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

New Harbinger Publications
63
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If you change your brain, you can change your life.

Great teachers like the Buddha, Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, and Gandhi were all 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, and more and more, we are learning that it's possible to strengthen positive brain states.

By combining breakthroughs in neuroscience with insights from thousands of years of mindfulness 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 your brain for more fulfilling relationships, a deeper spiritual life, and a greater sense of inner confidence and worth. Using guided meditations and mindfulness exercises, you'll learn how to activate the brain states of calm, joy, and compassion instead of worry, sorrow, and anger. Most importantly, you will foster positive psychological growth that will literally change the way you live in your day-to-day life.

This book presents an unprecedented intersection of psychology, neurology, and contemplative practice, and is filled with practical tools and skills that you can use every day 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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About the author

Rick Hanson, PhD, is a psychologist and meditation teacher. A summa cum laude graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, he cofounded the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom and edits the Wise Brain Bulletin. He and his wife have two children.
 
Richard Mendius, MD, is a neurologist and cofounder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom. He has taught medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, and Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. He also teaches weekly meditation classes at San Quentin State Prison. He and his wife have three children.
 
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. He is author of The Developing Mind, The Mindful Brain, and other books, and is founding editor of the Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology.
 
Preface writer Jack Kornfield, PhD, is cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, and a founding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA. He is author of many books, including A Path with Heart and The Wise Heart.
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Additional Information

Publisher
New Harbinger Publications
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Published on
Nov 1, 2009
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781608820474
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Language
English
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Genres
Self-Help / Personal Growth / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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Cutting-edge science and the ancient wisdom of Buddhism have come together to reveal that, contrary to popular belief, we have the power to literally change our brains by changing our minds.
 
Recent pioneering experiments in neuroplasticity—the ability of the brain to change in response to experience—reveal that the brain is capable of altering its structure and function, and even of generating new neurons, a power we retain well into old age. The brain can adapt, heal, renew itself after trauma, compensate for disabilities, rewire itself to overcome dyslexia, and break cycles of depression and OCD. And as scientists are learning from studies performed on Buddhist monks, it is not only the outside world that can change the brain, so can the mind and, in particular, focused attention through the classic Buddhist practice of mindfulness.
 
With her gift for making science accessible, meaningful, and compelling, science writer Sharon Begley illuminates a profound shift in our understanding of how the brain and the mind interact and takes us to the leading edge of a revolution in what it means to be human.
 
Praise for Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain
 
“There are two great things about this book. One is that it shows us how nothing about our brains is set in stone. The other is that it is written by Sharon Begley, one of the best science writers around. Begley is superb at framing the latest facts within the larger context of the field. This is a terrific book.”—Robert M. Sapolsky, author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers
 
“Excellent . . . elegant and lucid prose . . . an open mind here will be rewarded.”—Discover
 
“A strong dose of hope along with a strong does of science and Buddhist thought.”—The San Diego Union-Tribune
Most parents today have accepted the message that the first three years of a baby's life determine whether or not the child will grow into a successful, thinking person. But is this powerful warning true? Do all the doors shut if baby's brain doesn't get just the right amount of stimulation during the first three years of life? Have discoveries from the new brain science really proved that parents are wholly responsible for their child's intellectual successes and failures alike? Are parents losing the "brain wars"? No, argues national expert John Bruer. In The Myth of the First Three Years he offers parents new hope by debunking our most popular beliefs about the all-or-nothing effects of early experience on a child's brain and development.

Challenging the prevailing myth -- heralded by the national media, Head Start, and the White House -- that the most crucial brain development occurs between birth and age three, Bruer explains why relying on the zero to three standard threatens a child's mental and emotional well-being far more than missing a few sessions of toddler gymnastics. Too many parents, educators, and government funding agencies, he says, see these years as our main opportunity to shape a child's future. Bruer agrees that valid scientific studies do support the existence of critical periods in brain development, but he painstakingly shows that these same brain studies prove that learning and cognitive development occur throughout childhood and, indeed, one's entire life. Making hard science comprehensible for all readers, Bruer marshals the neurological and psychological evidence to show that children and adults have been hardwired for lifelong learning. Parents have been sold a bill of goods that is highly destructive because it overemphasizes infant and toddler nurturing to the detriment of long-term parental and educational responsibilities.

The Myth of the First Three Years is a bold and controversial book because it urges parents and decision-makers alike to consider and debate for themselves the evidence for lifelong learning opportunities. But more than anything, this book spreads a message of hope: while there are no quick fixes, conscientious parents and committed educators can make a difference in every child's life, from infancy through childhood, and beyond.
When our embarrassments and fears lie, we often listen to them anyway. They thwart our gratitude, acceptance, and compassion—our goodness. They insist, “I am not worthy.” But we are worthy—of self-discovery, personal growth, and boundless love. With Brené Brown’s game-changing New York Times bestseller The Gifts of Imperfection—which has sold more than 2 million copies in more than 30 different languages, and Forbes recently named one of the "Five Books That Will Actually Change Your Outlook On Life"—we find courage to overcome paralyzing fear and self-consciousness, strengthening our connection to the world.

A motivational and inspiring guide to wholehearted living, rather than just the average self-help book, with this groundbreaking work Brené Brown, Ph.D., bolsters the self-esteem and personal development process through her characteristic heartfelt, honest storytelling. With original research and plenty of encouragement, she explores the psychology of releasing our definitions of an “imperfect” life and embracing living authentically. Brown’s “ten guideposts” are benchmarks for authenticity that can help anyone establish a practice for a life of honest beauty—a perfectly imperfect life.

Now more than ever, we all need to cultivate feelings of self-worth, as well as acceptance and love for ourselves. In a world where insults, criticisms, and fears are spread too generously alongside messages of unrealistic beauty, attainment, and expectation, we look for ways to “dig deep” and find truth and gratitude in our lives. A new way forward means we can’t hold on too tightly to our own self-defeating thoughts or the displaced pain in our world. Instead, we can embrace the imperfection.
Who are you? When you start to explore this question, you find out how elusive it really is. Are you a physical body? A collection of experiences and memories? A partner to relationships? Each time you consider these aspects of yourself, you realize that there is much more to you than any of these can define. The Untethered Soul, spiritual teacher Michael Singer explores the question of who we are and arrives at the conclusion that our identity is to be found in our consciousness, the fact of our ability to observe ourselves, and the world around us. By tapping into traditions of meditation and mindfulness, Singer shows how the development of consciousness can enable us all to dwell in the present moment and let go of painful thoughts and memories that keep us from achieving happiness and self-realization.

This book, copublished with the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), offers a frank and friendly discussion of consciousness and how we can develop it. In part one, he examines the notion of self and the inner dialogue we all live with. Part two examines the experience of energy as it flows through us and works to show readers how to open their hearts to the energy of experience that permeates their lives. Ways to overcome tendencies to close down to the rest of the world are the subject of part three. Enlightenment, the embrace of universal consciousness, is the subject of part four. And finally, in part five, Singer returns to daily life and the pursuit of unconditional happiness. Throughout, the book maintains a light and engaging tone, free from heavy dogma and prescriptive religious references. The easy exercises that figure in each chapter help readers experience the ideas that Singer presents.

Visit www.untetheredsoul.com for more information.

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