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Bliss Brain: The Neuroscience of Remodeling Your Brain for Resilience, Creativity, and Joy Kindle Edition
Award-winning author and thought leader Dawson Church, Ph.D., blends cutting-edge neuroscience with intense firsthand experience to show you how you can rewire your brain for happiness-starting right now.
Neural plasticity-the discovery that the brain is capable of rewiring itself-is now widely understood. But what few people have grasped yet is how quickly this is happening, how extensive brain changes can be, and how much control each of us has over the process.
In Bliss Brain, famed researcher Dawson Church digs deep into leading-edge science, and finds stunning evidence of rapid and radical brain change. In just eight weeks of practice, 12 minutes a day, using the right techniques, we can produce measurable changes in our brains. These make us calmer, happier, and more resilient.
When we cultivate these pleasurable states over time, they become traits. We don't just feel more blissful as a temporary state; the changes are literally hard-wired into our brains, becoming stable and enduring personality traits.
The startling conclusions of Church's research show that neural remodeling goes much farther than scientists have previously understood, with stress circuits shriveling over time. Simultaneously, "The Enlightenment Circuit"-associated with happiness, compassion, productivity, creativity, and resilience-expands.
During deep meditation, Church shows how "the 7 neurochemicals of ecstasy" are released in our brains. These include anandamide, a neurotransmitter that's been named "the bliss molecule" because it mimics the effects of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. It boosts serotonin and dopamine; the first is an analog of psilocybin, the second of cocaine. He shows how cultivating these elevated emotional states literally produces a self-induced high.
While writing Bliss Brain, Church went through a series of disasters, including escaping seconds ahead of a California wildfire that consumed his home and office and claimed 22 lives. The fire triggered a painful medical condition and a financial disaster. Through it all, Church steadily practiced the techniques of Bliss Brain while teaching them to thousands of other people. This book weaves his story of resilience into the fabric of neuroscience, producing a fascinating picture of just how happy we can make our brains, no matter what the odds.
Judith Pennington, president, Institute for the Awakened Mind "This book is so superior to the dozens of popular books on meditation I've seen over the years that I want to shout about it from the rooftops! It will make a beautiful difference in people's lives! I opened it with the skepticism that its ambitious title invites, and I completed it surprised by how many fascinating insights I'd come to about the topic of 'bliss brain.' At a minimum, readers who sense the potential benefits of meditation but feel they don't have a sustainable bridge into its practice will have lost that excuse. Dawson Church has brilliantly synthesized the vast literature on the neural, behavioral, lifestyle, and subjective benefits of meditation. He then systematically applies the principles derived from this analysis and from the fruits of his 50-year journey as a practicing and sometimes struggling meditator in formulating a disarmingly simple program. But unlike most self-help programs, this one has been tested scientifically, and it reliably brings participants into states of consciousness and neurochemistry that previously required years of long, diligent practice. Bliss Brain is a potent and urgently needed antidote to a culture in turmoil."
David Feinstein, PhD, co-author of The Energies of Love "Science and love embrace in this incredible book. It's more than a clear and inspiring description of how radically our brains change in response to spiritual experiences; it shows us how to master the evolutionary quirks that sidetrack us in our quest for enlightenment. From one of today's most brilliant scientists and accomplished authors, Bliss Brain is a gift to us all."
Dianne Morrison, president, Effective Action Consulting "This brilliant book is a road map for turning tragedy into bliss. In my many years of knowing Dawson Church, I've found him to be a beacon of positivity and joy, a living example of the values he teaches. His research into how meditation activates the happiness centers of the brain puts Bliss Brain within the reach of everyone. Dawson shows how you can grow resilience even in the face of great personal loss, using adversity to remodel your brain for bliss. This book will rock your world, and show you that happiness is truly achievable, no matter how far away it seems today."
