Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom

Overview

The Buddha and other great teachers were born with brains built essentially like anyone else’s—and then they changed their brains in ways that changed the world.

Science is now revealing how the flow of thoughts actually sculpts the brain. By combining breakthroughs in neuroscience with insights from thousands of years of contemplative practice, you, too, can use your mind to shape your brain for greater happiness, love, and wisdom.

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Overview

The Buddha and other great teachers were born with brains built essentially like anyone else’s—and then they changed their brains in ways that changed the world.

Science is now revealing how the flow of thoughts actually sculpts the brain. By combining breakthroughs in neuroscience with insights from thousands of years of contemplative practice, you, too, can use your mind to shape your brain for greater happiness, love, and wisdom.

Buddha’s Brain draws on the latest research to show how to stimulate and strengthen your brain for more fulfilling relationships, a deeper spiritual life, and a greater sense of inner confidence and worth. You’ll learn how to activate the brain states of calm, joy, and compassion instead of worry, sorrow, and anger. This clear, down-to-earth book is filled with practical tools and skills that you can use in daily life to tap the unused potential of your brain and rewire it over time for greater well-being and peace of mind.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The brain physiology associated with spiritual states has been fertile ground for researchers and writers alike. Neuropsychologist andmeditation teacher Hanson suggests that an understanding of the brain in conjunction with 2,500-year-old Buddhist teachings can help readers achieve more happiness. He explains how the brain evolved to keep humans safe from external threats; the resulting “built-in negativity bias” creates suffering in modern individuals. Citing psychologist Donald Hebb's conclusion that “when neurons fire together, they wire together,” Hanson argues that the brain's functioning can be affected by simple practices and meditation to foster well-being. Classic Buddhist concepts such as the “three trainings”—mindfulness, virtuous action and wisdom—frame Hanson's approach. Written with neurologist Mendius, the book includes descriptions and diagrams of brain functioning. Clear instructions guide the reader toward more positive thoughts and feelings. While the author doesn't always succeed at clarifying complex physiology, this gently encouraging “practical guide to your brain” offers helpful information supported by research as well as steps to change instinctive patterns through the Buddhist path. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781491518663
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 4/15/2014
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Sales rank: 315,285
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Rick Hanson, Ph.D. is a neuropsychologist and meditation teacher. He is cofounder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom and edits the Wise Brain Bulletin. Richard Mendius, MD, is a neurologist and cofounder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom. Foreword writer Daniel J. Siegel, MD, is executive director of the Mindsight Institute and an associate clinical professor of psychiatry in the School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. Preface writer Jack Kornfield, Ph.D., is a cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, and a founding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA.
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Table of Contents

Foreword v

Preface vii

Acknowledgements ix

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 The Self-Transforming Brain 5

Part 1 The Causes of Suffering

Chapter 2 The Evolution of Suffering 23

Chapter 3 The First and Second Dart 49

Part 2 Happiness

Chapter 4 Taking in the Good 67

Chapter 5 Cooling the Fires 79

Chapter 6 Strong Intentions 97

Chapter 7 Equanimity 109

Part 3 Love

Chapter 8 Two Wolves in the Heart 121

Chapter 9 Compassion and Assertion 137

Chapter 10 Boundless Kindness 157

Part 4 Wisdom

Chapter 11 Foundations of Mindfulness 177

Chapter 12 Blissful Concentration 191

Chapter 13 Relaxing the Self 205

Appendix Nutritional Neurochemistry Jan Hanson, L.Ac. 227

References 235

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