A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama

by Daniel Goleman
(Bantam Doubleday Dell)
ISBN: 978-0-553-38105-4

In May 2001, in a laboratory at the University of Wisconsin, a Tibetan Buddhist monk donned a cap studded with hundreds of sensors that were connected to a state-of-the-art EEG, a brain-scanning device capable of recording changes in his brain with speed and precision. When the monk began meditating in a way that was designed to generate compassion, the sensors registered a dramatic shift to a state of great joy. “The very act of concern for others’ well-being, it seems, creates a greater state of well-being within oneself,” writes best-selling author Goleman (Emotional Intelligence) in this extraordinary work. Goleman’s account explores the work of psychologist Paul Ekman, philosopher Owen Flanagan, the late Francisco Varela, and Buddhist photographer Matthieu Ricard. The many extraordinary findings that arise from the presentations and subsequent discussions are embodied by the Dalai Lama himself, a brilliant and exacting interrogator, a natural scientist, as well as a leader committed to finding a practical means to help society. Covering the nature of destructive emotions, the neuroscience of emotion, the scientific study of consciousness, and more, this essential volume offers a fascinating account of what can emerge when two profound systems for studying the mind and emotions, Western science and Buddhism, join forces.