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Brian

Springfield, VA, USA | Member Since 2007

75
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 162 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2014
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  • Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Daniel Goleman, the Dalai Lama
    • Narrated By Ed Levin
    Overall
    (192)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (39)

    Buddhist philosophy tells us that all personal unhappiness and interpersonal conflict lie in the "three poisons": craving, anger, and delusion. 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.

    Shannon says: "Right Brain/ Left Brain"
    "An Enticing Sampler"
    Overall

    Destructive Emotions is an abridged account of a series of presentations and conversations that unfolded over a several day conference between the Dali Lama and several leading scientists in the study of emotions. Scientific perspectives represented included the developmental, cross-cultural, social-psychological, and neuro-biological. The focus is on exploring and fleshing out the possibility for a program that combines the wisdom of Eastern philosophy with the scientific understanding (really in its infancy) of emotional well-being to both build the foundations for emotional well-being and empathy / compassion in childhood and remedy the destructive habits of pathological anger, addiction, delusion, and fear/anxiety in adulthood. If you are angry, addicted, deluded, or anxious don't expect this book to help you directly. It will, however, open your eyes in a very convincing way to the possibility for growth and healing. I have always, if not always actively, been interested in Buddhism and meditation - but did not feel justified in "indulging" in meditative practice when there was "work" to be done (am I alone in this?)...This book is a nice motivating shove off the "fence" - there is solid evidence to suggest that the marriage of meditation and psychology can inform practices that are well "justified" in terms of the time and effort needed to develop them. Particularly memorable was Mark Greenberg's presentation on the "Program for Alternative THinking Strategies" (PATHS) for helping kids develop empathy, conflict resolution skills, anger management skills, and emotional intelligence (I immediately started applying some principles he presented with my kids and will be learning more about the program).

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Roots of Buddhist Psychology

    • ORIGINAL (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Jack Kornfield
    Overall
    (222)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (92)

    The Buddha said many times that just as the great oceans have but one taste, so do all the true teachings of the dharma: the taste of freedom. Jack Kornfield's The Roots of Buddhist Psychology is an invitation to drink deeply of these teachings; to taste the wisdom that flows from the heart of Buddhism's most useful ideas on the interior life and what brings awakening, freedom, and happiness. Jack Kornfield opens this eternal view of the mind for all listeners in this collection.

    Brian says: "Calming if not Memorable"
    "Calming if not Memorable"
    Overall

    Roots of Buddhist Psychology is a speech given in a number of parts on several aspects of the Buddhist perspective on human nature and living a good life. It is organized around the cultivation or weeding of central virtues and vices including grasping (addiction), aversion (fear/anger/hatred), compassion, equilibrium, generosity, love. This speech is given on a very visceral level and is propelled primarily by anecdotes, humor, and insight. I thoroughly enjoyed the moment to moment experience of listening to Kornfield's voice, appreciating his humor, and connecting intimately with his insights. However as a speech, I think the organization of the material is loose and as such made it less readily absorbed and understood. A second or third listening is required (and perhaps some note taking) if you want to feel you learned something you can talk about. Thus, the experience is somewhat like a massage - wonderfully relaxing in the moment, but within days, you are ready for another one - having not retained the benefits of the first. So eventhough I give this a 3-star rating, that's really stemming from my disappointment that I don't feel, days after finishing the book, that I "learned" anything (perhaps it's me, perhaps it's merely the audio format, but it felt like at least partly due to the meandering, conversational path through the material the speaker takes). I did love the experience of hearing this guy speak as I commute to and from work, however; so much so that I am now purchasing another speech by Kornfield: Buddhism for Beginners.... I just need another massage...

    68 of 72 people found this review helpful

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