Friday, 5 May 2017

"Into The Magic shop" by James Doty

   The sub-title of this memoir is "A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart".  Although it is a memoir, it is also a self-help book, just published within the last year.
   Jim Doty grew up in California with an alcoholic father and a depressed and paralyzed mother.  When Jim wandered into a magic shop, he met a woman who taught him a different kind of magic- the power of the mind to ease his suffering and draw to himself his greatest desires.
  It is a self-help book because there are exercises for learning how to relax the body, tame the mind, open the heart and envision your dreams for the future.
  Jim learned these lessons really well and eventually became a wealthy surgeon, realizing all his dreams, but he was not happy.  He had not really opened his heart.  He realized that "without wisdom and insight, these techniques can result in self-absorption, narcissism, and isolation". Then he learned that "the only way to change and transform your life for the better is by changing and transforming the life of others".
  He now is the director of the Centre for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University.
  He developed 'compassion beads' (using the alphabet from c-l) to use as a daily reminder of his purpose in life: compassion, dignity, equanimity, forgiveness, gratitude, humility, integrity, justice, kindness, love.
  You can see TED talks and other lectures given by Jim Doty on YouTube.

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