Mind Whispering

We all want to be happy, but in today’s world we may be confused about how we want to achieve it. In my own experience and that of the author of this book, the source of real and lasting happiness is in the mind. The key to finding happiness and overcoming problems is inner peace, the source of which is not to be found in sensory pleasures, delightful though they may be, nor in physical exercises, but in working with the mind.

We may not see it at first, but many of our problems are our own creation, and what I find encouraging about this is that it means that solutions to them are also within our reach. Pacifying the mind is not easy; it takes time and hard work, but that is true of any human endeavour. You need determination right from the start, accepting that there will be obstacles, and resolving that despite them all you will continue until you reach your goal.

This is not to say that in transforming the mind pressure or force are involved. It is something that needs to be approached voluntarily and willingly. Tara Bennett-Goleman has drawn from several different sources in preparing this book, among them Buddhist teachings she has become familiar with and the therapeutic insights of our mutual friend Dr Aaron Beck. But what she has learned from working with a horse whisperer, and which gives the book its title, is the importance of becoming attuned to the mind’s needs and concerns, approaching problems and finding solutions to them with sensitivity and intelligence.

I have no doubt that readers, whether they wish to address their own every day problems or seek to help others with theirs, will find a great deal in this book to delight and inspire them.

Foreward by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Tara Bennett-Goleman’s Mind Whispering furthers the dialogue of psychology east and west. She is truly a pioneer in the integration of cognitive therapy and mindfulness. This book is not only useful for clinicians, but for people in their everyday lives.

Dr. Aaron Beck, founder of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Breathtaking in scope, profound in its message, and inspiring in its invitation, Mind Whispering has something for everyone. Tara Bennett-Goleman is a psychotherapist, meditator, student of horse whispering, science synthesizer, and arts practitioner who brings all of these extraordinary modes of knowing to understanding the subtle habits of our mind and how we can flourish. This book is brilliant and will be helpful to all!

Richard J. Davidson, Ph.D., neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin and coauthor of The Emotional Life of Your Brain

Mind Whispering is an inspired and innovative look at the ways we can be tripped up by our habitual thinking. As she did in Emotional Alchemy, Tara Bennett-Goleman puts a refreshingly clear and practical take on the subject, this time beautifully melding the teaching of Buddhism, horse whispering, and her own therapeutic practice.

Bonnie Raitt, musician and activist

Tara Bennett-Goleman has done a masterful job in Mind Whispering, synthesizing ancient wisdom practices, modern cognitive psychology, and ‘horse whispering.’ With passionate concern and personal experience, our guide focuses on how ‘modes’ of being influence our perceptions, thoughts, and emotions. She demonstrates how modes shape our sense of reality in often hidden ways that repeatedly restrict our emotional lives. These new insights offer empowering suggestions on how to liberate ourselves from automatic modes, such as insecure states of mind, as we learn to create more freedom, kindness, and compassion in our inner and interpersonal lives.

Daniel Siegel, M.D., author of Mindsight, executive director of the Mindsight Institute

Mind Whispering is the connection to a paradigm shift in consciousness. Tara Bennett-Goleman’s poetic storytelling is addictive, mesmerizingly beautiful, and meditatively calm. Mind Whispering is a little gem, a story of conscious evolution.

Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne, founder and president of the Sarvodaya Movement

My dear friend Tara shares her wise and playful insights into why we are continually at the mercy of negative mind patterns, and how, if we do the work, we can change them. Her longtime Buddhist and therapeutic trainings bring fresh insights through delightful wisdom stories and clear common good sense. Mind Whispering is like spending time with a sane and cherished friend, whose warmth and wisdom we can completely trust.

Richard Gere, actor and activist

With a masterful amalgam of clinical wisdom, modern neuroscience, and ancient Buddhist psychology, Tara Bennett-Goleman’s Mind Whispering will teach you how to harness the light touch of a horse whisperer to shed negative emotional habits, raise your positivity ratio, and thereby flourish.

Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D., author of Positivity and Love 2.0

An extraordinarily beautiful, compassionate exploration of the nature of our minds, the roots of our suffering, and a clear pathway toward healing. If you struggle with habits of mind that prevent you from being fully alive, this book can free you.

Mark Hyman, M.D., author of the New York Times bestsellers The Blood Sugar Solution and The UltraMind Solution

In weaving together so many different strands of wisdom and compassion, Mind Whispering creates an inspiring tapestry of engaged understanding. Tara Bennett-Goleman draws on an amazingly rich and varied life and in so doing illuminates our path of love and freedom.

