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From ABC, this is the 10 percent happier podcast. I'm Dan Harris. Hello, how much do you think your relationships could improve if you and your loved ones practiced mindfulness together for a limited time, if you buy yourself a subscription to 10 percent happier, will send you a free gift subscription to share with anybody you want.


Of course, nothing is permanent and this offer is no exception. So get it before it ends by going to 10 percent come December. That's 10 percent. One word all spelled out. Dotcom slash December. I'll put a link in the show notes.


OK, let's get to today's episode, speaking of relationships, how much would your relationships improve if you could up your own emotional intelligence game? That phrase emotional intelligence entered the lexicon 25 years ago when my friend Daniel Goleman wrote a book by the same name and so on this episode to mark the 25th anniversary edition of Emotional Intelligence. We're having Danny on the show by way of background. He's a Harvard trained psychologist who, along with other contemplative luminaries such as Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg and John Cabot Zinn went to Asia and discovered meditation back in the 1960s and then made it a huge part of their lives and their careers.


In this conversation, we're going to talk about the four components of emotional intelligence, how to develop them and why these skills matter so much in the middle of a pandemic. We also are going to discuss empathy and relationship management in the age of Zoome, the marshmallow test and impulse control, a phenomenon he calls amygdala hijacks. And why so many Jewish kids in the 60s and 70s got turned on to Buddhism.


Here we go with Danny Goldman. My friend, Danny Goldman, good to see you. Wonderful to see you. Dan, you wrote this obscure book called Emotional Intelligence. Twenty five years ago, I, I can't because it became a massive bestseller.


And let me ask you a really basic question. What is emotional intelligence?


Well, you know, when I wrote emotional intelligence, IQ was like the big thing. And it was really speaking to people's overemphasis on purely cognitive abilities. So emotional intelligence means being intelligent about your emotions. And the way I look at it, there's four parts to that. There's being aware self-awareness is a very big part of it, knowing what you're feeling, why you're feeling it, how it impacts you, then managing your emotions, using that self-awareness to get over your upsets and, you know, encourage your positive emotions, motivations and so on, and then empathy tuning into other people and what they're feeling.


And to do that, you have to pick up a lot of nonverbal cues. People don't tell you in words, they tell you in other ways, facial expression and so on. Then putting that all together to manage your relationships well, to be effective with other people. That might be the most visible part of emotional intelligence. But interestingly, self-awareness, the least visible part turns out to be foundational. When you talk about self awareness within the IQ context, is it the same thing as mindfulness?


Well, I would say mindfulness is an application of self-awareness, mindfulness in mindfulness practice. You watch your mind very carefully. You don't let yourself get sucked in to this thought or that thought. You don't judge it. You see it, you know it. You let it go. That's definitely self-awareness. But you don't have to be a mindfulness practitioner to be self aware. Anybody can do it any time. What are you experiencing right now? What are you thinking about?


What are you feeling? The answers to that are all self-awareness. It seems like it might be much easier to do if you've got a mindfulness practice, I would say that mindfulness practice. Is the equivalent of getting cardiovascular fit, you know, the more you work out, the more you ride your bike, the more you do the treadmill, the more you do whatever it is, the easier it gets. You become more able to exercise for a long time.


And the same thing with exercising your mind, which is what mindfulness is. It's a mental workout. And the workout is you make a deal with yourself that you're going to watch your thoughts and your feelings and not judge them and let them come and go. And when you get distracted and you get caught up in a thought and you notice you're caught up, you bring it back to that mindful stance that bring it back, I think is the equivalent of the, you know, lifting a weight in a gym.


Every time you lift that weight, that muscle gets a little stronger. And I think every time you bring your mind back the brain circuits for being able to observe what's going on, get a little stronger. It slows your concentration. And, you know, I just finished a book with my friend and I think, you know, I'm too Richard Davidson, the neuroscientist at Wisconsin, where we looked at all the most recent best studies of meditation, and we found that beginners become more calm and they're more able to focus.


And interestingly, from a brain point of view, both of those things use the same neural circuitry. So self-awareness is a fundamental ability of the brain.


That book called Altered Traits, great book, and we had Danny and Richie on the show after the book came out. So we'll post a link to that.


You've spent the past twenty five years traveling around the world talking to all sorts of different people about emotional intelligence since the book came out. And I want to go through all four of the aspects.


What do you recommend to people other than meditation in order to track what's going on in their own minds?


Well, you can ask yourself simple questions. What am I thinking about? What am I feeling? Why am I feeling that it doesn't take formal mindfulness practice to do that? Just any way you can tune in to what's going on inside you.


In your mind is a way of becoming self-aware, so I would say that there's probably a spectrum, there's a more disciplined, systematic self-awareness, which is what you're calling mindfulness, and there is kind of rough and ready self-awareness where you just pause, take a moment and let yourself introspect. That's maybe the other end of the spectrum. When you came out with a book twenty five years ago, meditation wasn't cool yet. Was this a way to talk about.


