The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being

 
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Product Description

A new framework for maintaining mental health and well-being. THREE HUMAN EXPERIENCES have been documented as promoting well-being: secure attachment, mindfulness meditation, and effective psychotherapy. Leading neurobiologist Daniel J. Siegel presents a unifying theory that shows that the effects of these three experiences have a similar neural mechanism. Siegel uses theory, science, and anecdote to reveal how to transform the brain as well as promote well-being.

Customer Reviews:

  • Must Read
    I will probably have to read (devour) this book three times to get all I want for it. It is brilliant. ...more info
  • An intriguing exploration of mindfulness and neuroscience
    This book presents an intriguing examination of mindfulness/meditation and the study of it in neuroscience. The author does a fairly decent job of explaining what mindfulness is, as well as presenting his different models for it. He also presents some interesting information about neuroscience studies of mindfulness.

    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....more info
  • Interesting
    This is an interesting book. I bought it because I live in Los Angeles, and there is a Mindful Awareness program at UCLA. I wanted to see what that program was all about before I joined it. [...]
    which is the mindful awareness research center site (MARC)at UCLA. There you can download some mindful awareness meditations. They are pretty good in helping you get into a state of greater mindful awareness....more info
  • An intriguing exploration of mindfulness and neuroscience
    This book presents an intriguing examination of mindfulness/meditation and the study of it in neuroscience. The author does a fairly decent job of explaining what mindfulness is, as well as presenting his different models for it. He also presents some interesting information about neuroscience studies of mindfulness.

    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....more info
  • Compassion, Mirror Neurons, & Neuroplasticity - Excellent!
    I think that this is most important book that Dr. Siegel has written. There are many comprehensive reviews here, so I want to limit this one to a few additional points. First, Siegel has integrated mirror neuron theory into his model, with great finesse. Mirror neurons hypothetically allow us to experience in our brain what other people are thinking and feeling in their brain. This neural "resonance" may be an essential key to understanding how empathy and compassion works, and meditation practices appear to strengthen those parts of the brain where mirror neurons reside.

    Siegel's model, as a prior reviewer pointed out, is hypothetical, but interestingly Andrew Newberg and I independently came to similar conclusions, based on our brain-scan research of a wide variety of contemplative meditation practices, which we report in our forthcoming book How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist. Although the neuroscience of compassion and empathy is in its infancy, we concur with Siegel that meditation may be the best psychological tool we have for enhancing social awareness and responsiveness. It can be combined with psychotherapy and medication, and may even have a longer lasting effect than either, especially when treating chronic forms of anxiety and depression. I also want to point out that Siegel and our research emphasizes the plasticity of the human brain, and in specific our ability to consciously rewire our own neural circuits in ways that appear to increase cognition and perhaps longevity as well.

    I listened to the CD version first, then bought the book. The CD is excellent (it's narrated by Siegel) and is an abridgment of the book, which means that a lot of the detailed neuroscience is left out, but this has benefits for those who prefer to shy away from the intricacies of medial prefrontal circuits and the like.
    ...more info
  • One Of The Most Influential Books I've Read
    This book has had an amazing impact on my life. It goes into the very depths of the brain and how it, combined with the body and possibly other sources, create the mind. You may have to read through it several times to really get what Dr. Siegel is really talking about but it will click soon enough. The thing about this book though is YOU have to figure out HOW to put mindfulness into your everyday life. He gives few suggestions on a few pages within the book but not in therapeutic depth. This book is more of a philosophy, or better, a science of how the mind senses the environment around itself and comes to "true knowing" by decoupling automatic activity through meta-cognition or mindfulness.

    Highly enlightening. I recommend it...more info
  • Hands down the best book on this topic.....
    I've always been a fan of this author, he is a scholar, excellent writer and based on his writing a wise individual. What makes this book especially good from my perspective is the balancing of subjective information from the world's wisdom traditions and his own interior experience with their physical correlates i.e. rigorous science without reducing either to the other. This is extremely refreshing and this carefully researched book adopts an attitude of openness, curiosity and wonder.

    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....more info
  • Knowing Yourself
    Nicely put together book, using modern cognitive therapy merged with more traditional meditation practices.
    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.
    ...more info
  • Similar sentiment as another Reviewer
    The topic of mindfulness has been around for many millenia, & espoused by many religious & spiritual sects throughout the world, primarily in the East. The topic fascinates me, as I have taken a course in Asian Philosophy and have read many neuroscience books the last couple of years. Despite this, the book was unable to keep my attention, ironically, because of the redundant writing style. While eloquent, Siegel is often rearranging the same statement without adding much knew to it. Perhaps this is great for a more global, holistic view of the subject, but it is difficult to maintain attention (ironically) when you lose your place from feeling like you just read the same thing.

