How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist

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Ballantine Books, 2009 - Medical - 348 pages
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God is great–for your mental, physical, and spiritual health. That’s the finding of this startling, authoritative, and controversial book by the bestselling authors ofBorn to Believe.

Based on new evidence culled from their brain-scan studies on memory patients and meditators, their Web-based survey of people’s religious and spiritual experiences, and their analyses of adult drawings of God, neuroscientist Andrew Newberg, therapist Mark Robert Waldman, and their research team have concluded that active and positive spiritual belief changes the human brain for the better. What’s more, actual faith isn’t always necessary: atheists who meditate on positive imagery can obtain similar neurological benefits. Written in an accessible style–with illustrations highlighting how spiritual experiences affect the mind–How God Changes Your Brainoffers the following breakthrough discoveries:

• Not only do prayer and spiritual practice reduce stress and anxiety, but just twelve minutes of meditation per day may slow down the aging process.
• Contemplating a loving God rather than a punitive God reduces anxiety, depression, and stress and increases feelings of security, compassion, and love.
• Fundamentalism, in and of itself, is benign and can be personally beneficial, but the anger and prejudice generated by extreme beliefs can permanently damage your brain.
• Intense prayer and meditation permanently change numerous structures and functions in the brain–altering your values and the way you perceive reality.

How God Changes Your Brainis both a revelatory work of modern science and a practical guide for readers to enhance their physical and emotional health and to avoid mental decline. Newberg and Waldman explain the eight best ways to “exercise” your brain and guide readers through specific routines derived from a wide variety of Eastern and Western spiritual practices that improve personal awareness and empathy. They explain why yawning heightens consciousness and relaxation, and they teach “Compassionate Communication,” a new mediation technique that builds intimacy with family and friends in less than fifteen minutes of practice.

Unique in its conclusions and innovative in its methods,How God Changes Your Brainis a first-of-a-kind book about faith that is as credible as it is inspiring.

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How God changes your brain: breakthrough findings from a leading neuroscientist

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Verdict: A provocative and valuable addition to the self-help/spirituality genre, this fusion of faith and science is an excellent choice for general collections. Background: Physician Newberg and ... Read full review

Dont be mislead!

User Review  - henrywerch - Overstock.com

This is a wonderful book but dont be mislead by the title thinking that you need to be religious to have your brain changed for the better. I think the book was so titled to get more attention but ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Andrew Newberg, M.D., is the director of the Center for Spirituality and the Mind at the University of Pennsylvania. He is one of the founders of the new interdisciplinary field called neurotheology. He is an associate professor in the department of radiology, with secondary appointments in the departments of psychiatry and religious studies, at the University of Pennsylvania. His work has been featured on Good Morning America, Nightline, the Discovery Channel, the BBC, NPR, and National Geographic Television. He is the co-author of Why God Won’t Go Away, Born to Believe, and The Mystical Mind.

www.andrewnewberg.com



Mark Robert Waldman is an associate fellow at the Center for Spirituality and the Mind at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a therapist, the author or co-author of ten books, including Born to Believe (with Andrew Newberg), and was the founding editor of Transpersonal Review. He lectures throughout the country on neuroscience, religion, and spirituality and conducts research with numerous religious and secular groups. His work has been featured in dozens of newspapers and magazines and on syndicated radio programs.

www.markrobertwaldman.com

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