*What are the root causes of destructive behavior?
*How can we control the emotions that drive these impulses?
*Can we learn to live at peace with ourselves and others?
Imagine sitting with the Dalai Lama in his private meeting room with a small group of world-class scientists and philosophers. The talk is lively and fascinating as these leading minds grapple with age-old questions of compelling contemporary urgency. Daniel Goleman, the internationally bestselling author of Emotional Intelligence, provides the illuminating commentary--and reports on the breakthrough research this historic gathering inspired.
Buddhist philosophy tells us that all personal unhappiness and interpersonal conflict lie in the ?three poisons?: craving, anger, and delusion. It also provides antidotes of astonishing psychological sophistication--which are now being confirmed by modern neuroscience. With new high-tech devices, scientists can peer inside the brain centers that calm the inner storms of rage and fear. They also can demonstrate that awareness-training strategies such as meditation strengthen emotional stability--and greatly enhance our positive moods.
The distinguished panel members report these recent findings and debate an exhilarating range of other topics: What role do destructive emotions play in human evolution? Are they ?hardwired? in our bodies? Are they universal, or does culture determine how we feel? How can we nurture the compassion that is also our birthright? We learn how practices that reduce negativity have also been shown to bolster the immune system. Here, too, is an enlightened proposal for a school-based program of social and emotional learning that can help our children increase self-awareness, manage their anger, and become more empathetic.
Throughout, these provocative ideas are brought to life by the play of personalities,
by the Dalai Lama?s probing questions, and by his surprising sense of humor. Although
there are no easy answers, the dialogues, which are part of a series sponsored by the Mind and Life Institute, chart an ultimately hopeful course. They are sure to spark discussion among educators, religious and political leaders, parents--and all people who seek peace for themselves and the world.
The Mind and Life Institute sponsors cross-cultural dialogues that bring together the Dalai Lama and other Buddhist scholars with Western scientists and philosophers. Mind and Life VIII, on which this book is based, took place in Dharamsala, India, in March 2000.
From the Hardcover edition.
- Item Weight : 15.5 ounces
- Paperback : 448 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0553381054
- ISBN-10 : 9780553381054
- Dimensions : 6.15 x 1.03 x 9.2 inches
- Publisher : Bantam; Reprint edition (March 30, 2004)
- ASIN : 0553381059
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #314,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This particular meeting drove Richard Davidson's original imaging experiments examining the effects of meditation on the brain. By showing how meditation affected brain structure and activity, the scientific arguments for meditation were made. The description of the experiments and their implications is a major feature of this book, and is worth a read for anyone interested in the origins of the mindfulness movement.
For a document covering both science and spirituality, it's surprisingly accessible. Daniel Goleman writes lucidly. You don't need to be a scientist or a Buddhist to enjoy reading this book.
Given the above context, I think that there are many gems in this book and a lot of practical advice. Reading the dialogue between all these prominent people is thought provoking and challenges you to consider the underlying assumptions of your own emotional life.
There is a lot of good advice in this book about handling destructive emotions, but the scope is actually wider than that. I found it to be more of an exploration of the nature of emotion and how to live with emotions in a balanced way.
There are advantages and disadvantages to this approach to writing. There are a number of reviews that praise this book and others that shoot it down. I think the reality is somewhere in the middle.
The people engaged in the dialogue are great choices, but somehow when the book went to print I think the written form missed capturing the full spirit of what went on at the actual event. I wasn't there, but I get a sense that in the transfer from speaking to writing some important meanings didn't come across.
In spite of my feedback above, I wouldn't be discouraged from buying this book. It is unique and has a lot to say. My three star rating is merely an indication that I think the information could have been presented better and perhaps elaborated on in a way that brought the concepts more to life.
This book will lead most of us out of our dark cell into a happier place.
Top reviews from other countries
Easy reading, and a good contexts.