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

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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With our Most Sincere Gratitude to Arthur Zajonc, In His Transition from the Mind & Life Presidency

As of June 1, 2015, Professor Arthur Zajonc will be stepping down from the presidency of the Mind & Life Institute, a transition he has been planning since the fall of 2014. Professor Zajonc is an emeritus professor of physics at Amherst College and the author of numerous books including Catching the Light. He has also been a key figure in contemplative education, serving as the Executive Director of Contemplative Mind in Society as well as authoring Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry: When Knowing Becomes Love and The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal (with Parker Palmer).

The Mind & Life Institute has been most fortunate to have the visionary leadership of Professor Zajonc at a critical phase of its history. Under Arthur’s presidency, Mind & Life expanded its traditional role as a global convener of contemplative studies and science dialogues. In addition to the on-going dialogues, the Summer Research Institute, and the Varela Grants, the Institute has been able to offer, through the 1440 Grants, pilot research grants specifically to study the effects of contemplative practices in the world. Our International Symposium of Contemplative Studies (ISCS) has reached a new height, the last one attracting more than 1700 participants, representing a wide range of disciplines from neuroscience, philosophy and psychology to education, contemplative scholarship, and diverse therapeutic traditions. One significant area of development has been the area of translational research, involving adaptations and study of contemplative-practice-based interventions in contemporary settings of health, education, and workplace – especially through Call to Care (education initiative) and Academy for Contemplative and Ethical Leadership (ACEL), a summer leadership program.

The Mind & Life board has appointed an able interim Acting President, Professor Carolyn Jacobs, who is a member of the board, an emeritus professor of Social Work and was Dean of the School of Social Work at Smith College for many years. Recently retired, Carolyn has graciously accepted the position as the acting president until such time as our formal search process yields a new president. With Professor Jacobs’ able interim leadership, assisted by an executive committee of the board, all core activities of Mind & Life will proceed as planned.

We, the Mind & Life board and community, are deeply grateful to Arthur for his wise leadership and service to the Mind & Life Institute.

Thupten Jinpa, PhD
Mind & Life Institute, Board Chair

The MLI Community in Conversation with the Karmapa

Mind & Life Board Members Richard Davidson and Daniel Goleman and Fellow Sona Dimidjian participated in a conversation on well-being with the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa. The Center for Investigating Healthy Minds hosted this event.


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

Mind & 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.


Diana Chapman Walsh Discusses Trust in Leadership on WHYY’s “Voices in the Family.”

What kind of leadership is required to meet the challenges we face locally and globally? How important is trust in leadership? Diana Chapman Walsh, former president of Wellesley College, current MLI board member, and faculty of MLI’s Academy for Contemplative and Ethical Leadership, shares her evolution in leadership as a network of resilient partnerships, particularly as this new style of leadership relates to the environment and education.

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Judson Brewer Lecture on Loving Kindness

In this 15-minute video from cfmHome, MLI fellow Jud Brewer discusses how certain self-referential brain regions are deactivated during the practice of loving kindness (metta) meditation.

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Mind & Life Institute to Host the Dalai Lama in Partnership With Amherst and Smith Colleges and The University Of Massachusetts Amherst to Discuss Ethics and Education

A three-day visit by the Dalai Lama in October will include visits to three area colleges, will focus on a global framework for incorporating care and compassion into education, and will culminate in a public lecture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Arthur Zajonc and Thupten Jinpa


(Hadley, Mass.) April 4, 2015 ​Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, will come to the Pioneer Valley with scheduled visits at three area colleges October 23-25, 2015. Hosted by the Hadley-based Mind & Life Institute, a non-profit dedicated to exploring the connection between science and contemplative studies, the Dalai Lama will make visits to Amherst and Smith Colleges as well as the University of Massachusetts Amherst, ending his visit with a public lecture at the Mullins Center.

The purpose of the visit is to focus on education, secular ethics and, specifically, an approach to incorporating care and compassion into the framework of education from K-12 through postgraduate education worldwide. This topic is one on which the Dalai Lama has been working with the Mind & Life Institute for several years, resulting in a global framework entitled, ​Call to Care​. (​www.mindandlife.org/care​). The visits to area colleges will include dialogues and presentations with faculty, national experts and students. His visit will culminate in a public presentation and forum at the Mullins Center for students, faculty and staff of the Five Colleges as well as the general public.

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Caring Economics

Caring Economics“What is the relevance of pro-social motivation and altruism in competitive systems such as the dominant Western economic system?” This is one of the questions that was posed during the 2010 Mind & Life dialogue entitled “Altruism and Compassion in Economic Systems: A Dialogue at the Interface of Economics, Neuroscience, and Contemplative Sciences.” We are so pleased to announce the publication of Caring Economics—the latest in the series of books based on these dialogues. Read More