Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, Gandhi, and the Buddha all had brains built essentially like anyone else's, yet they were able to harness their thoughts and shape their patterns of thinking in ways that changed history. With new breakthroughs in modern neuroscience and the wisdom of thousands of years of contemplative practice, it is possible for us to shape our own thoughts in a similar way for greater happiness, love, compassion, and wisdom. Buddha's Brain joins the forces of modern neuroscience with ancient contemplative teachings to show readers how they can work toward greater emotional well-being, healthier relationships, more effective actions, and deepened religious and spiritual understanding. This book will explain how the core elements of both psychological well-being and religious or spiritual life-virtue, mindfulness, and wisdom--are based in the core functions of the brain: regulating, learning, and valuing. Readers will also learn practical ways to apply this information, as the book offers many exercises they can do to tap the unused potential of the brain and rewire it over time for greater peace and well-being.
You've heard the expression, “It’s the little things that count.” It's more than a simple platitude. Research has shown that integrating little daily practices into your life can actually change the way your brain works. This guide offers simple things you can do routinely, mainly inside your mind, that will support and increase your sense of security and worth, resilience, effectiveness, well-being, insight, and inner peace. For example, they include: taking in the good, protecting your brain, feeling safer, relaxing anxiety about imperfection, not knowing, enjoying your hands, taking refuge, and filling the hole in your heart. At first glance, you may be tempted to underestimate the power of these seemingly simple practices. But they will gradually change your brain through what’s called experience-dependent neuroplasticity. Moment to moment, whatever you're aware of—sounds, sensations, thoughts, or your most heartfelt longings—is based on underlying neural activities. This book offers simple brain training practices you can do every day to protect against stress, lift your mood, and find greater emotional resilience. Just one practice each day can help you to: • Be good to yourself • Enjoy life as it is • Build on your strengths • Be more effective at home and work • Make peace with your emotions With over fifty daily practices you can use anytime, anywhere, Just One Thing is a groundbreaking combination of mindfulness meditation and neuroscience that can help you deepen your sense of well-being and unconditional happiness.
Why is it easier to ruminate over hurt feelings than it is to bask in the warmth of being appreciated? Because your brain evolved to learn quickly from bad experiences but slowly from the good ones. You can change this. Hardwiring Happiness lays out a simple method that uses the hidden power of everyday experiences to build new neural structures full of happiness, love, confidence, and peace. Dr. Hanson's four steps build strengths into your brain— balancing its ancient negativity bias—making contentment and a powerful sense of resilience the new normal. In mere minutes each day, we can transform our brains into refuges and power centers of calm and happiness.
"Building on his classic bestseller Buddha's Brain, New York Times bestselling author and senior fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley Rick Hanson uses his Buddhist analysis of the mind as a roadmap for strengthening the neural circuitry of deep calm, contentment, kindness, and wisdom--qualities we all need to succeed in the face of adversity. Most books about transformations of consciousness are theoretical or religious, typically full of jargon, pep talks, and calls to believe on faith alone. Instead, this is a book of practice, immediately actionable with simple, powerful guided meditations--and despite this grounded approach, its promise is radically life-changing. This book is nothing short of a path to transcendence, a method for liberating the mind and heart, discovering freedom from suffering, and engaging life with a kind heart and inner peace. A step-by-step path of practical ideas and tools, Dr. Hanson guides readers with his usual encouragement, good humor, and personal examples"--
These days it’s hard to count on the world outside. So it’s vital to grow strengths inside like grit, gratitude, and compassion—the key to resilience, and to lasting well-being in a changing world. True resilience is much more than enduring terrible conditions. We need resilience every day to raise a family, work at a job, cope with stress, deal with health problems, navigate issues with others, heal from old pain, and simply keep on going. With his trademark blend of neuroscience, mindfulness, and positive psychology, New York Times bestselling author Dr. Rick Hanson shows you how to develop twelve vital inner strengths hardwired into your own nervous system. Then no matter what life throws at you, you’ll be able to feel less stressed, pursue opportunities with confidence, and stay calm and centered in the face of adversity. This practical guide is full of concrete suggestions, experiential practices, personal examples, and insights into the brain. It includes effective ways to interact with others and to repair and deepen important relationships. Warm, encouraging, and down-to-earth, Dr. Hanson’s step-by-step approach is grounded in the science of positive neuroplasticity. He explains how to overcome the brain’s negativity bias, release painful thoughts and feelings, and replace them with self-compassion, self-worth, joy, and inner peace.
