Book: The Practical Neuroscience of Buddha’s Brain

This book is amazing!!  It’s by Rick Hanson, Ph.D. and Richard Mendius, MD.  It’s easy to read and easy to understand.  Each chapter examines suffering, love, happiness, or wisdom through the intersection of ancient teachings and modern science.  With lessons on fight-or-flight and on parts of the brain, we learn why our brain has evolved the way it has, and how we can use that knowledge to train our brain.

The book includes exercises that lend themselves well to yoga classes and meditations.

Check it out at a library near you.

Find a used copy on

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I can’t remember how I first heard of this book; I think I wrote the title down while walking through Barnes and Noble once.  In my yoga teacher training program we discussed rewiring neural pathways and I think the title came up again. I got it as an audiobook, and listened to it while mowing the lawn and other un-mindful multitasking. Eventually I wanted to better understand the material from the charts and figures so a hard copy was more desirable for me.  I put two copies of it on the book registry for my wedding, so that I’d have a copy to lend out!  To me, neuroscience  is absolutely the most fascinating subject in the world, and neuroplasticity, the most encouraging. ~Jordan

Hanson, Rick, and Richard Mendius.  Buddha’s brain: the practical neuroscience of happiness, love & wisdom. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, 2009.