Destructive Emotions - How Can We Overcome Them?
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Destructive Emotions - How Can We Overcome Them?

by
4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  1,171 ratings  ·  72 reviews
*Why do seemingly rational, intelligent people commit acts of cruelty and violence?
*What are the root causes of destructive behavior?
*How can we control the emotions thatdrive these impulses?
*Can we learn to live at peace with ourselves and others?
Imagine sitting with the Dalai Lama in his private meeting room with a small group of world-classscientists and philosopher...more
ebook, 448 pages
Published November 19th 2008 by Bantam Books (first published 2002)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Aimee
I'm an atheist, but I find Buddhism to be a compelling religion. I admire the Dalai Lama (duh), but what is truly stunning is his scientific curiosity. Never before have a I heard a religious leader say that if scientific evidence contradicts the dogma of a religion, that religion *must change* to accommodate this new data - that's exactly what the Dalai Lama states in this book. Read it!
Raheel
A great primer for anyone who wants to get some knowledge on neuroscience. Additionally one would appreciate how the author explains on length different sections of the brains anatomy ,for many of the uninitiated it would be their first time coming across terms such as as Amygdala, Hippocampus , Frontal Lobes et al.
Going beyond just explaining brain anatomy , Daniel Goldman illustrates how all of these parts have a great bearing on our personalities and behavior.The book breaks through the Freu...more
Carlos
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J
This is not an easy read. This is not the kind of material that I breezed through and I've found that while the rational and logical aspects kept me rooted, some realizations along the way were pretty painful. I read this with a journal next to me. And I'm not finished reading it yet. The book offers a lot of self-reflection and one of the most poignant takeaways I received from this is how the Dalai Lama had to take a break during one seminar when he learned that Westerners hated themselves. He...more
Michael Vagnetti
It's unfortunate that this book is titled what it is. It's really a book of comparative psychology/philosophy of mind: Western vs. Buddhist. It explores in detail the complex Buddhist concept of emotions/afflictions, and how Western language and philosophy have framed ideas of compassion, mind, and ethics in contrasting ways. A practical bridge between the mythical elusiveness of concepts like nirvana and samsara and the way that the brain actually handles emotions across cultures. The scientist...more
Lisa
Unfortunately, Daniel Goleman rather gets in the way of the "dialogue” to which the title refers. He seems much more intent on creating a Dalai Lama hagiography than presenting the reader with a pellucid transcript of the proceedings of what, to be fair, does seem to have been an amazing colloquium. Notwithstanding the annoying smarminess of Goleman, the book has its moments. In particular I found discussions in which neuroscience research findings were described and related to Tibetan Buddhism...more
Elizabeth
This record of conversations between the Dalai Lama, Buddhist scholars and American & European psychologists and neuroscientists was absolutely delightful. There were big, complicated ideas discussed, but explained! This book gave me a lot to think about, (like the idea that anger isn't necessarily something innate we can't get rid of). Hmmmmm.
Sarah
I wish I could give it 6 stars. A great dialogue, not just about destructive emotions, but about all emotions/psychology in general. Monks in meditative states outscore everyone else on tests of emotional selfcontrol, even going so far as calming others through using the open-state.

The author recounts the public meeting between Buddhist practitioners and scientist, comparing and contrasting the 2 systems for a detailed look at emotional psychology.

Also includes an explanation of PATHS, an Americ...more
Krystal
Everything I love, spirituality, psychology, neurology.
Everett
This book was excellente. If it sounds at all interesting, get it and read it.

