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Buddha's Brain has been among the top 100 non-fiction books on Amazon for more than half the time it's been published and is ranked as the number one book for some Amazon categories.
There's a good reason. It's brilliant. Rick Hanson generously shared 90 minutes with me, going through much of the book. The podcast gives you a taste of a book that really is a must for your bookshelf, whether you are a health care practitioner, psychologist, family or couples therapist or lay person wanting to take greater control of your brain and your life.
Here's an excerpt from Dr. Hanson's BIO
I am a neuropsychologist and have written and taught extensively about the essential inner skills of personal well-being, psychological growth, and contemplative practice as well as about relationships, family life, and raising children.
I grew up in a loving and stable family, mainly in the suburbs of Los Angeles; my mother was a homemaker and my father was a zoologist. A shy and bookish kid who loved the outdoors, I entered UCLA at 16 and graduated summa cum laude in 1974 (and was honored to be one of four "outstanding seniors" chosen by the UCLA Alumni Association). Over the next several years, I founded a successful seminar company, worked for a mathematician doing probabilistic risk analyses for things like the odds of a nuclear power plant melting down, and did management consulting. After fulfilling the course requirements for a Masters in developmental psychology at San Francisco State University, I received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the Wright Institute in 1991, with a dissertation titled, "Gratifying control: Mothers offering alternatives to toddlers."
My clinical practice includes adults, couples, families, and children, as well as psychological assessments of children and adults related to temperament, school performance, and educational and vocational planning. I have worked as a school psychologist for several independent schools, and have given many talks to meetings of parents or child development specialists. For many years, I served on the Board of FamilyWorks, a family resource agency in Marin County, California, and chaired it for two years. I currently serve as a Trustee of Saybrook University.
The First and Second Dart
To borrow an expression from the Buddha, inescapable physical or mental discomfort is the "first dart" of existence. As long as you live and love, some of those darts will come your way.
First darts are unpleasant to be sure. But then we add our reactions to them. These reactions are "second darts"--the ones we throw ourselves. Most of our suffering comes from second darts.