“May this very important and enticing book find its way into the hearts of readers near and far so that it can perform its mysterious and healing alchemy for the benefit of all.” —John Kabat-Zinn, author of Wherever You Go, There You Are and
Professor of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School
The Transformative Power of Mindfulness
Alchemists sought to transform lead into gold. In the same way, says Tara Bennett- Goleman, we all have the natural ability to turn our moments of confusion or emotional pain into insightful clarity.
Emotional Alchemy maps the mind and shows how, according to recent advances in cognitive therapy, most of what troubles us falls into ten basic emotional patterns, including fear of abandonment, social exclusion (the feeling that we don’t belong), and vulnerability (the feeling that some catastrophe will occur). This remarkable book also teaches us how we can free ourselves of such patterns and replace them with empathy for ourselves and others through the simple practice of mindfulness, an awareness that lets us see things as they truly are without distortion or judgment. Emotional Alchemy provides an insightful explanation of how mindfulness can change not only our lives, but the very structure of our brains, giving us the freedom to be more creative and alive.
Here is a beautifully rendered work full of Buddhist wisdom and stories of how people have used mindfulness to conquer their self-defeating habits. The result is a whole new way of approaching our relationships, work, and internal lives.
According to ancient legends, alchemists use a magical philosopher’s stone to transmute lead into gold. In Emotional Alchemy, Tara Bennett-Goleman shows readers how they can use this alchemist metaphor to transform emotional confusion (lead) into insightful clarity (gold). And what does the magic stone represent? “Mindfulness,” a lifelong practice that can bring readers more joy and contentment than the gold, according to Bennett-Goleman. “Mindfulness means seeing things as they are without trying to change them,” she writes. “The point is to dissolve our reactions to disturbing emotions, being careful not to reject the emotion itself.”
Those who have never entered this practice will find a concise and articulate teacher in Bennett-Goleman, who leads national workshops with her husband, author Daniel Goleman (Emotional Intelligence). What make this book such an exciting breakthrough is Bennett-Goleman’s ability to apply Buddhist mindfulness to Western psychology. She shows how emotional alchemy can be used to address typical habits, such as mistrust, fear of rejection, feeling unlovable. Readers will also find fascinating scientific facts on how emotional alchemy affects brain chemistry and even cancer survival. –Gail Hudson