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, these 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.
©2003 Mind and Life Institute; (P)2003 Audio Renaissance, a Division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
"Covering the nature of destructive emotions, the neuroscience of emotion, the scientific study of consciousness and more, this essential volume offers a fascinating account of what can emerge when two profound systems for studying the mind and emotions, Western science and Buddhism, join forces." (Publishers Weekly)
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.
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