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Hardcover Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama Book

ISBN: 0553801716

ISBN13: 9780553801712

Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama

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Book Overview

*Why do seemingly rational, intelligent people commit acts of cruelty and violence? *What are the root causes of destructive behavior? *How can we control the emotions that drive these impulses? *Can... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

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Destructive emotions: the "Barnacles of the Mind."

In 1974, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche observed that Buddhism would come to the West as a psychology (p. 72) and, in fact, every wisdom tradition encourages us to assert some control over our negative emotions, from the Bible, Confucius and the Koran, to philosophers including Aristotle, Mill and Kant forward. DESTRUCTIVE EMOTIONS documents an extraordinary dialogue between the Dalai Lama and a group of two neuroscientists, three psychologists, two Buddhist monks, a philosopher and two Tibetan translators, drawn together from the United States, France, Thailand, Canada and Nepal to explore how destructive emotions, namely hatred, craving, and delusion, "eat away at the human mind and heart and what we might do to counter this dangerous streak in our collective nature" (pp.xvii-xviii).Goleman's DESTRUCTIVE EMOTIONS not only offers its reader a "somewhat rarified excursion" through the fine points of both Buddhist and Western psychology and philosophy, but also points the way toward cultivating compassion and happiness in oneself and our culture.G. Merritt


This book takes the reader through the day to day Mind Life discussions with some of the world's most well known neurological scientists along with the Dalai Lama and some of his Buddhist associates. These mind life participants from various backgrounds all agree that destructive emotions namely anger, craving, delusion and all their offshoots are just that-destructive and we as human beings must train ourselves to become aware of the potential of these emotions so that we can truly change for the better and create peace.A major tenet of Buddhism is the belief that us humans beings can free ourselves from the grips of these destructive emotions. This books shows us that the more secular scientific approach agrees and proves that we can change. The participating scientists speak of current and future neurological experimentation, some involving yogis or those trained in meditation techniques, that prove for example that mind training such as mediation can alter the brain in ways that endure. This book further speaks to the affirmation and hope that we can change because of neuroplasticity. That is, scientific studies as referenced herein have revealed that the brain and the nervous system generate new cells in learning for example; the brain can reshape itself! This books also provides new insights for the field of psychology. I hope that this important message not only endures but continues to be acted on through training adults and children toward a better way of being that we can all reap the rewards of; I believe the future of humanity depends on this. Read this book to determine your role.

A stunning book!

I am finishing a doctorate in clinical psychology and I cannot get enough of this book! I am slowly devouring it, page by delicious page, in moments stolen from my dissertation. The neuroscientists brought together with the Dalai Lama to discuss destructive emotions are brilliant, open, and on the cutting edge of a very exciting field. If you have any interest at all in affective neuroscience, this book will send your mind reeling in a million different directions. If you don't know anything at all about neuroscience but come at this topic from a Buddhist point of view, it will also be a delicious read. There is so much in this book, it is worth reading slowly so that you don't miss a thing! I have also sent this book as a gift to several friends, I like it that much.

The Science of Being Happy

This book is a remarkable culmination of what the Dalai Lama and Dan Goleman have long sought: That is, a genuine meeting of East and West. This is a chronicle of the most recent scene in the unfolding drama between great yogic, "inner" scientists and western-trained scientific counterparts. The dance between the two sides began of course some time ago, but now it's getting really interesting. They've learned to tango so well it's getting hard to tell the dancers apart! Each side now speaks the other's language, and has mastered the other's methodology to an astonishing degree. Westerners meditate with the best of the yogis and speak Tibetan, a mind like that of the Dalai Lama, who figured out that the world must be round, even though his teachers said it was flat - all are willing to challenge their own assumptions, share their findings, yet not neglecting the contributions of Plato, or Aristotle, Kant, Einstein, William James, and earlier pioneers. The focus here is in examining those emotions that cause us so much trouble as individuals, and which collectively lead us to even greater madness, or war. The dialogue works because each participant, an "expert" in his or her field - is more concerned with finding the common truth - which frees us, rather than be proven "right". This is very good news. Goleman reports on a five-day conference which we find is actually the fruition of the life-works of those taking part. In some ways the book has it over being there, as the narration sketches in how individuals in their own lives were motivated to make the often quite amazing leaps to get to where they got. It's not important that no final conclusions are reached as to the causes of the emotions which make us run amok or that full understanding of them eludes as yet. It's important that we are looking, finally, together, and with the best and most sophisticated equipment - also well explained in the book. I felt, in reading this, a lot of my hopes and assumptions and efforts to get to the place of truth and real happiness were not so far off track. The findings here give me great confidence. It's becoming ok, even scientifically, to be happy, even though we see more work ahead of us. And why shouldn't science be both fun and useful?For me, the high water mark in human understanding, reported here, reflects the great yearning we feel to get to the bottom of our difficulties. Few among us will become experts in mapping the circuitry of the brain, nor do we all need to have our heads examined by f MRI. Yet we can all benefit from this work. It affords us a better glimpse of what might be possible - not just for the Dalai Lama and the "high-achievers" among us, but for the "ordinary" as well (like myself). It's clearly not too late to learn, and to learn HOW to learn. Our brains are not at all what I was taught to believe. I've been looking for some time in my own way, and I suspect you have too to be reading this. I've taken some 'w

A Wonderful, Bold, Innovative Book

I have been practicing meditation for over thirty years and teaching for twenty eight years. My experience has made me much more familiar with the art of meditation than with the science of it. I found this book to be an extraordinary contribution, helping elucidate the tremendous importance of ancient meditative tools to modern life. In a world where fear and grasping and anger and a sense of isolation from others seems to be predominating,this book, starting right with the title, Destructive Emotions, moved me, interested me, and made me think.Having been at a similar conference with the Dalai Lama some years ago,I know how hard it is to capture the magic of this kind of encounter: the amazing openness of the Dalai Lama's mind; the pioneering sense of adventure on the part of scientists and educators as they explore meditation in the labs and translate its essence for a far-reaching audience; the depth of compassion that underlies this dialogue from all sides. I think Daniel has done a remarkable job. Because of the effort that has gone into it, I think this book could be of value whether you have meditated for decades or have not yet begun.
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