Joseph Goldstein, author of A Heart Full of Peace and One Dharma

Emotional Alchemy

We all desire happiness and do not want suffering. Because the very purpose of life is to be happy, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness. Whether our experience is pleasant or miserable, it is either mental or physical. Generally, it is the mind that exerts the greatest influence on most of us. Therefore, it is extremely worthwhile to try to bring about mental peace.

Although material progress is important for human advancement, if we pay too much attention to external things and give too little importance to inner development, the imbalance will lead to problems. Inner peace is the key: if we have inner peace we will be able to deal with situations with calmness and reason. Without inner peace, no matter how comfortable our life is materially, we may still be worried, disturbed, or unhappy because of the circumstances.

When we have inner peace, we can be at peace with those around us. When our community is in a state of peace, it can share that peace with neighboring communities and so on. When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for but also helps us to develop inner happiness and peace.

As a Buddhist I have learned that what principally upsets our inner peace is what we call disturbing emotions. All those thoughts, emotions, and mental events that reflect a negative or uncompassionate state of mind inevitably undermine our experience of inner peace. All such negative thoughts and emotions as hatred, anger, pride, lust, greed, envy, and so on have the effect of disturbing our inner equilibrium. They also have a taxing effect on our physical health. In the Tibetan medical system, mental and emotional disturbances have long been considered causes of many constitutional diseases, including cancer. Scientists and health professionals in the West increasingly share this point of view, too.

Disturbing emotions are the very source of unethical conduct. They are also the basis of anxiety, depression, confusion, and stress, which are such a feature of our lives today. And yet, because we so often fail to recognize their destructive potential, we do not see the need to challenge them.

In this book, Emotional Alchemy, Tara Bennett-Goleman offers a method to calm the mind and free it from disturbing emotions: a practical application of mindfulness in the realm of emotion. Based on personal experience she has drawn together insights and methods from cognitive and brain science, from psychotherapy, and from Buddhist psychology and mindfulness practice. She shows people how they can use mindfulness to loosen the hold of mental and emotional habits that prevent them from being happy.

A great Tibetan teacher of mind training once remarked that one of the mind’s most marvelous qualities is that it can be transformed. I offer my prayers that readers of this book who put the advice it contains into practice may indeed be able to transform their minds, overcome their disturbing emotions, and achieve a sense of inner peace. Not only will they be happier in themselves, but they will undoubtedly contribute to greater peace and happiness in the world at large.

Foreward by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

A rare accomplishment, bringing the synthesis of Western psychology and Buddhist mindfulness practice to an entirely new level. Much more than theory, it is a wise and pragmatic guide to emotional freedom. Tara Bennett-Goleman weaves together with consummate skill the wisdom teachings of the East, the latest understandings of cognitive therapy and neuroscience, and the innumerable personal stories that bring it all to life.

Joseph Goldstein, author of Insight Meditation

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

In showing is how to use our minds to heal our hearts, she heals our minds with her heart.

Mark Epstein, M.D., author of Thoughts Without a Thinker and Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart

Got it, read it in one day, loved it. What a contribution. This book will change many lives.

Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., author of Kitchen Table Wisdom

A very accessible and practical guide to transforming emotions. If you wish to know how your emotional habits can be changed, this book is for you.

Richard J. Davidson, Wisconsin Center for Affective Science and W. M. Keck Laboratory for Functional Brain Imaging and Behavior, University of Wisconsin

A beautiful blend of spiritual wisdom and psychological insight. Based on many years of intensive meditation and experience as a practicing psychotherapist, the author offers guidance that is relevant for anyone who wishes to be free from suffering or to help others on the way. This book is the engaging invitation to bring the art of mindfulness to emotional transformation and well-being.

Frances Vaughn, author of Shadows of the Sacred

Written with humor and warm-heartedness in lively prose… a landmark step forward for us all.

Naomi Wolf, author of The Beauty Myth

Emotional Alchemy is an amazing feast of knowledge of East and West, traditional and current. It shows how everyday emotions can be transmuted as a means of healing. All the principles of the alchemy of mind explained in one book – a must read handbook.

Tulku Thondup, author of The Healing Power of Mind

A wonderfully clear, compassionate, and insightful guide to freeing ourselves from difficult emotions.

Sharon Salzburg, author of Lovingkindness


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