I'm really interested in the buddhist approach to emotional issues:
'"To consider whether those destructive emotions are part of the basic nature of mind, we need to examine them. Take anger, for example. A strong burst of anger seems irresistible, very compelling. We feel almost powerless not to feel angry; it is as if one has no choice but to experience it. This is because we don't really look at the nature of anger i...more
Yulia
Hm, it seems rather awkward (if not ungenerous) to write but I wouldn't recommend this book. I was very interested at first, learning that Buddhism is open to changing as science provides explanations that contradict Buddhist teachings, but this work is no more than a summary of a week-long presentation by various specialists in religion, biology and psychology on mental states that can be deemed destructive, whether in the East or West. In the course of the book, it became clear that the specia...more
Kris
Jan 01, 2008 Kris rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone.
This is one of my current favorite books. It is the most lent, read, and then bought book on my shelf. The Dalai Lama has been participating in Mind and Life conferences where modern western scientists and brilliant Buddhist philosophers discuss current science findings that show the ancient philosophy of Buddhism to have been quite accurate and ahead of its time. I can not wait to hear about the next conference as there should be even more data that shows the power of meditation on brain waves,...more
Ricardo Roman
Como pocos libros teóricos, Emociones Destructivas tiene la facultad de evocar emociones profundas de afecto y admiración por seres humanos visionarios en el sentido más profundo de lo que necesitamos en estos tiempos. Comprender las emociones como parte de la mente, y la mente como algo más que una máquina de procesamiento de información. Es un diálogo entre científicos experimentales y sabios del budismo tibetano, que incluye sorprendentes experimentos de primera línea científica, que debiera...more
Christi
Jul 19, 2008 Christi rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Christi by: Brandon DeCuir
Fascinating! While it was a long read (because I kept re-reading), it was worth every minute. This book is the account of the eighth Mind and Life meeting, held March of 2000 in Dharamsala, India.

While reading, I actually felt as if I were sitting amongst the renowned scientist, monks and philosophers. This conference combines ancient Buddhist wisdom and breakthroughs in a variety of fields of scientific study (neuroscience to child development). The relevant discoveries illustrate how we can r...more
Lisa L.
While this book is interesting, it separates the scientific point of view of emotions from philosophical and religious—which I thought is the only way to look at emotions. The book on emotions that shook my understanding of emotions to the core was Secret Techniques for Controlling Sadness, Anger, Fear, Anxiety, and Other Emotions written by Vlad Koros. Koros uses simple observations to show how emotions appear and disappear in our minds and bodies and then explains techniques (which seem like p...more
Chris
This book is an account of one of the fascinating annual meetings between the Dalai Lama and western scientists. There is biographical information about the participants, all of whom are at the forefront of their respective fields of research. They get into discussions about the mind - what it is, how it works. They compare Buddhist ideas about philosophy and psychology with current research into the workings of the brain. One of the interesting things was how many English words have no equivale...more
Wilton314
This book is an interesting mix of science and faith. Are we all just talking (and arguing and fighting) about the same things the world over, just in different 'languages'? I really liked the views of the Dalai Lama and have read a few of his books on peacefulness and mindfulness and happiness and joy from simple pleasures as a result of this book. Daniel Goleman's scientific background helps to explain why age old traditions and some would say superstitions actually work. It is not an easy rea...more
Arne Krueger
great, great, great. the connection between neuroscience, and the secularisation of the buddhist concepts and psychology, is the topic of this book. it's written by scientists, who are familiar with but definitely no buddhists nor religious. they try to understand, connect, translate and proof century old wisdom into our modern times with great success. i love the structure too, which is following a three day conference held in 2001 together with the dalai lama. he himself, is only present throu...more
David Haws
I'm giving a lecture on commitment and the willingness to suffer (ostensibly about the death of Socrates) and I remember these two Dalai Lama books that I read a few years ago. I think the point is that empathy is human, and empathy requires us to share suffering. Suffering is in the Affective Domain, but the causes of suffering can be physical, cognitive, or affective. I think the point with Socrates (the Crito) is that he empathizes with the suffering in Athens caused by a cognitive deficiency...more
Maribel
Sep 04, 2008 Maribel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Maribel by: Jamie
Our emotions and how we handle them define us. It is through our temperaments and moods that others around us know us. With that in mind, it is imperative that we learn that we have complete control over our emotions, and not the other way around. We can learn to respond in more positive ways to unsettling feelings that come up in our day to day life. Why, this being as important as it is, have we not as a society done something to teach this important skill to each other. This book raises some...more
Nash
I've had this book for ages. Well, not exactly, may be more than a year already but still couldn't manage to find neither discipline nor incentive to read it yet.

