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Destructive Emotions: How Can We Overcome Them? [Version coupée, Livre audio] [Anglais] [CD]

Daniel Goleman


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Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5  10 commentaires
58 internautes sur 59 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 fascinating and practical 12 juillet 2003
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:CD
I've never written a review before; but when I saw that nobody else had commented on this audio book (the four cd set), I wanted to enter an emphatic endorsement of it. I have read many books on psychology, religion and emotions. This book integrates all of them. I was originally interested the influence of meditation on controlling stress and negative emotions. That information is here and it is very compelling. (Consequently, I have also ordered many meditation and guided imagery tapes as well). But there is so much more in this book... so much interesting information, it's hard to even know where to start. I will try to give a couple of examples.
For one, the panel of scientists had enlisted the help of a buddhist monk, who had meditated for years, in some of their experiments in emotional reactions. They have one study where they take an individual and measure their reaction to a very loud, startling noise. In 35 years of doing this experiment, everyone had measured some response in terms of the movement of their facial muscles. I believe they said the group who showed the least "startle" reflex was body guards who had worked for the white house... until they tested this monk. He apparently did not register any reaction similar to previous experiments. He said he was able to hear the loud noise as if it were a bird flying across the sky.
The objective of these various experiments was to see if there was a link between some of the practices of Buddhism on controlling some of the negative emotions that people experience. This also sparked an interest in learning more about the Buddhist philosophy (though I'm a Christian, I believe many of the principles are the same). The Buddhists emphasize compassion - for self and others; and they also practice loving kindness, and mindfulness, which (based on my recent understanding) is to pay close attention to all aspects of life. In their meditations, they sometimes focus on breath, sometimes on putting yourself in the place of others (to instill compassion) and just in general, noticing the emotional and physical states of your body - where there is stress, etc.
Another interesting fact they gave was that after suffering a trauma, children from a Buddhist culture are able to have a significantly quicker "recovery time" than children of any other culture, indicating that the cultivation of this gentle view of the world creates more adaptability and understanding.
Finally, they gave some examples of how certain members of the scientific panel had developed programs for school children - to help them better control emotions. They also give a lot of information on the brain and what changes occur under stress and other conditions, and what effect this can have on emotion.
I may not be able to do the material justice, but my impression every time I listen to it is that it is the most fascinating book I've ever read (or heard). I have gone back to listen to several passages more than once, and I'm sure I will listen to the whole thing again too. The information is too valuable to skim over. But it is presented in a way that is easy to follow.
There is so much practical advice to be gained. It also seems like there were genuinely altruistic motives for pursuing these questions, in part based on the tragic world events in recent years. You get the sense that these scientists are hoping to make the world a better place. That also seems to be the goal of Buddhism, in addition to living in a more peaceful state of being in one's own life. The conversations with the Dalai Lama are also impressive.
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 fascinating and practical 12 juillet 2003
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:CD
I've never written a review before; but when I saw that nobody else had commented on this audio book (the four cd set), I wanted to enter an emphatic endorsement of it. I have read many books on psychology, religion and emotions. This book integrates all of them. I was originally interested the influence of meditation on controlling stress and negative emotions. That information is here and it is very compelling. (Consequently, I have also ordered many meditation and guided imagery tapes as well). But there is so much more in this book... so much interesting information, it's hard to even know where to start. I will try to give a couple of examples.
For one, the panel of scientists had enlisted the help of a buddhist monk, who had meditated for years, in some of their experiments in emotional reactions. They have one study where they take an individual and measure their reaction to a very loud, startling noise. In 35 years of doing this experiment, everyone had measured some response in terms of the movement of their facial muscles. I believe they said the group who showed the least "startle" reflex was body guards who had worked for the white house... until they tested this monk. He apparently did not register any reaction similar to previous experiments. He said he was able to hear the loud noise as if it were a bird flying across the sky.
