Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB) is especially appropriate for the rising number of individuals working in high stress occupations. In the preliminary clinical research trial, police officers and school teachers were considered, but teachers were chosen with the hope that the benefits they received would be experienced by their students. CEB can create pathways to compassion through the ability to recognize the suffering of others and tolerate this distress more effectively. CEB is not explicitly a compassion training, however, learning how to meaningfully attend to the emotional experiences between the self and others, coupled with attention-focused meditations (Shamatha practices) and the practices of loving kindness, empathetic joy, compassion and equanimity (the four immeasurables) fosters compassion and constructive interpersonal communication.
From the perspective of Western psychology, emotional skills are the novel focus of CEB (Kemmeny et al., 2011). Emotion skills help people to better understand their emotional life, and thereby increase constructive and decrease destructive emotional engagements. The contemplative practice, while keeping to the Dalai Lama’s request for CEB to be secular, emphasizes the development of genuine happiness through connection to core aspirations. Genuine happiness focuses upon enhancing eudaimonic endeavors that further stable, non-stimulus driven happiness versus the predominant focus on hedonic, sensual, and transitory pleasure.Eudaimonia is an Aristotelian term that describes the contentment that arises from what we bring to, as opposed to take from the world, and thus creates true human flourishing. Dr. Alan Wallace’s Four Balances, as described in the training, instruct the cultivation of genuine happiness and mental well-being through conative, attentional, cognitive and emotional balance (Wallace & Shapiro, 2006).