Mind, Brain and the Path to Happiness presents a contemporary account of traditional Buddhist mind training and the pursuit of wellbeing and happiness in the context of the latest research in psychology and the neuroscience of meditation.
Following the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of Dzogchen, the book guides the reader through the gradual steps in transformation of the practitioner’s mind and brain on the path to advanced states of balance, genuine happiness and wellbeing. Dusana Dorjee explains how the mind training is grounded in philosophical and experiential exploration of the notions of happiness and human potential, and how it refines attention skills and cultivates emotional balance in training of mindfulness, meta-awareness and development of healthy emotions. The book outlines how the practitioner can explore subtle aspects of conscious experience in order to recognize the nature of the mind and reality. At each of the steps on the path the book provides novel insights into similarities and differences between Buddhist accounts and current psychological and neuroscientific theories and evidence. Throughout the book the author skilfully combines Buddhist psychology and Western scientific research with examples of meditation practices, highlighting the ultimately practical nature of Buddhist mind training.
Mind, Brain and the Path to Happiness is an important book for health professionals and educators who teach or apply mindfulness and meditation-based techniques in their work, as well as for researchers and students investigating these techniques both in a clinical context and in the emerging field of contemplative science.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements. Preface. Introduction. Chapter One: Kinds of Happiness. Chapter Two: Intention, Human Potential and Dzogchen. Chapter Three: Attention Training. Chapter Four: Emotional Balance. Chapter Five: Exploring Consciousness. Chapter Six: Implications for the Science of Meditation and the Practitioner. Bibliography. Glossary.
Dusana Dorjee, PhD, is a cognitive neuroscientist, lecturer and research lead at the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice in the School of Psychology at Bangor University. Her research investigates how meditation, particularly mindfulness, enhances well-being and modifies the mind and brain. Dusana is also a long-term meditation practitioner and teacher in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of Dzogchen.
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"As an entry point into studying Buddhist tradition through the framework of what is understood currently in neuroscience or psychology generally, the book presents a particularly interesting school of thought that can open the door for readers into learning more about eastern spiritual and psychological conceptions. It can serve equally well as a practice book during clinical work, a guide for research, or as casual reading for those wishing to integrate Buddhist practices or mindfulness into their regular lives." – Michael Fiorini, International Journal of Psychotherapy
"In this slim volume Dorjee (cognitive neuroscience, Bangor Univ., UK) offers an impressive accounting of the current scientific status of Buddhist meditation and practice. ...[T]hose new to contemplative science will find this book of value... Summing Up: Recommended." – M. Uebel, University of Texas, CHOICE, May 2014
"This book, written by a research cognitive neuroscientist who is also a recognized teacher within the Tibetan Dzogchen tradition, offers a wonderfully accessible and authoritative account of this comprehensive path to greater well-being and inner freedom, and describes how it links with the latest neuroscientific research." –John Teasdale, PhD, Co-author The Mindful Way Through Depression.
"We applaud Dorjee for a well-articulated and courageous contribution. As the field of meditation research continues to mature and grow, books like this one are important stepping stones. They also highlight the importance for scientists in this field to educate themselves in the contemplative traditions underlying the practices they seek to investigate... Dorjee sets an inspiring example." – Gaelle Desbordes and Willa B. Miller, PsycCRITIQUES