Yes, the title of the book is ‘Destructive Emotions’, but it’s also a look at all emotions. Here a panel talks with the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan teachers about work they’re doing to help people control their negative emotions. They look at what causes destructive emotions and how different cultures deal with them when they arise. People say that Buddhist monks are not the ideal people to talk to about emotions. They are wrong and this book proves it. It’s a great followup to Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting!
Yes, I would agree with the readers who found this book a bit dry. Both the format and the content read like the transcript of a symposium. The narrator has a blank tone to match the format. And indeed this book is basically the transcript of a five day symposium. But the readers who enjoyed Daniel Goleman's Social Intelligence, and Emotional Intelligence, and presumably the Dalai Lama's books (none of which I have read yet) will no doubt enjoy this read. I found the parallel between modern neuroscience and Buddhism, and the Dalai Lama's approach to science absolutely fascinating. It is not a how-to book. It doesn't offer practice, exercises, and self help strategies. It is a polyphonic dialogue between high level scientists and devout Buddhists. It is very respectful, enriching, and highly civilized. If the world listened to this group of people, both scientists and monks, it would be a much better place.
Own the book, have never had time to read it. Everyone who has read it has found it inspiring. Have listened to the audiobook nearly every week since I got it, I get more excited by the content each time!
Science and spirituality have been living on opposite sides of the tracks for a long time.
But there are rumblings on both sides of the tracks, because both scientific and spiritual thinkers are noticing that the two types of thinking are complimentary, not contradictory. If you have an interest in the study of human emotions and reactions, I think that you will find this book to be informative and interesting, regardless of which side of the tracks you come from.
"Destructive Emotions" might not be the best choice as your first book on the topic of emotions. However if you have some background in the writings of the Golemans, Deepak Chopra, Candace Pert and the like, I think that you will find this book to be sort of a common denominator between the scientific and spiritual ideas that such writers present.
Regardless of whether you begin as an Eastern or a Western thinker, if you see a future where both lines of thinking intersect you will find information here that supports your vision.