The objective of these various experiments was to see if there was a link between some of the practices of Buddhism on controlling some of the negative emotions that people experience. This also sparked an interest in learning more about the Buddhist philosophy (though I'm a Christian, I believe many of the principles are the same). The Buddhists emphasize compassion - for self and others; and they also practice loving kindness, and mindfulness, which (based on my recent understanding) is to pay close attention to all aspects of life. In their meditations, they sometimes focus on breath, sometimes on putting yourself in the place of others (to instill compassion) and just in general, noticing the emotional and physical states of your body - where there is stress, etc.
Another interesting fact they gave was that after suffering a trauma, children from a Buddhist culture are able to have a significantly quicker "recovery time" than children of any other culture, indicating that the cultivation of this gentle view of the world creates more adaptability and understanding.
Finally, they gave some examples of how certain members of the scientific panel had developed programs for school children - to help them better control emotions. They also give a lot of information on the brain and what changes occur under stress and other conditions, and what effect this can have on emotion.
I may not be able to do the material justice, but my impression every time I listen to it is that it is the most fascinating book I've ever read (or heard). I have gone back to listen to several passages more than once, and I'm sure I will listen to the whole thing again too. The information is too valuable to skim over. But it is presented in a way that is easy to follow.
There is so much practical advice to be gained. It also seems like there were genuinely altruistic motives for pursuing these questions, in part based on the tragic world events in recent years. You get the sense that these scientists are hoping to make the world a better place. That also seems to be the goal of Buddhism, in addition to living in a more peaceful state of being in one's own life. The conversations with the Dalai Lama are also impressive.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Neuroscience meets Buddhism with fascinating results! 15 juin 2007
Par Jessica Teel - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:CD|Achat vérifié
Destructive Emotions is a fascinating look at the human mind from the perspectives of both leading Western scientists and Buddhist scholars. Modern neuro-science and psychology meet Buddhism in a world wide scientific conference, with the goal of decreasing destructive emotions in the mind, and in society at large. The book gives interesting background information on the Dalai Lama's scientific life, which is fascinating and informative. The book provides an excellent and accessible overview of the very new discovery in neuroscience dubbed "plasticity of the brain" - the finding that neural connections in the brain are not fixed but rather changing throughout a lifetime. Buddhist meditation masters are examined with technological tools such as EKG's and MRI's. The results are truly astounding. It appears that meditation actually changes the structure of the brain, increasing neural connections and activity in the parts of the brain that experience happiness, contentment and positive emotions. This group of scholars sets out to examine how these practices could be applied to society at large to help mitigate the destructive emotions which plague humans on this planet. While the book starts of strong and extremely engaging, it does eventually devolve, much like the meeting it is describing, into a more disorganized group of questions and brainstorming that goes beyond the scope of one conference, or one book. By the second third of the book the more interesting ideas are rehashed to the point of redundancy and it is hard to hold interest. I have read this book in print form, and would recommend that over the audiobook. There is a lot of information useful to reference, which is hard to do in audiobook format without the aid of an index.
12 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Very helpful--relief from toxic emotions 18 mars 2007
Par Sarah - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:CD|Achat vérifié
The Dalai Lama is a hero of mine, whom I hope to become more like, along with Mother Teresa and other humanitarians. He recognizes that destructive emotions are at the root of so much suffering. He and a group of psychologists and scientists met in a dialogue to discuss destructive emotions, their impact on our lives, and to question if they are necessary or if they can be eliminated to a significant degree. The Dalai Lama and Western scientists/psychologists spell out different types of destructive emotions according to the Buddhist and Western perspectives. There's a lot of overlap between the two perspectives, yet Buddhism categorizes destructive emotions into three main categories: hatred, delusion, and craving; other toxic emotions are derivatives of these three.

