Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom by Rick Hanson

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.

Buddha’s Brain joins the forces of modern science with ancient teachings to show readers how to have greater emotional balance in turbulent times, as well as healthier relationships, more effective actions, and a deeper religious or spiritual practice.

Well-referenced and grounded in science, the book is full of practical tools and skills readers can use in daily life to tap the unused potential of the brain and rewire it over time for greater peace and well-being.

If you can change your brain, you can change your life.


Praises:
Buddha’s Brain is a brilliant tapestry that weaves together the strands of neuroscience, Buddhism and psychology in the service of helping people in their quest for personal freedom. It is both relentlessly positive and ardently scientific. Rick Hanson is a master at taking complex concepts and both explaining them in easily understandable ways and providing useful methods to implement them immediately.”
—Daniel Ellenberg, Ph.D., co-founder of the Authentic Leadership Institute and co-author of Lovers for Life

“An illuminating guide to the emerging confluence of cutting-edge neuropsychology and ancient Buddhist wisdom filled with practical suggestions on how to gradually rewire your brain for greater happiness. Lucid, good-humored, and easily accessible.”
—John J. Prendergast, Ph.D., adjunct associate professor of psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies and senior Editor of The Sacred Mirror and Listening from the Heart of Silence

“Buddha’s Brain will show you how mental practices, informed by the contemplative traditions, can increase your capacity for experiencing happiness and peace. This book provides a scientific understanding of these methods, and clear guidance for practices that cultivate a wise and free heart.”
–Tara Brach, Ph.D. author of Radical Acceptance

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