Lisa Garr, host of The Aware Show "Science has known for decades that the brain is changed by consciousness. Until now, we've never before had a truly practical guide showing how to put this knowledge to work. This comprehensive and accessible book integrates research from a dozen scientific fields and translates it for our everyday lives. It clearly shows us how to apply neural plasticity while giving us an evidence-based path to creating a happy, peaceful and resourceful brain. It's a 'must read.'"
Marilyn Schlitz, PhD, Dean of Transpersonal Psychology, Sofia University "Stunning! Bliss Brain is a masterpiece of science, inspiration and possibility; opening doors to each one of us about what's possible in our lives and unraveling the true meaning of human potential. I'll be reading this again and again and sharing it with those I love!"
Nick Ortner, author of The Tapping Solution "As The Secret meets the scientist in Dawson's work, the boundaries of what you've believed possible will be stretched far beyond your existing picture of reality."
Jack Canfield, co-author of #1 New York Times best-selling Chicken Soup(R) series and featured teacher in The Secret "The pace of change and the pressure to perform often leads professionals to the edge of burnout. The research in Bliss Brain shows that meditation provides an island of inner peace in a stressful world. It leads to massive increases in productivity, creativity, happiness, and problem solving ability. The techniques Dawson offers us provide us with the leverage to address the challenges confronting organizations and society. These are the secrets that make companies and teams thrive, both personally and professionally."
Dr. Ivan Misner, founder of BNI and New York Times best-selling author "Accumulating evidence suggests that meditation training yields improved emotional regulation and enduring changes in brain function, even outside meditation sessions, both in clinical and non-clinical populations. Dawson Church succinctly reviews all the neural evidence to date in this comprehensive yet relatable book, and shows how all of us can achieve states of bliss through meditation. Beautifully interwoven is his own story of loss and heartache, and recovery and resilience. This is a MUST read for everyone from all walks of life."
Associate Professor Peta Stapleton, PhD, author of The Science Behind Tapping "Four billion years of evolution have conditioned us to make safety & survival our brain's default Operating System. But now we're in the midst of an epoch change in which Enlightenment is emerging as the new Operating System. We're in the early stages of that transition and Bliss Brainis the catalyst we need to speed up the process. In this book you'll find the precise instructions that science provides for reformatting your brain for lifetime happiness. Buy this book. You'll be oh-so-very-glad you did."
Martin Rutte, founder, Project Heaven on Earth --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
- ASIN : B081M6H74X
- Publisher : Hay House Inc. (15 September 2020)
- Language : English
- File size : 34660 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 357 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 90,424 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
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It is worth the read for the references and research data on the brain but I find most of the exercises given at the end of the chapters to be a real turn-off with their West Coast hippy sweetness.
Here is an example:
"Replacing Annoyance with Empathy: Notice when you’re feeling annoyed by someone. Visualize what form the annoyance takes in your body. Where in your body is it located? What color is it? What shape is it? Imagine pulling it out of your body and setting it down nearby".
His personal story of how meditating and using the techniques in this book helped him not just to survive but to thrive during a recent traumatic period his own life is inspiring and his optimistic take on how we can re-model our brains for the good of our planet and global society filled me with renewed enthusiasm for maintaining perstistence in my own meditation practice - in the face of some personal brain health challenges.
In addition, the extra resources available to download for free at the end of each chapter mean that there really is no excuse for not engaging with and practicing these simple techniques for generating the Bliss Brain Cocktail - 'the 7 neurochemicals of ecstacy' - which generates a self-induced high. If enough people engage with it dodgy street-drug dealers will be out of business!
It's MUCH more than a book ... it's a training course complete with end-of-chapter resources (mostly free) that will enable you to take your practice further if you wish ... and you probably will.
I'm only on Chapter 5 and so far my erratic long-time meditation efforts have improved hugely. Each chapter has given me more ways to expand my knowledge and ease of meditation. It seem to me that when I question my abilities the answer pops up soon afterwards.
If you are interested in how you can improve your brain, your spirituality and your life, it's certainly worth your time and money.