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Emotional Alchemy: How the Mind Can Heal the Heart Paperback – January 22, 2002
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Those who have never entered this practice will find a concise and articulate teacher in Bennett-Goleman, who leads national workshops with her husband, author Daniel Goleman (Emotional Intelligence). What make this book such an exciting breakthrough is Bennett-Goleman's ability to apply Buddhist mindfulness to Western psychology. She shows how emotional alchemy can be used to address typical habits, such as mistrust, fear of rejection, feeling unlovable. Readers will also find fascinating scientific facts on how emotional alchemy affects brain chemistry and even cancer survival. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
While intellectually I was aware of childhood influences on my adult being, Goleman's work puts those experiences, and our resultant coping mechanisms, or schemas, into a solid framework.
I had never given thought to how deeply rooted the schemas of abandonment, deprivation, subjugation, mistrust and unlovability were in my own life, or in the life of my signficant other.
Descriptions and vignettes presented by the author brought me to shaking and shuddering tearfulness as long-dormant emotions rose to the surface. At the same time, I could see my partner's schemas at work on both her and on our relationship.
For the first time outside of a pure academic exercise, I highlighted the book as relevancy to my life swirled inside of my head. I later actually wrote out 12 single-spaced pages of notes about these revelations to later share with my partner.
I sent her the book (since she's now moved 1500 miles away. . .) with the promise that we shall discuss in detail once she finishes. Behaviors as individuals and as a couple NOW make sense. What was inexplicable and frustrating before now have a plausible framework.
Most importantly, the author's strategy and techniques for employing "mindfulness," or the way to see things as they are, is very useful and sensible. The ability to recognize the power of our schemas and then help to turn maladaptive schemas away from controlling our lives is totally understandable and useful.
She adroitly blends in various underpinnings for her theory ranging from the latest psychological therapy techniques to the quieting powers of reflection as exercised within Buddaism and other far eastern religions.
This is one of those books that can serve as a personal turning point. It certainly did for me. Personal fears and doubts and needs are now understood.
Mindfulness meditation is now part of my daily mechanism to overcome the previously underestimated power of maladaptive schemas on my life.
Thanks for sharing the wisdom Tara.
At the recommendation of Fr. Anthony de Mello, 10 Catholic priests, including myself, and 8 Sisters (doing a full-year's Sadhana) had the privilege of following S. N. Goenka, for intensive Vipassana or Insight Meditation retreats at Igatpuri, near Bombay, in India, in 1976. The focal point was on sharpening our awareness of breathing, thoughts, body sensations, feelings and accepting whatever IS without judging.
Tara has followed Goenka and many other masters. She suggests many easy-to-follow exercises for awareness and integration. You pick up such awareness by osmosis in reading the book and practising the exercises.
Dalai Lama wrote the Foreword. Though Buddhists like Goenka, Thich Nhat Hanh, Dalai Lama and many Zen and Tibetan masters have done much to popularise "mindfulness", you don't have to believe in Buddha to practise such mindfulness.
About 3 decades ago, Beisser, summarized the essence of Gestalt Therapy as "The paradoxical law of change": "When you accept what IS, change occurs." That is mindfulness. Charles T. Tart, Andrew Weil and many others have all written on mindfulness without a religious context..
Tara not only conveys the spirit of mindfulness here. She explains the changes in the brain and adopts the framework of Cognitive or Schema Therapy. Applying mindfulness to our schemas--mental models, ingrained patterns of perception and response or screening filters--is a fruitful path to inner freedom. 10 maladaptive emotional habits and patterns are described: Abandonment, Deprivation, Subjugation, Mistrust, Unlovability, Exclusion, Vulnerability, Failure, Perfectionism, Entitlement. This is a very concise and illuminating study of developmental psychology. 2 pages on entitlement schema (pp. 93-95) are very relevant for the "Age of Entitlement" (cf. Robert J. Samuelson).
From Part I on Emotional Alchemy, you go on to Things as They Seem, then A Mindful Therapy and end in Part IV with Spiritual Alchemy. It is such an enriching journey to awareness, insight and true freedom. Space prohibits any further elaboration. If only everyone, regardless of any religious affiliation, can follow the practice and embark on this journey, what a transformed world we'd be!
[It should be interesting to integrate the scientific studies of the HearthMath System with mindfulness, to relate it not only to the brain, but to the physical heart as well. In Vipassana, we literally focus on the heart to send metta or love vibrations.]
I you enjoyed this book, I highly recommend reading another book called "Working on Yourself Doesn't Work" by Ariel and Shya Kane. The Kane's approach to modern day enlightenments is based on simple awareness where mechanical behavior can transform enabling you to lead an authentic life, one with meaning and satisfaction. Thanks to all the authors of these two wonderful books!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book can be summed up in three pages max without all the fluff and too many...Read more