3. Emotions

Though Buddhist psychology has a lot to say about emotions, both positive emotions (like compassion, loving kindness, acceptance, joy) and negative emotions (like greed, hate, anger) it does not preserve the typical Western division between intellect and emotion. Both are understood as functions of consciousness that are ever-present, influencing each other constantly. More importantly, Buddhism does not assume that emotions are natural conditioned by-products of our conduct; emotions can be cultivated, positive emotions encouraged, negative emotions gently discouraged. The cultivation of positive emotions is a crucial dimension of the Buddhist spiritual path.

Classical Buddhist texts discuss negative emotions in terms of the five hindrances: attachment, aversion, excitement, laziness and doubt. These texts discuss positive emotions in terms of “Four Immeasurables,” loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity. The Six Perfections (generosity, ethics, energy, patience, meditation, wisdom/compassion) is a Mahayana format for discussion of positive emotions. In Zen practice, zazen (meditation), and ongoing daily mindfulness, provides a way of being with our emotions non-judgmentally and honestly, to see how and what they are, and how they work. Watching emotions rise and fall, we begin to see patterns of suffering and happiness. In sitting practice clarity arises in the midst of ease and hindrance, and we can note the effects and complexities of both.

Books

 
Title
Description
Author/Lecturer
Date

Download
Healing Anger
Dalai lama’s commentary to Santideva’s chapter on patience (for Santideva’s Mahayana text Guide to the Bodhisat...
Dalai Lama
Mar 25, 1997
The Six Perfections
A traditional Tibetan commentary to the Mahayana practice of the Six Perfections.
Geshe Sonam Rinchen
May 25, 1998
Being Nobody, Going Nowhere
Talks on the Five Hindrances on the Four Immeasurables by one of Zoketsu’ s beloved teachers.
Ayya Khema
Oct 25, 2001
Anger
Thay’s usual simple, clear, and poetic treatment.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Sep 03, 2002
Lovingkindness
Sharon has made the cultivation of lovingkindness the heart of her practice.
Sharon Salzberg
Sep 02, 2002
Upheavals of Thought
This is a doorstop tome, but it is one of the best books ever written on the subject of emotions. A reputable schola...
Martha Nussbaum
Apr 14, 2003
Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama
Text on which many of the audio files below are based. A useful discussion between the Dalai lama and others on emot...
Dalai Lama Daniel Goleman
Mar 30, 2004
B. Alan Wallace
Apr 25, 2004
Emotional Intelligence
An important book for understanding the contemporary discussion about emotions and their importance for daily living
Daniel Goleman
Sep 27, 2005