Self-awareness that would be more acceptable in the halls of major corporations, et cetera, et cetera? Well, actually, I wasn't thinking about meditation per say when I wrote emotional intelligence. I was looking at about a decade of research on the brain and emotion, which was like that was a very new thing back then. And I was looking for a framework that would allow me to encapsulate all that and the idea of emotional intelligence, which, by the way, is not my idea.


That was the title of an obscure article by Peter Salvaje, who then was a junior professor at Yale. Now the president of Yale and a graduate student of his, Chac Mayer, who's now at University of New Hampshire. They use that word or that phrase, emotional intelligence. I thought, wow, that is a great phrase. And I used it for my book. So when I talked about self-awareness in the book, self-awareness has been around for a long, long, long time.


If you look at the Greek philosophers, they're talking about self-awareness a lot and they're not talking about meditation, particularly as it happens, the framework of self-awareness allows for meditation to be a kind of application.


But that was not really in my mind when I wrote emotional intelligence and the fact that it's come into the education world and the business world and people's lives to such a great extent. And I think to some extent because of your efforts is wonderful, but wasn't really my point in writing the book Emotional Intelligence, even though you were at that time already a long term dedicated meditation practitioner?


Yes, I was in my private life, but the trope that I used, if you will, in writing most intelligence was really from the work I was doing. Then at The New York Times as a science journalist, the book was a way to report a lot of science in a palatable format. And at the back then, none of that science had anything to do with meditation. These days, that's a really hot topic, which is why Richard Davidson, I did the book Alter Traits, but in 1995 it wasn't on the map.


So what's the second? I'd love to go through the four aspects of emotional intelligence. What's the second one?


So the first one is self-awareness and the second is using that insight. What I'm feeling now, why I'm feeling it to manage your emotions, a particularly disturbing or upsetting. You talked a lot in that section about the amygdala, the brain's radar for threat, and how it can easily take over the thinking brain, the rational brain or prefrontal cortex in what I call the amygdala hijack, where all of a sudden out of nowhere you just feeling really frightened or really angry or that's the hijack and it happens very suddenly and it's very strong and you don't expect it, but it makes you do something or say something that you regret later.


That's the hallmark, the regret of the hijack. It means that what you do is not in your own interest or the interest of the other person. And self-management comes down to handling the negative, the disruptive feelings, and then also encouraging the positive ones. And I think meditation, by the way, is helpful there, though at the time I didn't really talk about it. But by positive ones, I mean pursuing your goals. It turns out if you have a long term goal in mind and you picture how you're going to feel when you achieve that goal circuitry in the left side of the prefrontal cortex, just behind the forehead, lights up and makes you feel good.


And that keeps you going despite setbacks or just having a positive outlook and feeling, you know, things didn't work out so well today. Well, tomorrow's a new day. So those are the kinds of positive emotions that self-management applies to. For pretty understandable reasons, you didn't want to be waving the meditation flag around two prominently. So what do you recommend for dealing with an amygdala hijack?


Well, the antidote to the amygdala hijack is what's called cognitive control. Basically, the definition this comes from, I think, Victor Frankl in his wonderful book, Man's Search for Meaning. And I have to mention that they discovered some of Franco was in concentration camps for about four years and survived. And he was a psychiatrist and he proposed a therapy based on finding your purpose or meaning in life. And Franklin, his book, says that maturity essentially is widening the gap between your first impulse and what you actually do or say.


And in that gap, you can decide, well, you know, my first impulse maybe was a big hijack. I'm not going to do that and then do something more effective. That's real self-management. That's the core of self-management. And you can enhance cognitive control any number of ways when you don't have that ice cream for dessert that you could have ordered. You're exhibiting cognitive control when you tell your kid, well, do your homework first and then you can play a video game.


You're teaching your child cognitive control. There's a Sesame Street segment with the Cookie Monster where he's trying to join the Cookie Connoisseur Club. In order to do that, he has to learn to sniff the cookie, look at to see if there's an imperfection and then take a nibble. Well, that's very hard for Cookie, who has impulse embodied, but that's teaching toddlers cognitive control. He manages to do it finally. So there's lots of ways to enhance cognitive control.


Counting to ten classic. That's a cognitive control trick. Taking a deep breath, taking a deep breath, cognitive control. So there's many, many ways to do it.


And I will grant you that meditation, particularly mindfulness, enhances cognitive control. We know that. But there's amazing study was done in New Zealand that looked at kids between ages four and eight and assess the cognitive control. The big assessment is the marshmallow test. You know that one day for those who don't, you might make sure it was done at Stanford University.


In the preschool, a little four year old is brought into a room, sat down at a little table and big juicy marshmallows put on the table. And the poor kid is told, you could have this now if you want. But if you wait till I run an errand and come back, don't eat it. Till then, you can have two and then the experimenter leaves. That poor kid is just sweating out the seven or eight minutes and about a third of them goblet on the spot and about a third weight and time and get to their track down 14 years later.


