Sharon Salzberg – Metta Hour – Ep. 197 – Tsoknyi Rinpoche & Daniel Goleman

Tsoknyi Rinpoche and Daniel Goleman join Sharon for a special episode of the Metta Hour Podcast celebrating the launch of their brand new book, Why We Meditate: The Science and Practice of Clarity and Compassion.

sharon salzberg

Tsoknyi Rinpoche is a beloved teacher among the new generation of Tibetan Buddhist meditation masters. Widely recognized as an outstanding meditation teacher for over twenty-five years, he is the author of Open Heart, Open Mind, Fearless Simplicity, and Carefree Dignity.

Daniel Goleman is the internationally bestselling author and coauthor of several books, including Emotional Intelligence, Focus, and Altered Traits. He was a science reporter for The New York Times and was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

In this special episode, Sharon, Daniel, and Rinpoche speak about:

• How Rinpoche began teaching • The ways psychology shapes spiritual practice • The first time Rinpoche taught in the States • John Welwood & Spiritual Bypass • How their new book came to be • Finding our natural pace in a speedy culture • The Subtle Body • Balancing Restlessness • Working with our “Beautiful Monsters” • How childhood imprints affect us • When an experience we have is real but not true • Rinpoche’s fear of heights • Handshake practice • Obstacles of love and compassion • Cultivating intrinsic okay-ness • Grounding in the body • The importance of “Wise Hope”

The episode closes with Rinpoche leading a guided meditation. To learn more about their new book, Why We Meditate, visit or and get your copy today in hardcover, eBook, and audiobook formats.

Science and Practice // Why We Meditate

In their new book, Why We Meditate, Daniel Goleman and Tsoknyi Rinpoche combine science with spirituality. With a Ph.D. in Psychology, Daniel looks at each of the methods offered by Tsoknyi and finds scientific reasoning for their use. Westerners often seek science and facts so this offers readers a lovely combination of spiritual practice with validation from neuroscience. 

“The cognitive body understands if there’s numbness in the body or blockages or it carries wrong imprints, but how are we going to access that to change? Not from the head. We have another element that carries the cognitive mind’s message: feeling.” – Tsoknyi Rinpoche

Learn more about the meditative mind in an episode of Creativity, Spirituality & Making a Buck featuring Daniel Goleman
Beautiful Monsters // Staying With Feelings (24:18)

Tsoknyi uses the phrase ‘beautiful monsters’ to describe any schemas or childhood baggage we struggle with. Rather than shying away from these monsters, it is best to see them as beautiful parts of ourselves that we must learn to live with. Daniel Goleman notes that in the west this is referred to as acceptance and gratitude therapy; this is a very powerful method of healing.

“Don’t hide. Befriend it, be kind to it, open to it, and then see what happens.” – Daniel Goleman

Check out Ep. 72 of Metta Hour to hear more from Tsoknyi Rinpoche
sharon store wideEmotional Development // Loving-Kindness (43:40)

The things that happen to us in childhood easily affect our emotional development. The joy, love, and imagination that children feel can become dried up. Overbearing structures like school can make kids hyper-focus on one’s own need for achievement. However, people can re-develop that child-like openness through practices like loving-kindness. We all have intrinsic love and compassion and our practice can help us uncover it. Stay tuned for a guided practice with Tsoknyi Rinpoche at the end of this episode. 

“People become more kind, more generous, and more willing to help people who are in pain.” – Daniel Goleman