Audio

 
Title
Description
Author/Lecturer
Date

Download
Afflicted Emotions
Talk on afflicted emotions given at Mar de Jade, Dec. 2006.
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Dec 05, 2006
Practice of Forgiveness
The practice of fully feeling our pain allows us to see through it. We are then led to forgiving ourselves and becomi...
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Jun 09, 2001
Working With Emotions (Talk 1 of 7)
Zoketsu lectures on Daniel Goleman's Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama. - Proceedings o...
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
May 31, 2004
Working With Emotions (Talk 2 of 7)
Zoketsu lectures on Daniel Goleman's Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama. - Proceedings o...
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
May 31, 2004
Working With Emotions (Talk 3 of 7)
Zoketsu lectures on Daniel Goleman's Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama. - Proceedings o...
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
May 31, 2004
Working With Emotions (Talk 4 of 7)
Zoketsu lectures on Daniel Goleman's Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama. - Proceedings o...
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
May 31, 2004
Working With Emotions (Talk 5 of 7)
Zoketsu lectures on Daniel Goleman's Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama. - Proceedings o...
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
May 31, 2004
Working with Emotions (Talk 6 of 7)
Zoketsu lectures on Daniel Goleman's Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama. - Proceedings o...
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
May 31, 2004
Working with Emotions (Talk 7 of 7)
Zoketsu lectures on Daniel Goleman's Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama. - Proceedings o...
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
May 31, 2004
Four Unlimited Abodes 1 - Compassion
Four Unlimited Abodes 1 - Compassion
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Jan 09, 2005
Four Unlimited Abodes 2 - Joy
Four Unlimited Abodes 2 - Joy
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Jan 12, 2005
Four Unlimited Abodes 3 - Equanimity
Four Unlimited Abodes 3 - Equanimity
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Jan 19, 2005
Six Paramitas (Talk 1 of 6)
Dana and Sila Paramitas (Generosity and Ethical Conduct) are the first and second of the Six Paramitas or Perfections
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Feb 16, 2005
Six Paramitas (Talk 2 of 6)
First Talk on Ksanti Paramita (Patience) which is the Third of the Six Paramitas or Perfections
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Mar 02, 2005
Six Paramitas (Talk 3 of 6)
Second Talk on Ksanti Paramita (Patience) which is the Third of the Six Paramitas or Perfections
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Mar 09, 2005
Six Paramitas (Talk 4 of 6)
Virya Paramita (Enthusiasm) is the Fourth of the Six Paramitas or Perfections
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Mar 16, 2005
Six Paramitas (Talk 5 of 6)
Dhyana Paramita (Meditation) is the Fifth of the Six Paramitas or Perfections
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Mar 23, 2005
Six Paramitas (Talk 6 of 6)
Prajna Paramitta (Wisdom) is the Sixth of the Six Paramitas or Perfections
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Mar 30, 2005
Five Hindrances (Talk 4 of 4) - Restlessness and Worry & Doubt
Norman reviews the first discussion of the Five Hindrances for an audience at Spirit Rock, then discusses antidotes t...
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Sep 04, 2006
On Anger (Talk 1 of 3)
Introduction and Talk on Anger referring to Thich Nhat Hanh's book "Anger"
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Apr 05, 2006
On Anger (Talk 2 of 3)
In classical Buddhist discussions anger is viewed negatively. But anger can also show us something crucial about our ...
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Apr 19, 2006
On Anger (Talk 3 of 3)
If we can practice mindfulness with anger we can come to see that anger shows us where we are stuck, and can even pro...
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Apr 26, 2006
Five Hindrances (Talk 1 of 4) - Sensual Desire
Referencing Ayya Khema's book "Being Nobody, Going Nowhere," this talk overviews the Five Hindrances. The Five Hindra...
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Aug 02, 2007
Five Hindrances (Talk 2 of 4) - Ill Will
Talk on sensual desire is continued, followed by a discussion of ill-will and anger.
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Aug 09, 2007
Five Hindrances (Talk 3 of 4) - Sloth and Torpor
Continued discussion on anger referencing Gil Fronsdale’s book The Issue at Hand, followed by a discussion of sloth...
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Aug 16, 2007
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Apr 21, 2007

Texts

 
Title
Description
Author/Lecturer
Date

Download
Practice of Forgiveness
The practice of fully feeling our pain allows us to see through it. We are then led to forgiving ourselves and becomi...
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Jun 09, 2001
Working With Emotions (Talk 1 of 7)
Zoketsu lectures on Daniel Goleman's Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama. - Proceedings o...
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
May 31, 2004
Working With Emotions (Talk 2 of 7)
Zoketsu lectures on Daniel Goleman's Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama. - Proceedings o...
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
May 31, 2004
Working With Emotions (Talk 3 of 7)
Zoketsu lectures on Daniel Goleman's Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama. - Proceedings o...
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
May 31, 2004
Working With Emotions (Talk 4 of 7)
Zoketsu lectures on Daniel Goleman's Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama. - Proceedings o...
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
May 31, 2004
Working with Emotions (Talk 6 of 7)
Zoketsu lectures on Daniel Goleman's Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama. - Proceedings o...
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
May 31, 2004
On Anger (Talk 1 of 3)
Introduction and Talk on Anger referring to Thich Nhat Hanh's book "Anger"
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Apr 05, 2006
On Anger (Talk 2 of 3)
In classical Buddhist discussions anger is viewed negatively. But anger can also show us something crucial about our ...
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Apr 19, 2006
On Anger (Talk 3 of 3)
If we can practice mindfulness with anger we can come to see that anger shows us where we are stuck, and can even pro...
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Apr 26, 2006
About the Study Guide
Read these notes from Zoketsu on how to use the Study Guide.
Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Jul 02, 2007