And the two groups are compared. And it turns out that the kids who gobble still can't delay gratification in pursuit of their goals. That's what this is a test of. They don't get along as well with their friends and the kids who wait. It had a huge advantage on their college entrance exam score, which was a surprise, but it means that they learned better. And in New Zealand, they tested kids on cognitive control. There are many different tests.


That was one of them. Then they tracked them down in their thirties and they found how they did as a kid on cognitive control, predicted their financial success in their health stronger than IQ in childhood and stronger than the wealth of the family. They grew up. Just it's a great leveler, independent ability. And it turned out the kids who by age eight got good at it but weren't so good at four, had the same advantages. And we know it can be taught.


So I become a big advocate in teaching these skills of emotional intelligence to kids in school. It's called social emotional learning. It's actually a program. It's become world wide. But that was another point I made in the book. So the second part is emotional management.


So can I stop you on the marshmallow test first? Yeah, sure. Of course. Because the marshmallow test haunts me. I'm a reasonably good.


Atabay has written a book. You both of us have written books reasonably.


It's a marshmallow. Yes, it's horrible. It's a leap of faith. Often takes years to write a book. And you're hoping that it doesn't suck uncontrollably. The process will, but they're hoping the product won't.


You're really delaying all sorts of gratification. I've described it as being like on the cusp of a sneeze for four years.


It's just horrible, right? So I can do that. I'm complaining the whole time, as you've just seen, but I can do it.


But if you put a marshmallow in front of me, I'm going to eat it.


And same thing with an Oreo or whatever. I have no cognitive control around the actual marshmallow.


So I have sometimes trouble computing these two things.


So think about domain specificity. Eating is a different. Skill set and a different temptation set than writing a book, you happen to be good or at least willing to endure writing a book.


I wouldn't put a lot into the domain specificity that helps.


OK, so Satara, you were I think I'm going to move on now to the third sphere. Yeah.


So the third is empathy, which is self-awareness turned outward to turning into someone else. And you're picking up what they're feeling particularly, and you're doing it without them telling you what they feel because people don't ever tell you. And words are very rarely maybe your wife does, but very few people will tell you in words. They tell you in tone of voice and facial expression and nonverbal. So you're picking up nonverbal. And there are three kinds of empathy.


One is cognitive. You know how that person thinks about things. You can get their perspective. You know, the words they use to cut up that part of reality, the mental models. That's called technically. And this makes you a very good communicator. You can imagine, you know, people who write books, for example, need to have this kind of empathy because you need to know what words to use so people will a want to read and B, understand.


The second kind is emotional empathy in these based on different parts of the brain. By the way, this is based on newly discovered circuitry. The social brain, which is largely the forebrain and the circuits form a brain to brain link is kind of silent backchannel for any time you're face to face in front of someone. This is sensing what the other person feels and you pick it up because, you know, because your body's picking up for you, you sense their feelings immediately.


And that is the basis of rapport, of feeling close to someone. The nourishing interactions we have in life are based on this. But neither of those kinds of empathy necessarily make you a caring person so that people who are Machiavellian or manipulators or sociopaths can use this information to get people to do what they want. You can use it, for example, in an election message. You can use it in marketing, you can use it not necessarily in the best interests of the other person.


What you want is the third kind of empathy, which is technically called empathic concern. It means you care about the person you have their well-being or best interests in mind. That's the basis of this kind of empathy basis of compassion, of wanting to help out the other person. So there are different kinds of empathy. But that's the third part of emotional intelligence in my world.


In your world, too, we talk about the practices that one can use to boost one's compassion or empathic concern, the Brahma vihara as a loving kindness and koruna practices matter and karuta practices where you envision people and then silently send them phrases may be happy, may be free of suffering. What are the recommendations for building this muscle of empathic concern?


I call that whole set of exercises the circle of caring, where you might envision someone you're grateful to in your own life and wish them well. You hope that they be saved for happy or healthy, that they have a life that's fulfilled and then bring those same wishes to yourself and then the people you love and people you happen to know and then everyone, everywhere. That's basically the format that you're talking about. And it needn't be within a spiritual framework or even a religious framework.


I think it can just be human. Carrying the Dalai Lama actually talks a lot about how every major religion shares the value of loving others and have compassion. Certainly there's exercises in Christianity that do this. And he often complains, in fact, that Buddhists by and large don't do as much actual work. That's compassionate compared to, say, Christians who will go to, you know, very poor parts of the world and set up a school or a health clinic and so on.


But at any rate, he says it's not enough just to wish. Well, the other people he wants to see people actually do something, but that's compassion and action. And by the way, it turns out that the exercises you're describing, research shows, do make people more likely to help out, more likely to, for example, give up a chair to someone on crutches and when there's no other option to give to a charity and so on.


