The Mindful Brain Audio CD – Audiobook, Jun 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Siegel, co-director of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Center, blends personal experience with scientific research, attempting to capture the spiritual as well as the physiological phenomenon of "mindfulness"-or, in Siegel's acronym-speak, COAL: the state of simultaneous Curiosity, Openness, Acceptance and Love. Siegel's endeavor is timely and well-intentioned, but his is an elusive subject, and his text is peppered with confusing, semi-technical descriptions of mind-states (like meditation) and processes (like egocentric and allocentric circuitry) that frequently frustrate. Despite this, Siegel does introduce persuasive scientific evidence that meditation and the mindful state not only produce improvement in well-being, but also detectable physical changes in the brain, such as a thickening of the middle prefrontal lobes. He also introduces exotic new vocabulary, such as "ipseity," "the core sense of self beneath the usual personal identity." If the result of Siegel's marriage of medicine and mysticism is something of a muddle, he is to be commended for the effort, and his attitude toward science is unique in a medical doctor (tellingly, Siegal took a sabbatical from med school after being reprimanded for empathizing with his patients, rather than objectifying them, and used the time to pursue drawing and dancing). Though uneven and weighed down with too many acronyms, this is a notable science title that smartly combines the personal, the clinical and the spiritual.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Siegel has both a meticulous understanding of the roles of different parts of the brain and an intimate relationship with mindfulness. . . . [I]nsightful proposals, bolstered by preliminary research data, for how mindful awareness might engage parts of the brain in novel ways and lead to permanent neurological changes. His speculations are interesting in and of themselves, and they also may provide neuroscientists with ideas for experiments that could test the effects of mindfulness on the brain. . . . [A]n exciting glimpse of into an uncharted territory of neuroscience. — Scientific American Mind
[E]xtremely informative and helpful, providing deep insights into the process of mindful awareness….timely and useful. — Journal of Clinical Psychiatry --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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In addition, THE MINDFUL BRAIN is NOT written soley for academically minded individuals or psychologists. It is very readable by any intelligent layperson and extremely engaging. It is theoritical, but also compellingly practical in the spirit of Parenting From the Inside Out, which I highly recommend as well.
I also The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are is an incredible book. However, this is much less accessible to the average person than this volume and the one in the proceeding paragraph.
More concisely, what Daniel Siegel has done is brought together what we know from the various contemplative traditions, mind-body medicine and neuroscience together in a compelling argument for the value of mindfulness to everyday life, happiness and health. I would think this would be something everyone would be interested in.
While it's a wonderful adaptation to be able to think ahead, plan, etc. This often carries one out of the HERE and NOW moment and keeps us on a treadmill of postponing our fulfillment. This book is about balancing our ability to look forward while remaining anchored in the present... the only place where love, happiness and peace could be found.
I work in this area and have graduate education in biology, biochemistry and psychology. This is my life's passion and I own many books on this topic and present workshops. This is in many ways the book I wish I had written although humbly I must admit Daniel Siegel would be an extremely difficult person to top. Hopefully, however, someday I will be able to add value by complimenting his and other people's good work.
Includes a guided meditation CD for folks new to meditation. Another tool in the efforts to understand and alleviate the pain and waste of depression afflicting so many people today.
However while the author does a decent job of presenting the information, the writing itself is fairly dry and the author mostly stays in the domain of theory. It would have been nice if the author had included practical mindfulness exercises to demonstrate some of his concepts, especially as related to the acronyms he threw around. It's not the best book on neuroscience, but it's still work taking a read through.
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