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I can see why science minded people would think this is new-age claptrap and the unscientific would find it so boring and dense. Looking at religious practice as it can be explored by science, or "rethinking" the concepts and descriptions of emotion and behavior as we are taught in the West is not an easy task. Most scientist and most new- agers are not willing to move out of thier comfort zone enough to draw amazing parallels. This book shows the limitations of science and spritual practice alone and how they can inform and improve one another. Both groups (science and new agers) will think me loopy- but to completely ignore a whole realm of human experience because it does not fit with ones dogmatic world view, or to stobbornly insist on only one possible interpretation of the world because it is the one you are accustomed to or comfortable with, is to choose ignorance and dogmatism- either in the sciences or in relgion/sprituality.
One great quote from the Dalai Lama- when he discovered that a explaination of the world in his Tibetian buddist teachings was incorrrect, he decided that is science proves the text are wrong- it would be buddahism that would change- not science.
It would not be exageration to say that these conferences will eventually lead to treatments for depression, and anxiety. It will aid the understanding of neurological changes that people can "learn" through meditation techniques. The alternate framework with which tibetian monks view emotion and mental illness is alone worth the time reading this book.
29 of 33 people found this review helpful
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).
10 of 11 people found this review helpful
Is an inspiring book. The complexity of the topic is evident. the intersection between philosophy and science is incredible an gives a fantastic impulse to the researchers in finding solutions that will limiting ditructive emotions in our society
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The story about the latest research into destructive emotions and how it was presented to the dalai lama... His reactions and thoughts. If u like want an overview this audio book is for u.