A groundbreaking exploration of the “science of enlightenment,” told through the lens of the journey of Siddhartha (better known as Buddha), by Guardian science editor James Kingsland. In a lush grove on the banks of the Neranjara in northern India—400 years before the birth of Christ, when the foundations of western science and philosophy were being laid by the great minds of Ancient Greece—a prince turned ascetic wanderer sat beneath a fig tree. His name was Siddhartha Gautama, and he was discovering the astonishing capabilities of the human brain and the secrets of mental wellness and spiritual “enlightenment,” the foundation of Buddhism. Framed by the historical journey and teachings of the Buddha, Siddhartha’s Brain shows how meditative and Buddhist practice anticipated the findings of modern neuroscience. Moving from the evolutionary history of the brain to the disorders and neuroses associated with our technology-driven world, James Kingsland explains why the ancient practice of mindfulness has been so beneficial and so important for human beings across time. Far from a New Age fad, the principles of meditation have deep scientific support and have been proven to be effective in combating many contemporary psychiatric disorders. Siddhartha posited that “Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think.” As we are increasingly driven to distraction by competing demands, our ability to focus and control our thoughts has never been more challenged—or more vital. Siddhartha’s Brain offers a cutting-edge, big-picture assessment of meditation and mindfulness: how it works, what it does to our brains, and why meditative practice has never been more important.
Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom (2009), by Rick Hanson with Richard Mendius, combines the ancient wisdom of the Buddha with the latest breakthroughs in neuroscience. Establishing links between contemplative traditions and scientific research, Buddha’s Brain provides practical advice for readers desiring to strengthen their neural states, reduce stress, and increase well being… Purchase this in-depth summary to learn more.
"[A] rare combination of solid scholarship, clinically useful methods, and passionate advocacy for those who have suffered trauma." —Rick Hanson, PhD, author of Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom From elementary schools to psychotherapy offices, mindfulness meditation is an increasingly mainstream practice. At the same time, trauma remains a fact of life: the majority of us will experience a traumatic event in our lifetime, and up to 20% of us will develop posttraumatic stress. This means that anywhere mindfulness is being practiced, someone in the room is likely to be struggling with trauma. At first glance, this appears to be a good thing: trauma creates stress, and mindfulness is a proven tool for reducing it. But the reality is not so simple. Drawing on a decade of research and clinical experience, psychotherapist and educator David Treleaven shows that mindfulness meditation—practiced without an awareness of trauma—can exacerbate symptoms of traumatic stress. Instructed to pay close, sustained attention to their inner world, survivors can experience flashbacks, dissociation, and even retraumatization. This raises a crucial question for mindfulness teachers, trauma professionals, and survivors everywhere: How can we minimize the potential dangers of mindfulness for survivors while leveraging its powerful benefits? Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness offers answers to this question. Part I provides an insightful and concise review of the histories of mindfulness and trauma, including the way modern neuroscience is shaping our understanding of both. Through grounded scholarship and wide-ranging case examples, Treleaven illustrates the ways mindfulness can help—or hinder—trauma recovery. Part II distills these insights into five key principles for trauma-sensitive mindfulness. Covering the role of attention, arousal, relationship, dissociation, and social context within trauma-informed practice, Treleaven offers 36 specific modifications designed to support survivors’ safety and stability. The result is a groundbreaking and practical approach that empowers those looking to practice mindfulness in a safe, transformative way.
Intrepid detective-by-default Adam McCleet finds himself immersed in a bizarre case of multiple murder on an Indian reservation overtaken by a real estate developer and huckster who has formed a new independent nation called Bob.
A neuroscientist and Zen practitioner interweaves the latest research on the brain with his personal narrative of Zen. Aldous Huxley called humankind's basic trend toward spiritual growth the "perennial philosophy." In the view of James Austin, the trend implies a "perennial psychophysiology"—because awakening, or enlightenment, occurs only when the human brain undergoes substantial changes. What are the peak experiences of enlightenment? How could these states profoundly enhance, and yet simplify, the workings of the brain? Zen and the Brain presents the latest evidence. In this book Zen Buddhism becomes the opening wedge for an extraordinarily wide-ranging exploration of consciousness. In order to understand which brain mechanisms produce Zen states, one needs some understanding of the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the brain. Austin, both a neurologist and a Zen practitioner, interweaves the most recent brain research with the personal narrative of his Zen experiences. The science is both inclusive and rigorous; the Zen sections are clear and evocative. Along the way, Austin examines such topics as similar states in other disciplines and religions, sleep and dreams, mental illness, consciousness-altering drugs, and the social consequences of the advanced stage of ongoing enlightenment.