Emotional Alchemy with Tara Bennett-Goleman & Daniel Goleman


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We all have coping strategies that let us adapt to adversity. Yet as we grow older these thought patterns are no longer needed and we can even pay a price if we continue to use them. According to Tara Bennett-Goleman, such thought patterns are what she calls schema – hidden mental habits that shatter our peace of mind. “Schemas obscure the clarity and spaciousness of our true nature,” says Tara. With over 20 years of study with Buddhist masters from Tibet, Nepal and Burma, Tara takes what she learns to the next level by combining it with a scientific structure based on cognitive therapy and neuroscience – the perfect balance between fact and faith. In this dialogue, she and her partner, Daniel Goleman, explore schemas and relate how to use emotional alchemy to change shadows and confusion of the mind into clarity and how to use mindful investigation to see things as they are rather than as we think they are. Their own relationship has grown more loving because of the schema work they have been doing. “When you understand your emotional patterns, you take things much less personally,” says Daniel. The Golemans point out that many times we may unwittingly be attracted to partners who trigger our schemas and the antidote, says Tara, “is mindfulness, which involves being aware of our emotions without being ruled by them.”


Tara Bennett-Goleman has done post-graduate training at the Cognitive Therapy Center of New York.

She is the author of:

Daniel Goleman, Ph.D,  is a co-founder of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, originally at the Yale Child Studies Center and now at the University of Illinois at Chicago. CASEL’s mission centers on bringing evidence-based programs in emotional literacy to schools worldwide. He currently co-directs the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations at Rutgers University. The consortium fosters research partnerships between academic scholars and practitioners on the role emotional intelligence plays in excellence. Goleman is a board member of the Mind & Life Institute, which fosters dialogues and research collaborations among contemplative practitioners and scientists. He has organized a series of intensive conversations between the Dalai Lama and scientists.

His books include:

To learn more about the work of Daniel Goleman go to

Topics Explored in this Dialogue:

  • How you can use emotional alchemy to transform
  • What are the ten most crippling emotional patterns
  • What are schemas and how can they cause havoc in your everyday life
  • How to use interpersonal mindfulness to transform destructive relationship patterns
  • How Buddhist principles can be practically applied in daily life
  • Discover the neurological “magic quarter second” and how it can be used to dispel destructive thoughts

Program Number: 2864                Host: Michael Toms              Interview Date: 3/14/2001


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