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Emotional Awareness: Overcoming the…

Emotional Awareness: Overcoming the Obstacles to Psychological Balance and…

by Dalai Lama XIV, Paul Ekman

Other authors: Daniel Goleman (Foreword)

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Ekman does most of the talking in this conversation between him and the Dalai Lama. Have some compassion & overlook Ekman's neediness, & many fascinating aspects of emotion/religion/meaning are explored.

"EKMAN: I want to raise the technical question of why it is that sitting every day and focusing your attention on your breath going in and out of your nose, why in the world should that help you with your emotions?
"I am accepting the idea that it does.... Each of these meditative exercises have a common theme, which is that you are focusing consciousness on something that in ordinary life we do not need to focus consciousness on.
"When you are a child, you have to learn how to use the fork. Once you learn how to use the fork, you never think about putting the fork into a piece of food and bringing it up to your mouth. No thought at all!.... Breathing we never think about. What we are doing with these meditative practices, such as focusing on the breath, is creating skills that in some sense we do not need. It is very hard to focus attention on our breath because it is automatic. We are not equipped by nature to focus on it: It is unnecessary. But if we learn how to do so, then we are more generally acquiring the ability to monitor automatically mental processes and that means we are building new neural connections for monitoring what occurs without consciousness.
"If you create these new connections, which are unnecessary to breathe, walk, or eat, I postulate that it will allow you to monitor the automatic nature of emotions. If you develop the skill to focus on your breath for longer and longer periods of time, then that very skill that you have developed will benefit your emotions because your emotions are automatic also." Kindle location 1358-1380
  Mary_Overton | Dec 14, 2012 |
Although probably not intended, this books tends to lead the reader to look at his emotions, and issues relating to compassion, to our excesses and extremes. A discussion between a scientist and a Buddhist, yet it illuminates many Christian revelations about our human nature. ( )
  dratbat | Aug 1, 2009 |
Although probably not intended, the book tends to invite the reader to look at their emotions in order to deal with issues of compassion, of excesses and of extremes. A discussion between a scientist and Buddhist which illuminates so many of the christian principles. ( )
  imacadamia | Aug 1, 2009 |
A pleasant ping pong match between The Dalai Lama and Ekman...the title is a little misleading...unless you believe in the Socratic method...this conversation between the two really generates more questions than answers... ( )
  Gigi.Gimenez | Jul 27, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dalai Lama XIVprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ekman, Paulmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Goleman, DanielForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805087125, Hardcover)

Two leading thinkers engage in a landmark conversation about human emotions and the pursuit of psychological fulfillment

At their first meeting, a remarkable bond was sparked between His Holiness the Dalai Lama, one of the world’s most revered spiritual leaders, and the psychologist Paul Ekman, whose groundbreaking work helped to define the science of emotions. Now these two luminaries share their thinking about science and spirituality, the bonds between East and West, and the nature and quality of our emotional lives.

In this unparalleled series of conversations, the Dalai Lama and Ekman prod and push toward answers to the central questions of emotional experience. What are the sources of hate and compassion? Should a person extend her compassion to a torturer—and would that even be biologically possible? What does science reveal about the benefits of Buddhist meditation, and can Buddhism improve through engagement with the scientific method? As they come to grips with these issues, they invite us to join them in an unfiltered view of two great traditions and two great minds.

Accompanied by commentaries on the findings of emotion research and the teachings of Buddhism, their interplay—amusing, challenging, eye-opening, and moving—guides us on a transformative journey in the understanding of emotions.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:11 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"In this unparalleled series of dialogues, the Dalai Lama and Ekman prod and push toward answers to the central questions of emotional experience. What are the cultural and evolutionary sources of hate and compassion? Should a person extend compassion to a torturer - and would that even be biologically possible? What does science reveal about the benefits of Buddhist meditation? Can Buddhist thought be translated into exercises to help improve anyone's life? Their conversation is amplified by commentaries from scientists and Buddhist teachers, who share findings from emotion research and practices from the Buddhist texts."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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