A Force for Good: The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World

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A Force for GoodDaniel Goleman, a former science journalist for the New York Times, is the author of many books, including the international bestseller Emotional Intelligence. He has known the Dalai Lama for decades, mainly through an on-going service of science meetings organized by the Mind & Life Institute.

In A Force for Good: The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World, Goleman outlines a singular vision for transforming the world in practical and positive ways.

The book will be available June 23rd and can ordered here.

Q: How is A Force for Good: The Dalai Lama’s Vision unique among his many books?

A: The Dalai Lama, as he turns 80, summarizes his message to the world at large. He’s been offering this vision in bits and pieces for years; several hours of interviews let me pull this vision together for the first time. This is not a Buddhist book, but rather based on his decades of dialogues with scientists – most of those organized by the Mind & Life Institute. He draws on those encounters time and again in arguing for this vision of a better world.

 

Q: Dan, you describe this new book as more than simply a manifesto for how to be a force for good. In fact, you call Force for Good the book behind the Movement. What do you mean by that?

A: Force for Good shares the Dalai Lama’s call to action – he urges us each to act now, in whatever ways we can, to move the world in a positive direction. This manifesto, though, goes beyond our individual efforts to envision a collective force for good—a movement—that far outweighs the forces of negativity at play in the world. The Dalai Lama’s theory of change puts less stock in governments and policies than in the united power of the collective, all of us, each contributing in our own way.

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New Book by Mind & Life Board Chairman, Thupten Jinpa, PhD

Mind and Life Board Chairman Thupten Jinpa recently launched his new book A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives. In this video from an event at the Tibet House on May 7th, Jinpa shares his thoughts on the importance of compassion in modern times, answers questions from the audience and reads a passage from his book.

 

The Paradox of Passion

The sign of a successful caring organization may reside in how its impact ultimately overshadows its origins.

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In 1981, my wife and I founded The Hartsbrook School not far from Mind and Life’s offices here in Hadley, Massachusetts. At the time, Hartsbrook was merely an idea voiced among a few new friends in our living room. There were no students yet, no teachers, no facilities. There was only an idea, one that became our passionate aspiration. We longed to not only educate children intellectually (as important as that is), but also to cultivate their imagination by integrating the arts, music, theatre, and poetry throughout the curriculum. We wanted to teach environmental values through a program that included gardens, goats, chickens, sheep, and milk cows. And most importantly, we believed these bright young beings should experience the ever-present care and love of their teachers for all of who they were: body, mind, and spirit. Read More

Longing After Loss

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Out
Of a great need
We are all holding hands
And climbing.
Not loving is a letting go.
Listen,
The terrain around here
Is
Far too
Dangerous
For
That.
—Hafiz

Falling in love can enliven us. Feeling seen and held can ground us; it can put us at ease. Love can also grant us a sense of safety and security. Falling out of love, on the other hand, can unravel us.

Losing love can trigger a cycle of craving and attachment that not only exacerbates our suffering but also can last a long time. As a feeling that once seemed like it would last forever starts to fade, we can become so addicted to the feeling of having been in love that we are willing to try anything to maintain that feeling—by “fixing” our former bond, changing ourselves, or persuading our partner to change. We might even be willing to endure difficult, or even unhealthy, situations in order make that love last. In the face of loss, our minds become fixated on finding something— anything—to fill that void left by love’s absence. Because loss on this level can make us feel we are not worthy of being loved at all, we also become guarded and therefore unwilling to be vulnerable once more. We can risk the hardening of our hearts.

When faced with such loss, great spiritual teachers often warn against this very thing: building fortresses to guard our hearts. These teachers ask us not to abandon love because it is a profound experience necessary for compassion. Rather, they encourage us to recognize more stable and fundamental sources of love within ourselves instead of some external source. Tsoknyi Rinpoche calls this “essence love.” Read More