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In Buddha's Brain, Hanson and Mendius relate the emerging knowledge of neurological science to the teachings of the Buddha. Audible makes a number of very good books available on neurophysiology and neuroplasticity and this is a welcome addition to that group. It is helpful and provides ample insights to perhaps make it worth the listener’s time. Unfortunately, for me at least, the approach was too superficial to be helpful. The book sheds a little light on the teachings of the Buddha, a little understanding into how we can relax and the neurological response, and a little insight into what this all means neurophysiologically. The result, personally, was a superficial presentation of all these topics. If you are interested in a contemporary interpretation of Buddhist practice, this book could be informative. If you are interested in where current scientific inquiry is leading us in brain science, there are other books you might seek out first from Audible. The book is well organized and written. The narration of Alan Jones is very good.
73 of 74 people found this review helpful
I was really looking forward to listening to this book, as I really like Rick Hanson's work and what he has to offer. Unfortunately, the narrator of this book is an unbelievable bore; he reads the book in a way that makes it almost impossible for the listener(me) to become (and stay) engaged. Who chose this robot, I mean guy, to read???
31 of 32 people found this review helpful
This is an outstanding audio book. I have have listened to this many times and on each occassion always draw something new from it that can be internalised and applied to my daily life.
The meditation techniques on compassion and loving kindness are well explained. Many of these techniques can be applied to your family and working life, developing compassion towards others and yourself.
We are reminded that it is human nature to harbour negative thoughts, like velcro and resist positive thoughts like Teflon. The trick is to turn this negative bias on its head and practice the very opposite - not easy to do! The greatest challenge though, as many listeners may no doubt find, is developing the ability to forgive. This book shows you how and why.
A great listening experience!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
As a consultant psychiatrist with a personal interest in meditation and aspects of spirituality - especially Buddhism, I found this book very helpful on several levels. It makes current research on brain functioning understandable and accessible. It also acted - at a low key level - as a reminder of various aspects of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology. But if that sounds daunting and off putting - don't be. Those aspects of the book are not essential, and can easily be "glossed over".
The core of the book is a very practical and manageable approach to how to start a programme of self development that could make a real difference in the lives of any of us. It provides really simple exercises and ideas that if followed would undoubtedly make life more fulfilling and positive for any of us irrespective of any religious or philosophical beliefs we may have. The hard bit of course - like any exercises - is practicing them consistently over time until the benefits are experienced.
Whilst this book is new to me (obviously), I am very aware of the need to look on the work of self improvement as something to work on consistently over time - ultimately of course over a lifetime. Something as important and worthwhile as feeling better about myself is not something that will happen overnight. The great thing about this book is that it gives a different (not necessarily "correct") angle on the practical and scientific aspects of that great task.
This is undoubtedly a book to read over and over again. I also think it would be worth having in print format to allow the material another "channel" through which to be absorbed.
So, go on - read it - do it! The world will be happier for it if you do.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book written by Rick Hanson and Richard Mendius or narrated by Alan Bomar Jones?
In my decision to read any further books by Rick Hanson I will firstly listen to an excerpt before purchase, I do have some on my wish list, I am not put off the author as yet, I have read many good reviews on his work. Regarding the narration, I found the tone so utterly boring I could not listen to this book more than once, his tone coupled with the numerous references to the hippocampus, cerebral cortex blah blah blah honestly was mind-numbingly monotonous ( like I said, should have listened to an excerpt before purchase)
What will your next listen be?
Currently, I am listening to the Mastery of Self by Miguel Ruiz, will follow this up with some more Pema Chodron & Stephanie Dowrick ( I love to listen!)
Would you be willing to try another one of Alan Bomar Jones’s performances?
I will not, no offense Alan
You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?
I didn't love the book however, it was interesting to learn about the primitive brain
Any additional comments?
While this book was not to my taste it may well suit someone who isn't as spiritually minded
0 of 2 people found this review helpful