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

Jesus Moses the Buddha and other great teachers were born with brains built essentially like anyone else's Then they used their minds to change their brains in ways that changed historyWith the new breakthroughs in neuroscience combined with the insights from thousands of years of contemplative Really enjoying this book It is well laid out not overly technical and has a handy dandy review section at the end of each chapter I'm limiting myself to one chapterday I could definitely read it uicker but that seems to defeat my purpose in reading a book like this In explaining some of the emerging brain science surrounding motivation happiness and Eastern Wisdom it succeeds fantastically It is a nice mix of Western why and Eastern practice Hence Practical Neuroscience The book offers concrete science behind why meditation works Though that is immediately useful for me as useful are other exercises offered as a way of strengthening the beneficial neural networks the ones that help you relax make good decisions feel loving feel safe such as using imagery taking a deep breath conscious relaxation etc etc More than just a list of things to do to relax though is the running commentary on what neural systems are involved in these actions I'm halfway through the book and will no doubt be relaxing as I read it later today OM NAMASTE Idols for Destruction essentially like anyone The Daughter of Time (Inspector Alan Grant else's Then they used their minds to change their brains in ways that changed historyWith the new breakthroughs in neuroscience combined with the insights from thousands of years of contemplative Really Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum, enjoying this book It is well laid out not overly technical and has a handy dandy review section at the The End of the Line end of The Ear Book each chapter I'm limiting myself to one chapterday I could definitely read it uicker but that seems to defeat my purpose in reading a book like this In Doors Open explaining some of the I Blame The Scapegoats emerging brain science surrounding motivation happiness and Eastern Wisdom it succeeds fantastically It is a nice mix of Western why and Eastern practice Hence Practical Neuroscience The book offers concrete science behind why meditation works Though that is immediately useful for me as useful are other Beneath the Earth exercises offered as a way of strengthening the beneficial neural networks the ones that help you relax make good decisions feel loving feel safe such as using imagery taking a deep breath conscious relaxation Gagged etc Aristocrats etc More than just a list of things to do to relax though is the running commentary on what neural systems are involved in these actions I'm halfway through the book and will no doubt be relaxing as I read it later today OM NAMASTE

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

Practice you too can shape your own brain for greater happiness love and wisdom 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 effective actions and a deeper re Buddha's brain is a model of how to write a self help book about meditation and science presenting complex material with outstanding clarity and making it accessible readable and digestible It distills the authors’ considerable understanding of both meditation and neuroscience into punchy advice and things that people can actually do However I came to it with some doubts about the whole project of expounding meditation in neuro scientific terms and my response was mixed Its scientific framework allows it to discuss familiar Buddhist themes and teachings in unfamiliar ways But to a large extent this could be done as an aspect of the much broader effort to explain Buddhist practices in secular and rational terms and the neuroscience itself offers relatively little fresh understanding of meditation for much of the bookHanson is clearly a sincere and experienced practitioner and his accounts of his own practice bring another texture to the book It’s a generous and intelligent work whose clarity is all the remarkable given how new the field really is That said it still feels like the beginning of something and not the last word The Burn emotional balance in turbulent times as well as healthier relationships Diary of the Fall effective actions and a deeper re Buddha's brain is a model of how to write a self help book about meditation and science presenting complex material with outstanding clarity and making it accessible readable and digestible It distills the authors’ considerable understanding of both meditation and neuroscience into punchy advice and things that people can actually do However I came to it with some doubts about the whole project of The Brides of Rollrock Island expounding meditation in neuro scientific terms and my response was mixed Its scientific framework allows it to discuss familiar Buddhist themes and teachings in unfamiliar ways But to a large The Daughter of Time extent this could be done as an aspect of the much broader The World of Rafael Salas effort to Camping Makes Me Happy explain Buddhist practices in secular and rational terms and the neuroscience itself offers relatively little fresh understanding of meditation for much of the bookHanson is clearly a sincere and Idols for Destruction experienced practitioner and his accounts of his own practice bring another texture to the book It’s a generous and intelligent work whose clarity is all the remarkable given how new the field really is That said it still feels like the beginning of something and not the last word