The scientists ask: are destructive emotions the trade-off in our evolutionary history? Or can we bypass them? The Dalai Lama and the scientists were delighted to discover the brain's plasticity: new neural pathways can be formed throughout the course of a person's life. Even hardened criminals can improve with intervention and empathy training. (I remember watching a special on TV where inmates were responsible for taking care of cats. I was surprised and delighted to learn that these men grew to love these animals and took pride in caring for them.)

The Dalai Lama talks about the antidotes to toxic emotions and spells out ways we can nurture them. For example, compassion is the obvious antidote to hatred and anger. He talks about the important bond between a mother and child and other close family members. We can practice feeling similar compassion towards non-relations and love them as though they were a close family member.

The Dalai Lama and scientists discuss the very important difference between hating what a person did and hating the actual person. We can hate a person's mistakes, especially if they are far-reaching, but it is better to abstain from hating the actual person. Although I hate what Hitler did and how deluded he was, I can feel compassion for the fact that he was an abused child whose parents were related (his mother was his father's niece--it would be hard to be normal and well-adjusted under those circumstances). Although I love my dad and dementia has softened his personality, I understand firsthand what it's like to live with someone who has a volatile temperament--Alois Hitler was extremely short-tempered and would blow up without any provocation. Even Alois's friends would comment on how cruelly he treated his wife and children; even when guests were present, he was said to treat them in an undervaluing, humiliating fashion. I'm sure that Adolf grew up listening to his unpleasant, short-fused father rant and rave against Jewish people and other European scapegoats (yet you can even feel compassion for Alois--he was illegitimate in a time when that was a big deal and a defining characteristic, and he was passed around to be raised by different relations, never quite sure who his father was; that must have really dogged him, made him feel unwanted, and contributed to his unpleasantness). Bear in mind that Adolf Hitler was on some serious, mind-altering steroids that would have made even Mother Teresa (an earth angel if ever there was) somewhat aggressive and irritable. These circumstances don't excuse the man's cruelty and delusions, but it does help put his far-reaching mistakes into a more compassionate context. He could not have been more wrong, yet it is better to hate what he did and his mindset than to hate the man himself. Also, it's pretty obvious from a psychological standpoint that all the anti-semitic (anti-slavic, anti-gypsy, etc.) things he said had nothing to do with the Eurpean Jewish people and his other targets and had everything to do with how badly Hitler felt about himself (the consequence and combination of being part of a sick, anti-semitic culture and domestic violence). He was picking on easy scapegoats/targets to deflect his own self-hatred and feelings of inadequacy. I think that it's very telling that he never actually visited a death camp--that seems to indicate that on some level he knew that what he had implemented was completely wrong and didn't want to witness the suffering firsthand. And as my mother says, he didn't do it alone; he had lots of sociopathic, deluded people who went along with him. Anyrate, enough about one of history's most misguided persons. But the Dalai Lama does help us to see the important difference between hating someone's mistakes versus hating the person.

The Dalai Lama wants everyone to have the tools to overhaul destructive emotions, but he especially feels that school age children need guidance from well-trained teachers. Some of the scientists wrongfully assumed that teacher's training programs don't include courses in child psychology, particularly socioemotional development. This is the point where I wanted to say teachers take lots of classes in child development, from cognitive, physical, to emotional development. Teachers also take classes in classroom management where they are taught to "sandwich" criticism. That is, a teacher will point out something specific that a child is doing well, tactfully suggest an area that needs to be improved, and then say another positive thing that the child is doing. Teachers also are encouraged to make it sound like the area of weakness is well within the child's ability to correct. Love & Logic is a classroom management technique that really involves diplomacy and consideration for the child's feelings (Jim Fay is the creator of Love & Logic).

Of course, teachers can always improve and do things better---but I think these scientists should have checked their facts b/f making blanket statements about teacher's training programs. But I do agree that schools can help foster empathy and emotional skills in school age children.

Overall, I found this to be an enlightening dialogue, initiated and led by a great guru of compassion, the Dalai Lama.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 very enlightening!! 15 novembre 2010
Par Jules - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:CD|Achat vérifié
I have enjoyed this so much!! It is very enlightening!! It talks about the science behind meditation. They did studies while meditating (MRI), etc. The information is amazing!!!
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