    The neuroscientific aspects of resonance circuitry (and mirror neurons) isn't a new idea but Siegel skillfully expounds upon it and how it relates to mindfulness. All in all, despite some glaring flaws in my opinion, the book was worth buying for this alone, but if you're expecting an emphasis more on the brain rather than a subjective perspective on mindfulness, I find the balance of the book to be tilted in the other direction--so it may disappoint you if that's the case....more info
  • Similar sentiment as another Reviewer
    The topic of mindfulness has been around for many millenia, & espoused by many religious & spiritual sects throughout the world, primarily in the East. The topic fascinates me, as I have taken a course in Asian Philosophy and have read many neuroscience books the last couple of years. Despite this, the book was unable to keep my attention, ironically, because of the redundant writing style. While eloquent, Siegel is often rearranging the same statement without adding much knew to it. Perhaps this is great for a more global, holistic view of the subject, but it is difficult to maintain attention (ironically) when you lose your place from feeling like you just read the same thing.

    The neuroscientific aspects of resonance circuitry (and mirror neurons) isn't a new idea but Siegel skillfully expounds upon it and how it relates to mindfulness. All in all, despite some glaring flaws in my opinion, the book was worth buying for this alone, but if you're expecting an emphasis more on the brain rather than a subjective perspective on mindfulness, I find the balance of the book to be tilted in the other direction--so it may disappoint you if that's the case....more info
  • The blend of science and practice surveys brain function and how empathy and understanding are fostered.
    THE MINDFUL BRAIN: REFLECTION AND ATTUNEMENT IN THE CULTIVATION OF WELL-BEING comes from a scientist, psychiatrist, educator and leader in mental health who explores here what it means to be 'mindfully aware'. While mindfulness has often been a term associated with spirituality, it here is considered from a psychology viewpoint, making THE MINDFUL BRAIN an excellent pick for college-level psychology collections. The blend of science and practice surveys brain function and how empathy and understanding are fostered.
    ...more info
  • Mindful Brain
    The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-BeingInteresting combinatin of academics and personal experience. The contents make a profound difference in my meditations which of course are affecting my daily life....more info
  • Good but not great
    I had gotten this book as a present from my sister. The book overall is a good book to read. It has great examples of experiences he went through to gain the knowledge that he has gained. But the downside is that it is hard reading. Its a book that you have to read the sections 2-3 times to understand it.

    Some of the wording is very repetitive. And sometimes the wording is so confusing that you just want to close the book and move on to another one ...more info
  • Interesting
    It was interesting, and made great sense, but a little too technical for me. Arrived fast in great condition....more info
  • Compassion, Mirror Neurons, & Neuroplasticity - Excellent!
    I think that this is most important book that Dr. Siegel has written. There are many comprehensive reviews here, so I want to limit this one to a few additional points. First, Siegel has integrated mirror neuron theory into his model, with great finesse. Mirror neurons hypothetically allow us to experience in our brain what other people are thinking and feeling in their brain. This neural "resonance" may be an essential key to understanding how empathy and compassion works, and meditation practices appear to strengthen those parts of the brain where mirror neurons reside.

    Siegel's model, as a prior reviewer pointed out, is hypothetical, but interestingly Andrew Newberg and I independently came to similar conclusions, based on our brain-scan research of a wide variety of contemplative meditation practices, which we report in our forthcoming book How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist. Although the neuroscience of compassion and empathy is in its infancy, we concur with Siegel that meditation may be the best psychological tool we have for enhancing social awareness and responsiveness. It can be combined with psychotherapy and medication, and may even have a longer lasting effect than either, especially when treating chronic forms of anxiety and depression. I also want to point out that Siegel and our research emphasizes the plasticity of the human brain, and in specific our ability to consciously rewire our own neural circuits in ways that appear to increase cognition and perhaps longevity as well.

    I listened to the CD version first, then bought the book. The CD is excellent (it's narrated by Siegel) and is an abridgment of the book, which means that a lot of the detailed neuroscience is left out, but this has benefits for those who prefer to shy away from the intricacies of medial prefrontal circuits and the like.
    ...more info
  • Good but not great
    I had gotten this book as a present from my sister. The book overall is a good book to read. It has great examples of experiences he went through to gain the knowledge that he has gained. But the downside is that it is hard reading. Its a book that you have to read the sections 2-3 times to understand it.

    Some of the wording is very repetitive. And sometimes the wording is so confusing that you just want to close the book and move on to another one ...more info
  • One Of The Most Influential Books I've Read
    This book has had an amazing impact on my life. It goes into the very depths of the brain and how it, combined with the body and possibly other sources, create the mind. You may have to read through it several times to really get what Dr. Siegel is really talking about but it will click soon enough. The thing about this book though is YOU have to figure out HOW to put mindfulness into your everyday life. He gives few suggestions on a few pages within the book but not in therapeutic depth. This book is more of a philosophy, or better, a science of how the mind senses the environment around itself and comes to "true knowing" by decoupling automatic activity through meta-cognition or mindfulness.

    Highly enlightening. I recommend it...more info

 

 
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