Monday, August 23, 2010

Buddha's Brain ... and Mine

Today I reviewed a brochure passed on to me by one of my TCC students at our last class session. It advertises a seminar/webcast scheduled for mid-September based on the book, Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom.

The book's author, Rick Hanson, Ph.D., combines modern neuroscience with ancient contemplative teachings (meditation) to explain how to build self-compassion into the brain and activate contentment, belonging and peace. Interestingly, this book was mentioned at the TCC Teachers' Conference a week ago. I don't remember the context for the comments about Buddha's Brain at conference but I believe that it may have been mentioned during a discussion about how to improve our teaching skills.

The blurb about this book reads as follows:
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.
I'm hooked. Of course, I believe that a regular practice of T'ai Chi Chih moving meditation accomplishes this reshaping automatically (subconsciously?). It is interesting, however, to examine how we can harness our thoughts in a more conscious, goal-oriented, life-changing way.

One written commentary about the book proclaims:
With Buddha's Brain, we are invited to take a deep breath and consider the neural reasons why we should slow ourselves down, balance our brain, and improve our connections with one another, and with our self.
          --Daniel Siegel, M.D.
            Author of Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation
Given the synchronicity of the Universe I'll have to read this book....

In the meantime, I continue my TCC practice. Today I felt lost and bored. I slipped Justin's DVD into the player and followed along with the teachers' practice to get myself motivated. Time sped by and now ... I do feel a wee bit better.

1 comment:

Evergreen said...

Hi Steph, I just signed up for your fall Washburn TCC class. It will be good to be in a group again.