Mindfulness and Neurology: Does Buddha's Brain Hold the Answers?
Buddha’s Brain is exactly what its title suggests—a practical guide to meditative practices and the neuro-chemistry behind meditation. The book explains the science of why striving to act like Buddha and embracing mindfulness leads to a sense of enlightenment and peace.
Written by Rick Hanson, PhD., with contributions from Richard Mendius, MD, both of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, this book is a balance of hard science and spiritual guidance.
Brain vs. mind
The book focuses on different themes in each section:
The transformative nature of the brain
The causes of suffering
How to achieve happiness, love, and wisdom
The book explores the intricate dichotomy of mind vs. brain through a scientific and evolutionary lens. Along with that, there are several mental exercises and guided meditations to encourage a peaceful, open mind.
The concept of self
The most interesting part, in my opinion, is the idea of the self. Buddha's Brain examines the evolutionary and neurological realities that make the "self" necessary.
The irony is that clinging to the self is often one of the leading causes of suffering. Letting go of the self is challenging—and liberating.
Because Buddha's Brain is so full of information that I had to read it in small sections. The most I ever read in one sitting was one chapter. I felt the need to ruminate over all that I had read to absorb and comprehend the content.
I learned many useful things from this book—not just information, but information and practices that I can apply in my daily life. I’d recommend Buddha's Brain to anyone looking for ways to improve relationships with yourself and with others, or to anyone interested in mindfulness and the intersection of spirituality and science.