There's research at Max Planck Institute that suggests that this very kind of meditation that you're talking about are mind training in a non-spiritual framework enhances the brain's circuitry that makes someone more likely to help out. So I think that any way you can do it is for the good. And I happen to value compassion personally as an ethic to act on the world. You've spent a lot of time with the Dalai Lama and you've written a book about him just to name check another book that you wrote, it's called A Force for Good.


So if people are interested in your work with the Dalai Lama, that's worth checking out. I'm curious, when you wrote emotional intelligence, what did you recommend people do to boost these capacities, given how important they are?


So darn emotional intelligence, not a how to book. I didn't recommend. I said here's what it is and why it matters. Interesting. And I leave it to the reader to find out. Now, since then, I've got more involved in how you do it. And one of the things I do recommend, for example, is circle of caring. But it might be, for example, in a business setting, if you're someone's boss and you notice they're having a hard time.


And by the way, in this day of covid, lots of people are you might reach out to that person one on one and just have a conversation about the person. How are you doing? What does that person want from life or from the career? From this job? That's a caring conversation and it's an act of compassion. So I would say there's a spectrum of compassion which goes from. Paying attention, serious attention, really being present to the other person, human to human, to doing something like you're describing, that actually makes you more likely to be compassionate generally.


The Dalai Lama, when I wrote the book Force for Good. But his vision for the world and he talks about a muscular compassion. He says many regimes in the world are corrupt. And we found this out with the Panama Papers, you know, there 140 or something, people in government roles who are using that role to enrich themselves and stashing the money in secret bank accounts. So it's a huge problem worldwide. And he said we need accountability and transparency.


He sees that as a form of compassion. He puts all of that under compassion, you know, doing things to slow or halt what's happening with the climate. He sees that as compassion. So compassion can take many, many forms. And he's pretty hard nosed about what they might be. So I think it starts with being kind and paying attention to the people we're with. And it can go into, you know, social action, political action.


There's a spectrum there to.


Agreed. Since you raised the specter of covid in the era of Zoome, any other thoughts for how we can?


Boost our emotional attunement at a time when we're seeing many of us are seeing our colleagues through screens as opposed to right there in person.


I think it starts with self-awareness and self-management and then goes to help. The reason is this. If you yourself are flooded with fears or anger, your view of the other person will be distorted. So the first job to be kind is to be calm and clear so that you can actually tune into the person. I gave a talk by Zoom to a big group of physicians in Chicago who are on the front lines of covid.


Physicians today are finding that their income is being reduced because people are giving up having surgery that is voluntary rather than essential. They're not coming to the doctor because they don't want to risk themselves. So on the one hand, physicians generally are having their income greatly harmed at the same time they're being asked to risk their lives. By treating patients with covid where they could get the virus themselves or bring it home to their family. So there's a lot of anxiety among physicians who are treating patients today or not treating patients because medicine, you know, it's a little bit shattered as a business model.


So anyway, one of the things I told them comes not from the meditation world, but from the world of yoga. It's a breath. Exercise is very simple. You take a deep breath into your belly, it expands. You hold it for as long as it's comfortable. You exhale slowly and you take another deep breath. And you you do it six to nine times if you can. And the research shows that it shifts your physiological state from being in the fight or flight mode to being very relaxed.


So that's right on the spot thing you can do. And then if you want to get better at it in the long term, you could do the kind of mental exercise we've talked about that you're calling mindfulness for sure. But that's right on the spot thing you can do now, once you're more calm and a little more clear, you can tune into the other person.


And by Zoom, it's a little hard for one thing. Think about this. You can't have eye contact and assume you're either, at least on my either look at the camera or I look at the person's picture, but I can't do both at the same time because of the physical setup. So the loss of eye contact is huge in terms of actually tuning in. You want to watch the person, but then the person feels a little disconnected from you.


But you want to watch the person very carefully because if you were with that person, you would pick up their non-verbal instantly without having to make an effort on Zoome. You have to make a little bit of an effort.


If you can pick up facial expressions, fleeting facial expressions, you can do a pretty good job of sensing the person's emotional state and then you have a better sense of how to interact with them, what it is that person needs from you right now. It's interesting, you mentioned breathing exercises, and that seems like a huge gap in my knowledge, in the types of Buddhist meditation that I've done, you can use the breath as your object in meditation, but you're not supposed to breathe in any special way.


Maybe take a few deep breaths at the beginning, but it seems like I was just doing it on my own, just doing the deep belly breathing, as you described it. And I felt like I relaxed in that moment as there are more to say about breathing exercises.


You know, it's an ancient tradition in India and it's been brought to the West largely through yoga. And I'm talking a strip mall yoga here. You go to the yoga studio. And if you do a more serious Indian spiritual tradition, they'll probably give you several ways to control your breath. You can control it by breathing more deeply or more shallowly or inhaling, exhaling more slowly. There's many variations, but it turns out that when Buddhism was brought to Tibet in the 9th to 11th century, they brought the breathing techniques along with it.


