I can't say I am reading book, Buddha's Brain: happiness, love & wisdom by Rich Hanson Ph.D. with Richard Mendius, MD (New Harbinger Publications). Rather, I am working my way through it--and I expect to keep working for some time, reading and re-reading and attempting to put the principles to practice in my own brain.
Meditation doesn't come easily to me, but I believe in it. This is not a book strictly about meditation--though it does contain some advice on the subject--but the best explanation I have found to date on a simple but revolutionary concept: If you can change your brain, you can change your life. For some of us, diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, or in my case, according to my therapist "on the borderline of being Borderline"--changing the way the brain works is a critical skill we have to learn.
For the rest of you, it is truly the path toward happiness, love and wisdom (as the title promises).
If you have not followed the recent dialogue among neuroscientists, psychologists and Buddhist monks on using meditation to change the brain, you may think it is a fantastical concept. You would be wrong. Brain scans of Buddhist monks have shown how they changed their neural wiring to achieve greater states of happiness through meditation. The lessons of the Buddha have more relevance to 21st Century humans than anyone could have guessed just a few decades ago.
Neuroscience is the most exciting field of study, giving us new understanding of how our brains work, how we can influence our thought and behavior patterns and really change our lives for the better.
From the introduction:
"This book is about how to reach inside your own brain to create more happiness, love and wisdom. It explores the historically unprecedented intersection of psychology, neurology, and contemplative practice to answer two questions:
- What brain states underlie the mental states of happiness, love and wisdom?
- How can you use your mind to stimulate and strengthen those positive brain states?
"The result is a practical guide to your brain, full of tools you can use to gradually change its future for the better."
Buy this book. Shut off the TV, cell phone, Blackberry, internet. And begin to reach inside your brain. This is not a quick and easy fix. Rather, it is a map for a new way to live.
(For more information, before you shut down, check out the authors' website Wellspring Institute for Neuorscience and Contemplative Wisdom.)
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