But, hey, as the dissertation process are becoming "destructive" to my emotion more and more each day, may be it would be a good idea to pick up this book! :-p

In fact, my adviser sort of told me to get a book by Goleman on Emotional Intelligence, but when I got to the bookstore, I sort of like this title more. So, I'm sort of a rebel wi...more
Painting
This is a description of meetings with the Dalai Lama and other Buddhist monks with several Western scientists and philosophers such as Daniel Goleman (wrote Emotional Intelligence), Paul Ekman (studied facial expression and emotion), Alan Wallace, and Georges Dreyfus among other participants, sponsored by the Mind and Life Institute. The Dalai Lama lists and describes Buddhist mental afflictions and discusses and compares these with Western participant's definitions of destructive emotions. Cul...more
Anish Chowdhary
This is a book which has evolved out of a discussion between world's leading scientists (psychologists, neuro-scientists etc.) and Buddhist practitioners led by HH Dalai Lama. It seeks to find points of convergence and divergence between science and Buddhist beliefs on what destructive emotions are, how they affect us and how can one lead a happier life. It is a very complex topic and Daniel Goleman does an excellent editing job to present it in an unbiased and lucid way.

Must recommend for those...more
Katharine Holden
Not as interesting a book as I thought it would be. It's a case of a rather dry, self-consciously pretentious book being given a catchy title to draw readers. I didn't gain much insight from this reading this. Also, I found the careful avoidance by non-Tibetan, not-Buddhist Westerners of using pronouns to address the Dalai Lama obsequious in the extreme. It distracted me from what the co-authors were saying. This detracted from the book as the dialogue it was supposed to be, as it was obvious an...more
Beth Robb
Loved every second of this book!
Elly Sands
Excellent! It took some time to read but worth every minute. Oh how I wish I was sitting in that room in Dharmasala. But what would I say?! I'd just be all ears and beaming with excitement and joy! Actually the dialogue pulls you in and makes you feel a part of it as though you were truly there. A great exchange between great minds about the the role emotions play in our lives and how we might effectively handle them. A great combination, Buddhism and science,and how they walk hand in hand in ma...more
Gemma Williams
A very interesting report on the Mind and Life conference on Buddhism, neuroscience, psychology and negative emotions, facilitated by the Dalai Lama, who comes across as very knowledgeable about science. Despite the Western and Buddhist positions even differing on the definition of what a negative emotion is, the discussion is very fruitful on both sides, with a real sense of the different perspectives being open to learning from each other. fascinating stuff, and lots to think about.
Alexandrea
The content was interesting but less accessible and applicable than some of the Dalai Lama's other collaborations. I feel like this is one book I will need to read multiple times to fully appreciate.

Update: One year later, it's hard to remember how I would have seen this material as less accessible applicable. This book really helped me adjust my frame of mind when I needed it, and I am certain I will still revisit this book.
Bjorn Hardarson
Most itresting things in research on psychotherapy last 10 years or so has been the use of eastern practice and experince in western psychotherpy. This book with participants as Dalai Lama, Daniel Goleman, Mark Greenberg and more is a great knowledge on the different perspective on these two and great insight into research on the human emotions. Little to much neuroscience for me but a great read
laura
i am newly aware of the mind and life institute and their marvelous conferences and dialogues on various topics near to my heart (how did i not know about this summer's 'scientific and contemplative perspectives on the self' series, and when will the transcripts be made public?!). i haven't even started this reading list i've been putting together for a year, but this is now my favorite thing on it.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Art of Happiness at Work
  • Thoughts Without A Thinker: Psychotherapy From A Buddhist Perspective
  • Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill
  • Insight Meditation Kit
  • One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism
  • Toward a Psychology of Awakening: Buddhism, Psychotherapy, and the Path of Personal and Spiritual Transformation
  • The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness
  • Getting Unstuck: Breaking Your Habitual Patterns & Encountering Naked Reality
  • The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind
  • Buddha Is as Buddha Does: The Ten Original Practices for Enlightened Living
  • What Makes You Not a Buddhist
  • For a Future to Be Possible: Buddhist Ethics for Everyday Life
829
Author of Emotional Intelligence and psychologist Daniel Goleman has transformed the way the world educates children, relates to family and friends, and conducts business. The Wall Street Journal ranked him one of the 10 most influential business thinkers.

Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence was on The New York Times best sellers list for a year-and-a-half. Named one of the 25 "Most Influential Busine...more
More about Daniel Goleman...
Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence Working with Emotional Intelligence Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence

Share This Book