And so in the Tibetan traditions, they still use breathing methods. But in the Southern Buddhist, Theravada, Thai and so on, traditions, at least initially, the classical methods just have you watch your breath and not try to intervene in it in any way. That's because you're working with your attention in your mind. But in other parts of Indian traditions, they use breath. Well, it used to very methodically, actually, in some parts. So there's actually been less research on the science of managing your breath, controlling your breath than there has been on mindfulness.


But it does show pretty clearly the physiological shift I talked about as one of the major benefits.


As promised, what's the fourth aspect of emotional intelligence? Well, it's putting together your self-awareness and your self-management in your empathy, tuning into people, putting that all together to have a powerful relationship with someone, a good interaction. It's probably the most visible part of emotional intelligence. You know, it would be why someone would come away from interacting with you by saying, wow, he's got a lot of emotional intelligence or he needs more emotional intelligence depending on how it went.


But how it went is largely the outcome of, you know, how you are able to put together you're tuning into the other person and how you're handling yourself.


And so relationship management is essential for a good marital relationship, being a good parent, being a good teacher, a good colleague, a good leader, a good boss. It matters all over the place. And it's how people pretty much evaluate other people in this dimension, how things went when we interacted. I think it's probably the it's an invaluable part. All four parts matter, but relationship management is pretty much how you and me and the rest of us are going to be judged in this domain by other people.


I suspect he'll agree with this, but I've had so many researchers who study human flourishing human well-being and its opposite. I've had so many people come on this show and say that the data show over and over again that relationships are one of, if not the most important components of a happy life.


Yeah, and the reverse of that is loneliness is lethal. That is it ups the the likelihood that you're going to get a major disease, that you're going to be depressed, anxious, going to die sooner than people who are not lonely, people who have strong, good relationships. And particularly, I think then in this day and age of covid, when people are afraid to have close face to face relationships, it's important to try to maintain even a zun contact or a phone call with a friend or with your family to make sure your relationships are still strong and resilient.


And resilience is, by the way, a critical part of self-management. Resilience means how quickly you recover from upset, from anxiety, from fear, from anger, and get back to that kind of calm baseline. And if your physiology is calm, your mind will be more clear. So resilience helps you handle relationships better because you can get over whatever is preoccupying you and tune into the person you're with.


Are there studies around what modalities work best to boost one's resilience?


Oddly enough, in meditation or mindfulness seem to help a lot.


I mean, it makes sense because, you know, you're over and over and over again. You're confronted with your own inner cacophony and you've got to be able to let it go and go back to your breath. I mean, so that is resilience right there.


It's direct training in letting go of that thing that is upsetting you, worrying you, preoccupying you and being able to get back to something else and by the way, hijack it at work or when you're writing a book or when doing any tasks that you care about or being with people you love is a distractor. Emotions are strongest distractions. And so if we can get over it more quickly, it means we can get back to what matters to us, that person in front of us, or the thing we have to do today.


So, yeah, it's a critical skill and it opens the door to a strong positive interaction with someone else, which is the basic diet of a good relationship. I know you're of the view that emotional intelligence is more important now than ever. Why?


I think emotional intelligence is a more useful skill than it has been in the past because of covid, because of the faltering economy, because of the ways in which we no longer can interact naturally with each other. And it's an antidote to each of those parts. First of all, it helps us directly with our own, you know, emotional turmoil and how we can handle that and how we can get over it or let it go or be resilient.


And then it helps us be more empathic, which I think we have to be today because of the constraints for under in relating to each other. We need to get along with the people in our pod and our family or whatever friends are, you know, seeing us regularly. And then we need to stay connected to people we no longer can see but really care about. And that takes empathy and the relationship skills.


Do you have thoughts on emotional intelligence as it pertains to the venomous partisan divide in the country? And, you know, the debates that I'm watching around. Whether it's even worth having empathy for people you disagree with because they pose such a mortal existential threat.


I have a really good relationship with someone who voted for the guy I didn't vote for in the last election. And he voted for that guy because he cares about his guns and he fears that the guy I voted for is going to take away people's guns. And he lives in the country and he hunts. And I can understand why he wants to protect his guns, though I actually don't think the guy voted for is going to do anything to take away his guns.


But I can see why I'd be afraid of it.


But on every other thing we talk about, we really agree on a lot of things.


And it turns out that in bridging divides, friendships matter and that if you can be the friend of someone who is on another part of a divide, this all kinds of divides, you know, racial divides, ethnic divides, religious divides. If you grew up with someone who was a childhood friend of yours and that person's family is on the other side of the divide, you don't harbor the stereotypes and negative feelings, keep that gap big or growing. So I think that friendship across divides are in the most intelligence framework.


That fourth part, having strong relationships or at least maintaining a relationship one on one is a way to heal that divide.


