Emotional Awareness: Overcoming the Obstacles to Psychological Balance and Compassion

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Paul Ekman
Macmillan, Sep 16, 2008 - Psychology - 261 pages
3 Reviews

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.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dratbat - LibraryThing

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. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - imacadamia - LibraryThing

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. Read full review


1 East and West
2 Experiencing Emotion
3 Emotional Balance
4 Anger Resentment and Hatred
5 The Nature of Compassion
6 Global Compassion
7 Personal Transformation

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About the author (2008)

Tenzin Gyatzo, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, is the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and is the temporal and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. The author of The Art of Happiness, among many other books, he is the head of the Tibetan government in exile and resides in Dharamsala, India.

Paul Ekman is the world's foremost expert on facial expressions and a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of California Medical School in San Francisco. He is the author of fourteen books, including Emotions Revealed and lives in northern California.

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