Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
The Buddha and other great teachers were born with brains built essentially like anyone else’s - and then they changed their brains in ways that changed the world.
Science is now revealing how the flow of thoughts actually sculpts the brain. By combining breakthroughs in neuroscience with insights from thousands of years of contemplative practice, you, too, can use your mind to shape your brain for greater happiness, love, and wisdom.
Buddha’s Brain draws on the latest research to show how to stimulate and strengthen your brain for more fulfilling relationships, a deeper spiritual life, and a greater sense of inner confidence and worth. You’ll learn how to activate the brain states of calm, joy, and compassion instead of worry, sorrow, and anger. This clear, down-to-earth book is filled with practical tools and skills that you can use in daily life to tap the unused potential of your brain and rewire it over time for greater well-being and peace of mind.
- One credit a month to pick any title from our entire premium selection to keep (you’ll use your first credit now).
- Unlimited listening on select audiobooks, Audible Originals, and podcasts.
- You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
- $14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel online anytime.
People who viewed this also viewed
People who bought this also bought
|Listening Length||6 hours and 58 minutes|
|Author||Rick Hanson, Richard Mendius MD|
|Narrator||Alan Bomar Jones|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||November 15, 2010|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #5,662 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#19 in Buddhist Rituals & Practice (Books)
#21 in Buddhism (Audible Books & Originals)
#21 in Meditation (Audible Books & Originals)
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This book discusses several simple but meaningful techniques one can use to help promote relaxation as well as awareness. The author explains the process of these techniques by describing what occurs in the brain while one is performing relaxation exercises. He also explains how positive behaviors and actions result from the exercises. Beyond that, he talks about how certain situations affect our arousal. These exercises range from simple breathing techniques to more complex mindfulness practices. The baseline of our peacefulness is guided by our parasympathetic system, which is responsible for producing a balanced state. This is our rest/digest system. There is also the SNS system, responsible for the fight/flight response. Various situations occur in our daily lives that cause us to unleash certain behaviors. Our physical state becomes altered due to certain systems being activated, such as the PNS and SNS. Performing relaxation and meditation techniques helps us reach a more balanced our state.
When performing these relaxation and mindfulness techniques, the brain is at rest in a state of tranquility. The brain is complex, filled with many parts that serve different functions. One part of the brain is the pituitary gland which is responsible for producing endorphins, triggering stress hormones, and storing and releasing oxytocin. Oxytocin is the “bonding” or “love” hormone that we humans have. This hormone is the key element of our human nature; it allows us to form bonds and to feel empathy for one another. In relationships, oxytocin encourages eye contact and trust. The release of oxytocin is one way that the brain can be in a peaceful state, therefore causing you to be happy.
Contrarily, the amygdala is a section in the brain that is in charge of responses to emotion, fear, and other negative stimuli. It also helps form implicit memories. These memories form primarily from negative experiences due to a defense mechanism that has been used to survive throughout human evolution. Negative experiences needed to be recalled so that we would be ready to fight in dangerous times, such as being preyed upon. This explains why we are quick to react negatively or with hostility. This also explains the origin of anxiety and aggression. Constant feelings of threat lead to feeling anxious and can lead to aggressiveness in order to fight and protect oneself.
Without a doubt, we need all systems in the brain, but depending on our upbringing and our environment (nature/nurture), the way we react to certain situations differs among all humans. The happiest state of mind, according to Buddha and Hanson, the author of this book, is a state of equilitry. Neuroplasticity is the key factor here. Our brains are changeable; the number of neurons being fired together cause this mutability. Emotions are not a result of certain situations that occur but a result of the way we interpret the situation and react to it. Therefore, we have the ability to rewire our brains to react to situations mindfully, essentially making us happier in the long run.
I was very pleased with the information the author has provided in this book. There are plenty of facts on the brain and its functions, and connections made to the spiritual aspect of the mind. The author describes the main parts of the brain; such as the frontal cortex, the diencephalon, the hippocampus, etc. and makes sure to connect them to the ways our body reacts in certain situations. It is important to elaborate on the functions of the complex brain. There are many self-help books that provide tons of information on mindfulness techniques and living with a happy equilibrium, but these books provide little to no detail as to how exactly this works. Rick Hanson helps readers understand how the brain essentially works as a whole unit and how certain situations impact and alter brain functions, therefore altering how we perceive the world, our moods, reactions, impulsiveness, etc.
Someone who has not read the book and is unfamiliar with mindfulness techniques may think that the idea that we can change who we are by changing our brains is silly. But, after reading this book, the idea makes sense. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone, especially those who have an interest in mindfulness meditation so that they can fully understand why and how these systems are working to better their mood and outlook on life.
To conclude, I give this book a 5/5 rating. Rick Hanson appears to be a well educated neuropsychologist who is good at sharing his ideas in writing that is also clear and easy to understand. He did a good job on giving brief explanations on sections of the brain and what we can do to reach that tranquil, equilibrium state of mind in order to live happier.
• What brain states underlie the mental states of happiness, love and wisdom?
• How can you use your mind to stimulate and strengthen these positive brain states?
The result is a practical guide to your brain, full of tools you can use to gradually change it for the better.”
~ Rick Hanson from Buddha’s Brain
Rick Hanson is a neuropsychologist and meditation teacher and this book delivers on its subtitle, delivering a practical look at the neuroscience of happiness, love and wisdom.
It’s packed with Big Ideas on the science of how our brains work and he shares a broad range of various practices and guided meditations to help us re-wire our brains.
“If I know one thing for sure, it’s that you can do small things inside your mind that will lead to big changes in your brain and your experience of living... You really can nudge your whole being in a better direction every day. When you change your brain, you change your life.”
Here are some of my favorite Big Ideas:
1. Your Future Self - Be nice to it.
2. Your PNS - Activating it is good.
3. Meditation - A regular practice is (very) good.
4. Intentions & Suffering - Check your intentions.
5. Equanimity - Do you have a balanced mind?
Here’s to diligently, patiently and persistently nurturing the mindfulness that leads to more happiness, wisdom and love!
More goodness— including PhilosophersNotes on 300+ books in our *OPTIMIZE* membership program. Find out more at brianjohnson . me.
Top reviews from other countries
This book has really opened my eyes to how the brain works, its evolutionary factors and how they impact on every one of us today. Not only that, Hanson describes lovely ways of getting the mind to work for us instead of against us.
Well worth the read. Don't let the scientific part daunt you.
I was already aware of many of the answers because of my study of Buddhism. This book, however, laid it all out brilliantly, convincingly, and concisely. It also verifies them with as much scientific proof as you could ever need. Finally, it also answers some of the niggling questions that I think come with being a Westerner introduced to a completely antithecal viewpoint of the world, as outlined by the Buddha. What about the pleasures we already have? Where is "the Middle Way" exactly?
In short, I will always be grateful to this book for potentially voiding the need for me to go study neuroscience and find out the mysteries of the brain for myself.
Read this book if you want happiness, want to understand how the brain works, AND to develop a completely new take on life, ranging from our smallest thoughts, to our day-to-day activities, to finally the way our societies are shaped.
And if you aren't already, start meditating.