To some extent, you may never change the person's belief system. You may never change their ideology. They won't change yours, but you will still be friends of a sort. And friendships have to do with you know, they're based on all kinds of ways of relating, only one of which has to do with partisan politics. Much more of my conversation with Danny Goldman coming up right after this. Staying informed has never been more important, information is coming at us faster than ever.


So how do you make sense of it all? Start here. Hey, I'm Brad Milkie from ABC News. And every weekday we will break down the latest headlines in just 20 minutes. Straightforward reporting, dynamic interviews and analysis from experts you can trust. Always credible, always solid. Start here from ABC News 20 minutes every weekday on your smart speaker or your favourite podcast app. It's been twenty five years now since you wrote the book.


How is emotional intelligence showing up in the world as a discipline? And are you surprised by the reach of this idea then, as an author?


You'll appreciate this. What I before the book came out, I was already getting ready to set out another book proposal because I didn't think it would be a success and I was shocked at the uptake. It became a bestseller around the world in many different languages, and it penetrated two sectors, particularly. One is education. I mentioned this idea of social emotional learning, which covers the four bases self-awareness, self-management, empathy, social skill, the four basics of social intelligence, and add something that emerges from that which is good decision making and by good decision making.


For a teenager, it might be how can I say no to drugs that my friends want me to try and keep my friends? That's the kind of decision we're talking about. And that movement's social S.L, it's called, has become worldwide, although it's quite idiosyncratic and sporadic. You know, many decisions, at least in the U.S. decisions are made at the city level, at the grassroots level or in private schools. So it might be in one town or one city, but not in another or one school or private school and not another.


And then in the school systems around the world, and there are more than 100 different programs in Seattle. And actually a lot of emotional intelligence was arguing from a child development point of view, helping kids get it right in the first place because their brain, the circuitry for emotional management, for emotional everything is growing as is our social circuitry, doesn't become anatomically mature until your mid 20s. So I felt that was a powerful argument to help kids learn to be more self aware, better at self-management, to really tune in to other people, to learn how to collaborate, how to get along, you know, and help them do it in school.


So that has taken off. And the other is business. I was surprised. I had one small chapter called Managing with Heart and Emotional Intelligence, and it all of a sudden I was surprised to get a lot of requests to speak in business settings. I hadn't expected it at all, but it's taken off there. I'm just doing an article for Harvard Business Review on building an emotionally intelligent organization because the data is very strong, that if you have emotionally intelligent leaders, if you have most intelligent teams, it helps by business metrics, hard metrics of growth of profit.


And many, many major corporations in one way or another have integrated this into what's called their human resources, how they hire, how they manage performance, what they look for and what they call high potentials future leaders. And in the training and development of leadership, they may hire people because they're good at, you know, software writing, but they assume that they can learn to be better at emotional intelligence, which is going to help them persuade people on their software team to pay attention to this idea.


They had her going to help them get along and collaborate as a team member or become a good leader. So it's taken off, I would say, and worldwide to my shock and particularly in business and in education.


I'm thinking of that. The Harvard Business Review article you're working on right now. And the question that came to mind for me, some people in the audience might be thinking, I'm not running the organization I'm in. How do I get my bosses to be more emotionally intelligent? You know, that's the question I'm frequently asked. And one thing I caution people is do not confront your boss and say you need more emotional intelligence because it's your boss after all.


However, you may find allies in the organization may be peers of your boss. You can talk to your boss about, you know, maybe you could use a little help in how you give performance feedback. That's something people often do in a way that's damaging instead of emotionally intelligent.


Curious about your meditation practice these days, you've been practicing for quite a while. You've studied in India. You're close to the Dalai Lama.


Who do you consider your teacher these days? And what is the main emphasis of your teacher?


Well, I segway from kind of advanced form of mindfulness called Vipassana Insight Meditation to kind of a Tibetan cousin of that which is called Soul Chen. And the first Segway actually was done along with Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Sam Harris, people whom you may know who are still major teachers in the inside tradition, the mindfulness tradition. But we were interested in how the Tibetan practitioners were doing a kind of what seemed to be a more subtle or subtle form of this practice.


And I've kind of stuck with that. My main teachers along the way, some of them have passed on. One was Toku Ergin repechage, who was a meditation master, was trained in Tibet. Another Joshel can Rinpoche same. And then the third, Oddy Rinpoche, who stayed in Tibet. All of them were trained in the kind of old culture of Tibet before the Chinese communists took over. And then their students, particularly the sons of Toca, Ergin Chooky Nema Repechage, Minga Rinpoche and certainly Rinpoche, actually, with whom I'm writing the book on meditation right now.


So I've stayed in that tradition and that's my practice to this day being.


Your impression has been on the show a couple of times. There's a certain omerta in the Tibetan Buddhist world not talking about practice in too great of detail. But how would you describe the difference between Zogu Chen, which, by the way, is for those who want to look it up, is DCO ji and.


Oh, good, well done. Thank you.


How would you describe the difference between Zen and Vipassana or insight?


