This past weekend I had the opportunity to read Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom (affiliate link) by Rick Hanson and Richard Mendius. It’s a book that’s been on my “to read” list for quite some time, but it finally made it to the top of the list because a book club that I am in chose it for this month’s selection.
I am so glad they did! This is an easy-to-read book, but the amount of information packed in these pages will have me re-reading it multiple times over the coming months.
The book describes the ways that neuroscience is showing us how our flow of thoughts can actually change our brains, for better or for worse. Not only does the book share the results of a large number of scientific studies in easy to follow language (it’s also well footnoted in case you wish to read the actual studies), it goes on to use the results of these studies to suggest practical tips and skills to use to begin using your mind (your thoughts) to change your brain for the better.
Many of these scientific discoveries just confirm what Buddha and other spiritual teachers have been telling us for years (hence the title of the book). We have just now come to the point that we can scientifically explain how it works.
I was amazed to discover that my brain is so capable of change and to learn how much control I can achieve over its functioning. I am already using some of the tips from the book and finding them helpful in being more aware of why I think the way I think, why I react the way I do, and how I can change my thoughts and reactions in ways that make me happier.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough for anyone who is interested in how the mind works or is interested in making changes in their lives to create a happier life.