Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, Gandhi, and the Buddha all had brains built essentially like anyone else's, yet they were able to harness their thoughts and shape their patterns of thinking in ways that changed history. With new breakthroughs in modern neuroscience and the wisdom of thousands of years of contemplative practice, it is possible for us to shape our own thoughts in a similar way for greater happiness, love, compassion, and wisdom.
Buddha's Brain joins the forces of modern neuroscience with ancient contemplative teachings to show readers how they can work toward greater emotional well-being, healthier relationships, more effective actions, and deepened religious and spiritual understanding. This book will explain how the core elements of both psychological well-being and religious or spiritual life-virtue, mindfulness, and wisdom-are based in the core functions of the brain: regulating, learning, and valuing. Readers will also learn practical ways to apply this information, as the book offers many exercises they can do to tap the unused potential of the brain and rewire it over time for greater peace and well-being.
Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, a Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkley, and a New York Times best-selling author. His books are available in 26 languages and include Hardwiring Happiness (Harmony, 2016), Buddha’s Brain (New Harbinger, 2009), Just One Thing Card Deck (PESI, 2018), and Mother Nurture (Penguin, 2002). He edits the Wise Brain Bulletin and has numerous audio programs. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA and founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, he’s been an invited speaker at NASA, Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, and other major universities, and taught in meditation centers worldwide.
Dr. Hanson has been a trustee of Saybrook University, served on the board of Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and was President of the Board of FamilyWorks, a community agency. He began meditating in 1974, trained in several traditions, and leads a weekly meditation gathering in San Rafael, California. His work has been featured on the BBC, CBS, and NPR, and he offers the free Just One Thing newsletter with over 114,000 subscribers, plus the online Foundations of Well-Being program in positive neuroplasticity.
He enjoys rock-climbing and taking a break from emails. He and his wife have two adult children.
Richard Mendius, M.D., is a neurologist and co-founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom. He trained at UCLA as an epileptologist and neurobehaviorist. He has been on the teaching faculty of UCLA, Oregon Health Sciences University, and Stanford University. His meditation practice began in the 1980s with Shinzen Young and continues at Spirit Rock Meditation Center with Jack Kornfield and Ajahn Amaro. He teaches a weekly meditation class at San Quentin. His daughters, Courtney and Taryn, and his son, Ian, are three of his main teachers and companions on the path.
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