I would simply say that it's a subtler level of continuum that begins with inside practice. The omerta is really not a code of honor. It's simply the warning about pride and ego and talking about your own practice as though your own practice was a big deal, which is seen in that tradition as a danger. Do you find yourself just as committed to your practice these days as you were back then? Well, actually, what got me really committed was writing the book on meditation research with Richard Davidson because I saw there was a kind of dose response relationship, as they say in medicine.


The more you do, the greater the benefits. And he flew to his lab one by one, 14 yogis, all of whom do Zhongshan practice. And he found that their brains functioned in really interesting, positive ways that were rather different from ordinary brains. And that got me motivated. So now I try to keep as much of my morning free to practice as I can. And that varies from day to day. I believe there was some conclusion that retreat time is quite important.


Well, there's a hint of that in the research. It seems that daily practice, you know, 30 minutes a day, hour a day, whatever it may be, 10 minutes a day is good for maintaining the progress you've made. But if you really if you want to advance, people seem to do that more quickly on retreat. By retreat, I mean going off somewhere where you have no distractions and then devoting all day for series of days to just practicing.


There's this whole I'm using this word tongue in cheek cabal of people in your age bracket, Jewish, who went to India and elsewhere in Asia and learned meditation in the 60s and 70s and came back and really had quite an impact.


So you, Richie Davidson, Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Jack Kornfield, Mark Epstein, Sylvia Boorstein, Tara Brock was a little bit younger. Sam Harris is also younger.


But all these folks, John Cavitt, Zino, I definitely shouldn't have left out. Then there's this sort of Juber overall.


He's actually a Hindu, but the recently passed Ramadoss, this whole group of really brainy Jewish kids, mostly from the New York area with some from Boston who ended up overseas studying this practice and then bringing it home and then having just a massive impact through either through science or journalism or teaching, writing about meditation. What do you reckon is going on there? Why so many people from similar background? Why did all of you get interested in this practice so intensely?


So I think you need to zoom out and look at culture and society in a larger lens and think about why did so many people from that same background become Marxists or communists a century ago? Why did so many people with that background become psychoanalyst's? Why have people from a largely marginalized minority? Been freer to adopt the next new thing than people who were, I would say, solidly in the mainstream of that society. That's the way I think about it.


So there was a certain risk when I left Harvard to go to India and the risk was none of my professors saved one or two thought it made any sense at all. And in fact, Richard Davidson, he and I were in the Harvard graduate program. At the same time, he was told by his professors point blank that this interest would be career ending. You may have heard that from him and that was the zeitgeist of the time. So why were we able to take a risk?


I don't know that the risk was the same for everyone. You've mentioned some of those people. Sharon, for example, was an undergrad and she went to India where he met her. Joseph had been in the Peace Corps and he stayed on to study this. So Jack had actually I don't know why he went to Thailand, but he became a monk for several years. And I think it has to do with the freedom that being on the margin brings you in a society.


That's my take. I'm only half Jewish, but my dad was just a really good worrier. Do you think the Jewish cultural pensione toward anxiety is playing into this as a factor? And might be related. I know that I got into meditation myself as an undergrad because of anxiety and it lowered my anxiety. I don't know that that was everyone's motivation. I think it has to do. With something that may be related to anxiety, which is risk taking.


Taking the risk, it can be anxiety inducing, I would say getting involved in a new idea or a new way of seeing things or a new practice, at least new to your culture, is taking a major risk. It may be a risk in your career or in your personal life, but it's not something you do easily.


When I was asked about this the other day, I didn't have the wherewithal to say what you did about marginalized communities. But I ventured the anxiety peace as a part of the explanation. And I also said something about the fact that if you think about the Jewish community in the United States, it's pretty secular.


And so there may have been a sort of spiritual thirst. I would say this.


I would say that those people from that community who take those risks are from a secular aspect of it. And the secularization of Judaism started in Europe with the drive to assimilate and become part of the mainstream culture. And then that came to America.


I just wonder also whether the secular nature of American Judaism could have created a sort of thirst for meaning, a thirst for spirituality among these young Jewish people who got so intrigued by Buddhism?


Yeah, I think that's a good answer, too. I would go I'd go with that. Also, when I went to temple as a kid, it was kind of like going to a Protestant church. There was no particular juice there. There was a great cultural identity, but not a great spiritual feeling. And it was much stronger clearly when I went to India in an Indian culture. And, you know, the meditation practices were an application of that that could be brought back to the West.


Interestingly, not for its spirituality, although there's that, too. But it's gone to scale because it has practical benefits. And, you know, American culture is quite pragmatic culture. Oh, it's going to help me ease my anxiety is going to help me stay focused. It's going to help me tune into other people have better relationships. In other words, the kind of emotional intelligence level of benefits is the great sell point. I think from meditation or mindfulness, it's scale in the culture.


