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At their first meeting, a remarkable bond was sparked between His Holiness the Dalai Lama, one of the world’s most revered spiritual leaders, and the psychologist Paul Ekman, whose groundbreaking work helped to define the science of emotions. In Emotional Awareness, these two leading thinkers engage in a landmark conversation about human emotions and the pursuit of psychological fulfillment. The two luminaries share their thinking about science and spirituality, the bonds between East and West, and the nature and quality of our emotional lives.
In this unparalleled series of conversations, the Dalai Lama and Ekman prod and push toward answers to the central questions of emotional experience. What are the sources of hate and compassion? Should a person extend her compassion to a torturer—and would that even be biologically possible? What does science reveal about the benefits of Buddhist meditation, and can Buddhism improve through engagement with the scientific method? As they come to grips with these issues, they invite us to join them in an unfiltered view of two great traditions and two great minds.
Accompanied by commentaries on the findings of emotion research and the teachings of Buddhism, their interplay—amusing, challenging, eye-opening, and moving—guides us on a transformative journey in the understanding of emotions.
Tenzin Gyatzo, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, is the temporal and spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism and the head of the Tibetan government in exile. The author of The Art of Happiness, among other books, he resides in Dharamsala, India.
Paul Ekman is the world’s foremost expert on facial expressions, a professor emeritus at the University of California in San Francisco, and the author of Emotions Revealed. He has served as an adviser to police departments, antiterrorism groups, and animation studios, and Ekman’s research inspired Lie to Me, the FOX TV series. He lives