My initial interest in Buddhism was pretty recent, but my knowledge was non-existent. When I turned to Buddhism Plain & Simple to learn more, I was both intrigued and frustrated. On the one hand, the worldview that encourages compassion, understanding, letting go of the unimportant things, and finding your own way is very appealing. On the other hand, the teachings often felt counterintuitive and too vague to be useful. When another Cannonballer wrote a positive review of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom (2009) by Rick Hanson, Ph.D, with Richard Mendius, MD., I figured it would be the perfect follow-up book for my western sensibilities.
I had mixed reactions to this book. There was some helpful information, but also, at just over 200 pages, the book felt awfully long and sometimes repetitive.
Click here for the rest of my review.
When I’m not being judgmental, cold, cynical, sarcastic, fatalistic, angry, or hopeless, I try to be a better person. Have a positive attitude, practice active kindness, find beauty and good in the world and all that crap.
Buddha’s Brain is an incredible resource. It starts with the neuroscience of what happens in our bodies when we react to situations. Without being textbook boring, Hanson looks at current (2009) advances in neuroscience and what science is continually learning about the brain. It’s fascinating and helped me understand how biological reactions immediately become emotional responses.
You should read it. I wrote a gigantic review over on my blog with my own practices and arguments with my brain. If your brain seems to stay in panic mode or you have thoughts constantly stacking up and you just want to be calm for a moment and enjoy what’s happening, this book can really help.