People who want to go into depth go to a place where you can do a retreat, spirit, rock, insight, meditation, society. But if you want to get it at your, you know, HRR in your corporation, you go to this to our class. And that can accommodate a lot of people. But you're not going to go very deep. This is an opinion, but I think it's an informed one, I think the contribution by this group of people sometimes referred to as the in your put you in this group the contribution to the teaching of the practice of meditation, the science that is validated.


The worthiness of said practice's. It's incalculable, the impact, and I personally am just extremely grateful to all of you for the impact it had on my life and the impact I have see it having on many other people's lives. So that's where I was going with all of this. I agree. You're welcome. It just seemed to be the right thing to do just in terms of, you know, making the world a little better place. There's a lot more to do.


By the way, and it doesn't necessarily involve meditation. You know, I'm quite concerned for my grandchildren about what's happening to the planet, and you've got a kid, you know, we are you know, you have to think about the life they'll live and what's happening to the planet and what can be done to turn things around or at least make it more adaptable. I think there's enormous blind spot amongst us all on the actual environmental impacts on the global system to sustain life on the planet of everything we do every day and everything we buy and use.


We have no idea for operating blind that I think in terms of the dialogue, as much good compassion, wanting transparency and taking responsibility, it would be a great thing if we could know at the point we were thinking of buying something, you know, in what ways does this damage the planet or help the planet? Am I contributing to the problem or to the solution by getting this thing? By using this thing? And what about my habits? You know, that's what I would love to see for the future of the planet.


It's a little far afield from emotional intelligence, but maybe it's an application.


No, I know it doesn't feel that far afield to me. And I'm glad you brought it up.


The way I see it is the practices of the development of emotional intelligence and also the practices that we've discussed in secular mindfulness and also Buddhism. Prepare the ground internally for one to act externally, I think they do, but the pivot point is not self awareness, not self-management, it's empathy and compassion. Yes, if you have that as the North Star part of your sense of mission, what is your life about? What are you contributing then? I think that working.


To help the planet us, but without it, then, you know, you're just living your life and having a good time or as good a time as you can have, but not doing anything to help future generations or the planet itself. Well, I say this all the time on the show, and I don't apologize to listeners who may be tired of hearing me say this, because I think it's so important, a huge shift in my own personal practice was turning in a more fulsome manner toward the development of empathic concern or compassion, friendliness, et cetera, et cetera.


And I've seen how it's I mean, I am far from a perfect person. I retain the capacity to be a schmuck in many, many, many ways. But I just seen how it shows up in my own mind in terms of my own willingness to turn toward other people's suffering and try to do something about it. Again, by no means a perfect person. But I think if I can do it, anybody can.


As I said, and I'm glad you said what you said, because I think it happens in small steps. It's not a major, you know, huge transformation, but rather, oh, I'm actually paying more attention to this one. A homeless guy, people who have become homeless say that one of the biggest shocks to them is how they become invisible. People walk right by as though they did not exist, just stopping and talking to someone or stopping.


Give them something, something to eat. Some money means that you've noticing that is a huge but small step. And I would say it's a metric for people who live in cities of how is your compassion meter doing? And there's lots and lots of analogs of it and all kinds of different realms. You are giving money to a charity or volunteering time or you is what you're doing moving the needle in that direction in any way? Danny, is there any question I should have asked but failed to ask?


Yes, I want to talk about my podcast, so I'm excited that I'm going to join you as a podcast.


I am working with a team of people on a podcast called First Person Plural, which is we it's about us. It's emotional intelligence and beyond gets into things like one of my first guests was Richie Davidson talking about, well, being Laurie Santos, who taught that wonderful course at Yale on happiness. And I just had a talk yesterday with Lahoma, Rod Ohan, very interesting teacher talking about rage and love, I think a very positive, fruitful way. And I'm enjoying it because, you know, writing a book takes a long time and you may have an idea you want to share with people, but it's going to be like two years or more before anybody sees it.


And one of the nice things about podcast is instant or near instant gratification.


I'm finding I think, oh, I'd like to feature this idea of this person and this aspect of emotional intelligence or something else that really piqued my interest. And I can do it pretty quickly by doing a podcast. So they're just starting a Kickstarter campaign and our first season will launch after that and then I think continue. It's called First Person Plural.


We'll put a link to the Kickstarter campaign and it's great. Great job, my friend. Thank you for coming on. Big thanks to Danny, great to talk to him at any time. Also, big thanks to everybody who worked so hard to put the show together. Samuel Johns is our senior producer. Marisa Shneiderman and D.J. Kashmir are our producers. Jules Dodson is our A.P. Our sound designer is Matt Boyington of Ultraviolet Audio. And Maria Wartell is our production coordinator.


We got a ton of wisdom and guidance and oversight from our colleagues, including Ben Rubin, Nate Tobey, Jen Point and Liz Levin. And finally, big, thank you to my ABC News comrade's Ryan Kessler and Josh Cohan. We'll see you on Friday for a bonus.