Growing up in the high desert of California, Jim Doty was poor, with an alcoholic father and a mother chronically depressed and paralyzed by a stroke. Read more...
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Growing up in the high desert of California, Jim Doty was poor, with an alcoholic father and a mother chronically depressed and paralyzed by a stroke. Today he is the director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University, of which the Dalai Lama is a founding benefactor. But back then his life was at a dead end until at twelve he wandered into a magic shop looking for a plastic thumb. Instead he met Ruth, a woman who taught him a series of exercises to ease his own suffering and manifest his greatest desires. Her final mandate was that he keep his heart open and teach these techniques to others. She gave him his first glimpse of the unique relationship between the brain and the heart. Doty would go on to put Ruth's practices to work with extraordinary results--power and wealth that he could only imagine as a twelve-year-old, riding his orange Sting-Ray bike. But he neglects Ruth's most important lesson, to keep his heart open, with disastrous results--until he has the opportunity to make a spectacular charitable contribution that will virtually ruin him. Part memoir, part science, part inspiration, and part practical instruction, Into the Magic Shop shows us how we can fundamentally change our lives by first changing our brains and our hearts.
- ISBN-13: 9781594632983
- ISBN-10: 1594632987
- Publisher: Avery Publishing Group
- Publish Date: February 2016
- Page Count: 288
- Dimensions: 8.4 x 6 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.9 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-12-14
- Reviewer: Staff
Neurosurgeon Doty combines gut-wrenching memoir with meditative how-to in this well-told, grueling tale of his personal journey from frightened pre-teen with an alcoholic father and depressed mother to a respected doctor and philanthropist. He attributes his success to the ancient mindfulness and visualization techniques that rewired his brain and were taught to him in the back of a magic shop in 1968, when he was 12 years old. When our brain changes, we change, Doty writes. That is a truth proven by science. But an even greater truth is that when our heart changes, everything changes. Its the heart lesson that proves the hardest to learn for Doty as he boldly masters medical school to become a noted neurosurgeon and investment multimillionaire. Meditation and visualization are great for journeying inward... but without wisdom and insight (opening the heart) the techniques can result in self-absorption, narcissism, and isolation. The inward voyage, he argues, is meant to lead a person to go outward and connect with others. Dotys advice in this rags-to-riches tale is inspirational and the mindfulness techniques he advocates are clearly documented. (Feb.)