Rick Hanson Ì 2 Read

Ligious or spiritual practiceWell 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 beingIf you can change your brain you can change your lif Less interesting than it sounds Buddhism distinguishes itself from other religions by accepting the value of science Hence writing a book discussing the intersection of Buddhist practices and potential scientific bases for their value particularly meditation in this case is a peanut butter and chocolate fit The neuroscience will be familiar to anyone with a few neurobiology classes behind them the singulate gyrus amygdala pre frontal cortex brain wave variations and other familiar structures are all reviewed in detail The linking of the functioning of these structures to the practice of mediation makes sense and doesn't reuire much of a leap of faith to see the support for the practice Hanson however drifts away from the science for a significant portion of the book and some of the concepts fall dangerous close to parody For example we meet The Wolf of Love and The Wolf of Hate Certainly the concept of your life being influenced by the habits you feed makes logical sense but spend enough time extending to wolves metaphor to extremes and the discussion eventually just gets silly Also Loving Kindness as a mindset motivation resource that exists in metaphysical amounts in an individual's life and the wider universe is a borderline obsession of Hanson in the book Most problems or shortcomings can be remedied by an application of Loving Kindness The book also suffers from the general problem of Buddhism not lending itself very well to the written word Similar to the Dalai Lama's book The Universe in a Single Atom the esoteric nature and talcum powder soft language of Buddhism are difficult to follow for long stretches and certain don't lend themselves to the manner of disjointed and interrupted reading modern audiences practice In short interesting reviews of neuroscience and Buddhism appear elsewhere but the confluence here is a reasonably good read for someone interested in how they interact The World of Rafael Salas example we meet The Wolf of Love and The Wolf of Hate Certainly the concept of your life being influenced by the habits you feed makes logical sense but spend Camping Makes Me Happy enough time Idols for Destruction extending to wolves metaphor to The Daughter of Time (Inspector Alan Grant extremes and the discussion Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum, eventually just gets silly Also Loving Kindness as a mindset motivation resource that The End of the Line exists in metaphysical amounts in an individual's life and the wider universe is a borderline obsession of Hanson in the book Most problems or shortcomings can be remedied by an application of Loving Kindness The book also suffers from the general problem of Buddhism not lending itself very well to the written word Similar to the Dalai Lama's book The Universe in a Single Atom the The Ear Book esoteric nature and talcum powder soft language of Buddhism are difficult to follow for long stretches and certain don't lend themselves to the manner of disjointed and interrupted reading modern audiences practice In short interesting reviews of neuroscience and Buddhism appear Doors Open elsewhere but the confluence here is a reasonably good read for someone interested in how they interact


10 thoughts on “Buddha's Brain The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness Love and Wisdom

  1. says:

    This book seemed to want to come into my life I kept walking past it in the bookstore and it kept coming up as a recommendation on Finally one day I broke down and bought it I was not disappointed In in the authors take many of Buddha's teachings and show through neuroscience how they change the brain for the better I've been meditating and studying Dharma for several years but I still got a lot out of this book The authors show how certain practices can rewire the brain helping any of us even those of us who like to think of ourselves as hopelessly depressed sots for happiness They weave science with advice and offer many helpful tips visualizations and meditations along the way My favorite chapters were toward the end when the authors teach how to blend assertiveness with compassion in other words how to love selflessly without being a doormat and also how to be assertive without being rude or mean The book has invigorated my practice and already changed my outlook for the better


  2. says:

    Really enjoying this book It is well laid out not overly technical and has a handy dandy review section at the end of each chapter I'm limiting myself to one chapterday I could definitely read it uicker but that seems to defeat my purpose in reading a book like this In explaining some of the emerging brain science surrounding motivation happiness and Eastern Wisdom it succeeds fantastically It is a nice mix of Western why and Eastern practice Hence Practical Neuroscience The book offers concrete science behind why meditation works Though that is immediately useful for me as useful are other exercises offered as a way of strengthening the beneficial neural networks the ones that help you relax make good decisions feel loving feel safe such as using imagery taking a deep breath conscious relaxation etc etc More than just a list of things to do to relax though is the running commentary on what neural systems are involved in these actions I'm halfway through the book and will no doubt be relaxing as I read it later today OM NAMASTE


  3. says:

    An enlightening book full of useful techniues to promote compassion insight and wisdom Many of the ideas were familiar but that did not detract from the book I liked the combination of neuroscience and meditative techniues I will attempt to use the techniues in my daily lifeAll joy in this world comes from wanting others to be happy and all suffering in this world comes from wanting only oneself to be happy I wish all Goodreaders well


  4. says:

    I only have a few things to say about this book First of all it's heavy on the vocabulary of the brain It basically gives you a science lesson throughout much of the book The exercises in this book are like tips for using the information I should warn a lot of you that if you are interested in this book then use the physical copy or eBook and not the audio book This is a book that you may want to read slow and write notes in I fell asleep twice to the audio book and I'm not sure if that's a reflection on my interest in the material or the science heavy terminology presented in a dry way You should know that I usually love research heavy material and don't mind a science lesson here or there in most of my reading Did I get much out of this book? No not much of anything There are positives about this book including the idea of the self and many detailed explanations on things regarding love and hate I'm sure there were other things in this book that I may have missed that could make a case for a better rating but I don't remember them because the material literally made me fall asleep I love both Buddhism and Neuroscience but if you're looking for a way to bridge the gap between the two in a way you can understand I'd look elsewhere There are only a few others and I'll have to check them out to see if there is anything worth reading My ratings are based on my enjoyment of the material my drawn interest to the topic and the way it's presented Clearly there are others who think highly of this book and I respect that but my experience with this book wasn't incredibly positive Maybe one day I'll come back to give this one another shot


  5. says:

    34In Six Words never thought about it like thatWhat I Loved As a non Christian science nerd this was geared towards me Not to say that you couldn’t enjoy this book if you are a Christian but you have to take the evolution sections with a grain of salt if that doesn’t fit with your beliefs or that if you aren’t into science that this will be boring this is probably the oppositeI really enjoyed the sections that explained why we react the way we do to certain situations and related these back to why our brains developed that way to begin with While the book was full with the minute details of the inner working of the brain the author did a good job of breaking it down and relating it to things we’re likely to understandI also really loved that the author even admits to not being perfect about following these steps He often encourages you to not be upset if you can’t “think” this way we aren’t meant to It takes work and practiceMy favorite sections were on empathy attentionconcentration and how to intensify rapture and joyFull Review Here


  6. says:

    Buddha's brain is a model of how to write a self help book about meditation and science presenting complex material with outstanding clarity and making it accessible readable and digestible It distills the authors’ considerable understanding of both meditation and neuroscience into punchy advice and things that people can actually do However I came to it with some doubts about the whole project of expounding meditation in neuro scientific terms and my response was mixed Its scientific framework allows it to discuss familiar Buddhist themes and teachings in unfamiliar ways But to a large extent this could be done as an aspect of the much broader effort to explain Buddhist practices in secular and rational terms and the neuroscience itself offers relatively little fresh understanding of meditation for much of the bookHanson is clearly a sincere and experienced practitioner and his accounts of his own practice bring another texture to the book It’s a generous and intelligent work whose clarity is all the remarkable given how new the field really is That said it still feels like the beginning of something and not the last word


  7. says:

    I have to say that I was uite disappointed by this book I bought it after hearing a talk by the author where he presented an introduction to the ideas in the book I found the lecture interesting but tinged with a little bit of the power of positive thinking new age evangelism Much to my chagrin the same tone was present in the book I found the scientific evidence presented to be thought provoking but limited and a little over simplistic and I do not know to what extent the research he presents in the book has been validated by robust studies that have replicated the findings The ideas about how the brain evolved while somewhat speculative I found to be the most compelling For example the utility of humans having a negativity bias to insure our survival I think this can be useful in helping us understand ourselves and giving us distance and objectivity It makes sense that being hyper vigilant to the negative around us to danger was an important survival strategy and that the mind's genetically programmed tendency to orient toward the negative while once being extremely useful may no longer be appropriate for us in many situations To understand this helps us to understand ourselves and gives us a chance to be conscious and less reactive in our lives It is these kind of insights that he offers in the book that seem the most grounded and the most in line with Buddhism or Mind fullness The emphasis on positive thinking or positive feeling exercises as a way to shape our minds and generate happiness in our lives had too much of a pop psychology feel to it for my taste and it made it difficult for me to get through the book I also found this striving for happiness to be in contradiction to the principles of Mind fullness as I understand it I thought the idea was non attachment to outcomesOne of the things I liked about Kabat Zinn's book Full Catastrophe Living was that he stated repeatedly that practicing meditation and mindful living did not guarantee a happy life There are no promises of material success good health love I believe the idea is that living in the moment being conscious and aware is its own reward Hanson states early in the book that he doesn't think this is enough and he believes that meditative practices can deliver I do not think he presents enough of a coherent neuro scientific argument to support his case In fairness to the author regarding the positive thinking angle on it that I noted I include the following uote from Rick Hanson's blog Just One Thing on his websiteI don’t believe in positive thinking You’re not overlooking the pains losses or injustices in life I believe in realistic thinking seeing the whole mosaic of reality the good the bad and the neutral Precisely because life is often hard – and because we’ve got a brain that’s relatively poor at growing the inner strengths needed to deal with these challenges – we need to focus on the good facts in life let them become good experiences and then help these experiences really sink in I have to state that although I do not think that the book shows the science based data on how the practice of mindfulness alters the brain that I was expecting it still has many suggestions for self help or mind altering techniues that I have found useful and that other experts in meditation like Thích Nhất Hạnh and Bhante Henepola Gunaratana have written about


  8. says:

    Buddha's Brain is an amazingly easy uick read it took me some time due to other readingsThe book has three main parts The causes of suffering Happiness and LoveIn the first three chapters the author goes through basic facts of the brain how it works its neurones how it interacts with the other systems of the body then come chapter two and three suffering what it is how it happens how much it can affect you What I liked the most was the first and second dart part really interestingChapter four to seven were all about hapinness the benefits of positive thoughts learning from experiences how to cool greed and hatred and have strong intentions The chapter I liked the most was about Euanimity Euanimity is a perfect unshakable balance of the mind Nyanaponika Thera how not to react to your reactions whatever they are awesomeThe last chapters took in compassion kindness and mindfulness how to practice them why and how much peace they'll bring to you lifeThe book was written in a great way mixing science and spiritual materials to make it easier to the reader to understand a really enjoyable time


  9. says:

    Less interesting than it sounds Buddhism distinguishes itself from other religions by accepting the value of science Hence writing a book discussing the intersection of Buddhist practices and potential scientific bases for their value particularly meditation in this case is a peanut butter and chocolate fit The neuroscience will be familiar to anyone with a few neurobiology classes behind them the singulate gyrus amygdala pre frontal cortex brain wave variations and other familiar structures are all reviewed in detail The linking of the functioning of these structures to the practice of mediation makes sense and doesn't reuire much of a leap of faith to see the support for the practice Hanson however drifts away from the science for a significant portion of the book and some of the concepts fall dangerous close to parody For example we meet The Wolf of Love and The Wolf of Hate Certainly the concept of your life being influenced by the habits you feed makes logical sense but spend enough time extending to wolves metaphor to extremes and the discussion eventually just gets silly Also Loving Kindness as a mindset motivation resource that exists in metaphysical amounts in an individual's life and the wider universe is a borderline obsession of Hanson in the book Most problems or shortcomings can be remedied by an application of Loving Kindness The book also suffers from the general problem of Buddhism not lending itself very well to the written word Similar to the Dalai Lama's book The Universe in a Single Atom the esoteric nature and talcum powder soft language of Buddhism are difficult to follow for long stretches and certain don't lend themselves to the manner of disjointed and interrupted reading modern audiences practice In short interesting reviews of neuroscience and Buddhism appear elsewhere but the confluence here is a reasonably good read for someone interested in how they interact


  10. says:

    I don't even know what to say there's no coherent way I can review this book It was truly one of the best most helpful books I've ever read especially in dealing with depression and other mental illnesses I learned so much from this book the way my brain has developed how it works what helps it work the right way; exercises to calm and still myself It was like a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy DBT course without the therapists If I weren't reading a Kindle copy it'd be dog eared and highlighted to the sky but instead it's just got notes everywhereI'm putting this book in my favourites pile and I'll be reading it again really really soon