I want to let you know about an important new book, by a longtime close friend. It’s about effective, research-proven ways to light up the circuits in your brain that will bring you more joy, more fulfilling relationships, and more inner peace.
It’s called Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love,and Wisdom. It’s written by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.—a neuropsychologist and meditation teacher. (Go to www.rickhanson.net/writings/buddhas-brain for more information. You can order it from Amazon here.)
Rick ably unpacks key, un-obvious implications of brain research to help us more skillfully surf the waves of moment-to-moment mental experience. This beautifully written, easy-to-read book gracefully conveys a series of epiphanies that can enable us to achieve self-compassion, balance and happiness.
Combining the latest neuroscience with the deep Buddhist understanding of the mind, it shows you how to change your own brain for well-being, personal growth, and spiritual practice.
It has a Foreword from Daniel Siegel, M.D. and a Preface from Jack Kornfield, Ph.D. Major topics include how to feel less rattled by turbulent times, take in good experiences to overcome the negativity bias of the brain, energize empathy and love, improve mindfulness, and feel more at one with all things. As Rick writes in it, “If you can change your brain, you can change your life.”
I also want to let you know about Intimate Meanderings: Conversations Close to Our Hearts by Morgan Zo-Callahan “and friends.” It’s actually something of a potpourri of spiritual reflections on life from a variety of Christian, Eastern and even Muslim perspectives. It’s available on its own website or through Amazon.
Between 1973-1979, Morgan Callahan and I shared a remarkable adventure as fellow devotees of Adi Da Samraj (then known as Bubba Free John). He writes about this period in one chapter (The Path of No-Seeking) in his book, Intimate Meanderings, just published this year.
Morgan has spent the last 30 years endeavoring to live the essence of the Catholic faith in which he was raised. (He is a former Jesuit, who has, in those three decades, among other things, devoted himself to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.)
Taking to heart St. Ignatius’ famous dictum, that love is best expressed in deeds and not words, Morgan’s life has been dedicated to social service and education. Trained by Saul Alinsky and Cesar Chavez, he has worked as a teacher, community organizer, and hospice worker in Mexico and in (some of the toughest neighborhoods of) Los Angeles (where he was knifed nearly to death, a story that provokes a meditation on virtue in the chapter titled “We Inter-Are“).
William Croft says
Tools for Buddha’s Brain…
Terry, hi. Just ran across your site following links from the Integral Enlightenment teleseminar series. Added it to my RSS feeds. The “Finding Your Yes” essay is inspirational!
As a Tools for Exploration / Wellness expert, do you currently use or recommend any neurofeedback technologies that can assist in achieving more evolved brain states? I know that past catalogs emphasized the sound/light “entrainment” type of devices, but feedback seems like a more likely paradigm to cultivate new creative leaps.
I’ve been impressed with the mentoring and guidance I’ve received from Pete van Deusen’s “home brain training” programs, http://www.brain-trainer.com , one example of how we can empower ourselves with self knowledge of these technologies.
Terry Patten says
Tools for Buddha’s Brain
Good to hear from you.
Generally, I focus on practices rather than technologies, for many many reasons, including the importance of self-responsibility and self-efficacy, and the tremendous power of meditation and good mental hygiene. But in addition to meditation, yoga, exercise, etc. I am a regular user of a Samadhi Tank and of BioCircuits.
I agree about the remarkable power of neurofeedback, but the electrodes are such a hassle, feedback is just by nature a more clinical and specialized activity than Light and Sound or other simpler biofeedback modalities. Although van Deusen’s home guidance approach intrigues me, and might open it up to many more folks. I appreciate you mentioning his work.
All the best,
Hypnosis Quinn says
The new wave
I must say that I’m thrilled to see more professionals getting into this new wave of thinking. I worked for three years in a psychiatric office and the psychiatrist I was working with ended up retiring from psychiatry to develop and build her own “mindfulness” center. She focuses on mental health and its relation to spirituality and awareness. From her own mouth she has seen more improvement in clients by addressing their concerns by building self awareness and consciousness than through traditional medicine. Books like this are paving the way, thanks for spreading the word!