by Daniel Goleman (Author), Dalai Lama (Introduction)
For more than half a century, in such books as The Art of Happiness and The Dalai Lama’s Little Book of Inner Peace, the Dalai Lama has guided us along the path to compassion and taught us how to improve our inner lives. In A Force for Good, with the help of his longtime friend Daniel Goleman, the New York Times bestselling author of Emotional Intelligence, the Dalai Lama explains how to turn our compassionate energy outward. This revelatory and inspiring work provides a singular vision for transforming the world in practical and positive ways.
Much more than just the most prominent exponent of Tibetan Buddhism, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama is also a futurist who possesses a profound understanding of current events and a remarkable canniness for modern social issues. When he takes the stage worldwide, people listen.
A Force for Good combines the central concepts of the Dalai Lama, empirical evidence that supports them, and true stories of people who are putting his ideas into action—showing how harnessing positive energies and directing them outward has lasting and meaningful effects. Goleman details the science of compassion and how this singular guiding motivation has the power to
• break such destructive social forces as corruption, collusion, and bias
• heal the planet by refocusing our concerns toward our impact on the systems that support all life
• reverse the tendency toward systemic inequity through transparency and accountability
• replace violence with dialogue
• counter us-and-them thinking by recognizing human oneness
• create new economic systems that work for everyone, not just the powerful and rich
• design schooling that teaches empathy, self-mastery, and ethics
Millions of people have turned to the Dalai Lama for his unparalleled insight into living happier, more purposeful lives. Now, when the world needs his guidance more than ever, he shows how every compassion-driven human act—no matter how small—is integral for a more peaceful, harmonious world, building a force for a better future.
Revelatory, motivating, and highly persuasive, A Force for Good is arguably the most important work from one of the world’s most influential spiritual and political figures.
Understand the Force
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¹ Cultivating Emotional Balance Research Project
About Cultivating Emotional Balance
Cultivating Emotional Balance is a research project, which arose from a dialogue between biobehavioral scientists studying emotion and the Dalai Lama, Buddhist monks, and scholars at the Mind and Life Institute in Dharamsala, India in March of 2000. This meeting was one in a series sponsored by the Mind and Life Institute to foster an interchange between Buddhist tradition and Western science.
At this meeting, the Dalai Lama asked scientists if they could conduct research to determine whether or not secularized Buddhist practices would be helpful to Westerners dealing with “destructive” emotional experiences. In response to this request, Dr. Paul Ekman and Dr. B. Alan Wallace, developed a training program that integrated Buddhist contemplative practices with Western techniques for dealing with negative emotional experiences. The training’s purpose is to reduce emotional responses that are destructive to self and others and enhance compassion and empathy. This research project, “Cultivating Emotional Balance In Challenging Times” (CEB), is the result of that interchange.
Over the centuries, Buddhism has refined meditation methods which probe the nature of the mind and promote positive states of mind, including compassion. Decades of scientific research has been conducted on altruism, empathy, pro-social behavior, and other concepts that relate directly to compassion. However, there are almost no studies in scientific literature that have found any form of training or intervention that can increase compassion. In fact, there is no agreed upon definition of compassion in the scientific literature.
In these challenging times, the development of methods for “cultivating emotional balance” and promoting compassion for others is a tremendously important scientific and humanitarian goal. By integrating wisdom derived from two very different traditions, the CEB project investigators hope to contribute to this important goal.
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