Into the Magic Shop

A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart

Into the Magic Shop

The award-winning New York Times bestseller about the extraordinary things that can happen when we harness the power of both the brain and the heart Growing up in the high desert of California, Jim Doty was poor, with an alcoholic father and a mother chronically depressed and paralyzed by a stroke. Today he is the director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University, of which the Dalai Lama is a founding benefactor. But back then his life was at a dead end until at twelve he wandered into a magic shop looking for a plastic thumb. Instead he met Ruth, a woman who taught him a series of exercises to ease his own suffering and manifest his greatest desires. Her final mandate was that he keep his heart open and teach these techniques to others. She gave him his first glimpse of the unique relationship between the brain and the heart. Doty would go on to put Ruth’s practices to work with extraordinary results—power and wealth that he could only imagine as a twelve-year-old, riding his orange Sting-Ray bike. But he neglects Ruth’s most important lesson, to keep his heart open, with disastrous results—until he has the opportunity to make a spectacular charitable contribution that will virtually ruin him. Part memoir, part science, part inspiration, and part practical instruction, Into the Magic Shop shows us how we can fundamentally change our lives by first changing our brains and our hearts.

The Five Invitations

Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully

The Five Invitations

Death is not waiting for us at the end of a long road. Death is always with us, in the marrow of every passing moment. She is the secret teacher hiding in plain sight, helping us to discover what matters most. Life and death are a package deal. They cannot be pulled apart and we cannot truly live unless we are aware of death. The Five Invitations is an exhilarating meditation on the meaning of life and how maintaining an ever-present consciousness of death can bring us closer to our truest selves. As a renowned teacher of compassionate caregiving and the cofounder of the Zen Hospice Project, Frank Ostaseski has sat on the precipice of death with more than a thousand people. In The Five Invitations, he distills the lessons gleaned over the course of his career, offering an evocative and stirring guide that points to a radical path to transformation. The Five Invitations: -Don’t Wait -Welcome Everything, Push Away Nothing -Bring Your Whole Self to the Experience -Find a Place of Rest in the Middle of Things -Cultivate Don’t Know Mind These Five Invitations show us how to wake up fully to our lives. They can be understood as best practices for anyone coping with loss or navigating any sort of transition or crisis; they guide us toward appreciating life’s preciousness. Awareness of death can be a valuable companion on the road to living well, forging a rich and meaningful life, and letting go of regret. The Five Invitations is a powerful and inspiring exploration of the essential wisdom dying has to impart to all of us.

Emotional Advantage

Embracing All Your Feelings to Create a Life You Love

Emotional Advantage

“Emotional Advantage is such an uplifting answer to our challenging times. In its pages, you will find encouragement, support, and new perspectives. Randy Taran offers an antidote to emotional overwhelm—a powerful way to discover how useful your emotions can be in guiding you towards your best life.”—Marci Shimoff, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Happy For No Reason and Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul Award-winning author, producer, and founder of Project Happiness, Randy Taran knows that every emotion, feeling, and mental state has the power to bring us back to our true essence, and that readers can use Emotional Advantage as a guide to get there. In recent years, there has been an overwhelming interest in the science of happiness and positive psychology, and many books on the subject. There is a good reason for this: it is a core, universal human drive. And while happiness has opened the door for many to move forward, there is a burgeoning curiosity about the full range of human emotions, all of which factor into the human experience. What do we do when life does not go as planned? Neuroscience reveals that to understand and utilize any emotion, we need to “name it to tame it.” It turns out that even negative emotions have something to offer, if we know how to learn from them. Have you ever woken up in a fog of feelings and felt directionless? Or maybe it was hard to pinpoint exactly what you were feeling, but it wasn’t where you wanted to be? What if we could actually use our feelings as a pathway to guide us back to our inner compass? What if, like alchemists, we had the tools to transform our emotions to take charge of creating our very best life? What if we could comprehend how even the most troublesome emotions are sending messages to alert, protect, and fuel us forward? Emotional Advantage is that guide. It will show us how a new perspective on fear can move us to courage, how guilt can clarify our values, and how anger can help us create healthy boundaries.

Rewire Your Mind

Discover the science and practice of mindfulness

Rewire Your Mind

Weaving together ancient wisdom and scientific research, Dr Shauna Shapiro formulates the most potent practices for living a happy, meaningful life. Individually, these practices will help you sculpt neuropathways of clarity and calm. Collectively, they will help us live in a more connected, compassionate world. The practice of mindfulness works. It's good for you. It strengthens immune function, reduces stress, improves sleep, and offers countless other benefits. It primes the mind for joy, it creates a roadmap for strengthening the brain's circuitry of deep calm, contentment and clarity. Dr Shapiro offers the science and the practice of mindfulness, showing the reader how to rewire and rebalance their own individual negativitiy bias, create new pathways for curiosity, joy and focused attention. This is ultimate training for the monkey mind. 'Shauna Shapiro is known internationally for her outstanding contribution to research and clinical work on the very frontier of the mindfulness field. She is one those rare scientist-practitioners who contribute not only new methods but new and deeper understandings of mind - its challenges and its potential' - Mark Williams, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Oxford, and author of international bestseller Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world

Meditation Saved My Life

A Tibetan Lama and the Healing Power of the Mind

Meditation Saved My Life

In 2003, Tibetan lama Phakyab Rinpoche was admitted to the emergency clinic of the Program for Survivors of Torture at Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital. After a dramatic escape from imprisonment in China, at the hands of authorities bent on uprooting Tibet’s traditional religion and culture, his ordeal had left him with life-threatening injuries, including gangrene of the right ankle. American doctors gave Rinpoche a shocking choice: accept leg amputation or risk a slow, painful death. An inner voice, however, prompted him to try an unconventional cure: meditation. He began an intensive spiritual routine that included thousands of hours of meditation over three years in a small Brooklyn studio. Against all scientific logic, his injuries gradually healed. In this vivid, passionate account, Sofia Stril-Rever relates the extraordinary experiences of Phakyab Rinpoche, who reveals the secret of the great healing powers that lie dormant within each of us.

The Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science

The Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science

How do we define compassion? Is it an emotional state, a motivation, a dispositional trait, or a cultivated attitude? How does it compare to altruism and empathy? Chapters in this Handbook present critical scientific evidence about compassion in numerous conceptions. All of these approaches to thinking about compassion are valid and contribute importantly to understanding how we respond to others who are suffering. Covering multiple levels of our lives and self-concept, from the individual, to the group, to the organization and culture, The Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science gathers evidence and models of compassion that treat the subject of compassion science with careful scientific scrutiny and concern. It explores the motivators of compassion, the effect on physiology, the co-occurrence of wellbeing, and compassion training interventions. Sectioned by thematic approaches, it pulls together basic and clinical research ranging across neurobiological, developmental, evolutionary, social, clinical, and applied areas in psychology such as business and education. In this sense, it comprises one of the first multidisciplinary and systematic approaches to examining compassion from multiple perspectives and frames of reference. With contributions from well-established scholars as well as young rising stars in the field, this Handbook bridges a wide variety of diverse perspectives, research methodologies, and theory, and provides a foundation for this new and rapidly growing field. It should be of great value to the new generation of basic and applied researchers examining compassion, and serve as a catalyst for academic researchers and students to support and develop the modern world.