This is a wonderful introduction to the Christian contemplative practice of Centering Prayer.
Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence
Whether we are happy or sad, loving or angry, or wise or foolish depends on what’s inside the brain. Bringing good things into your brain is the key to well-being and effectiveness, psychological healing, creativity, and spiritual practice.
So, how do you get good things—such as resilience, self-worth, or love—into your brain? These inner strengths are grown mainly from positive experiences. Unfortunately, to help our ancestors survive, the brain evolved a negativity bias that makes it less adept at learning from positive experiences but efficient at learning from negative ones. In effect, it’s like Velcro for the bad but Teflon for the good.
This built-in negativity bias makes us extra stressed, worried, irritated, and blue. Plus it creates a kind of bottleneck in the brain that makes it hard to gain any lasting value from our experiences, which is disheartening and the central weakness in personal development, mindfulness training, and psychotherapy.
To solve this problem, Hanson developed the four HEAL steps of taking in the good: Have a positive experience; Enrich it; Absorb it; and if you like, Link it to negative thoughts and feelings to soothe and eventually replace them.
The Way of the Superior Man : A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire
I love David Deida. This is a wonderful book that teaches many basic and deep truths about the masculine and feminine dimensions of reality and relationships. David Deida clearly walks his talk and so his teachings feel very earthy and real. However, his teachings are a bit raw and may be initially confusing to someone who is just beginning to wrestle with or has very fixed ideas about masculinity and femininity. This book is not concerned with political correctness but with practical and spiritual realities. This book has been helpful to me within myself and my relationships.
The Courage to Love: Principles and Practices of Self-Relations Psychotherapy
Steve Gilligan was, for many years a mentor of mine. This book is a lovely introduction to his work and to a model of therapy that is wise, simple, effective and timeless. My own work has roots in Steve’s ways of thinking and working.
Glimpses of Abhidharma: From a Seminar on Buddhist
I love this little book. It is a wonderful introduction to the Buddhist understanding of the development of the ego. Worth taking time to really relax into a felt understanding of what he is laying out. There is no one like ChÖgyam Trungpa Rimpoche to help our western mind grasp foundational Buddhist science.
Inner Space: Introduction to Kabbalah, Meditation and Prophecy
Brilliant and readable rendition of Jewish mystical thinking from a master.
The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science
Great book on neuroplasticity. Really important to realize how our brain is a healing machine and how we can participate in optimizing the health of our brain.
A General Theory of Love
This is a wonderful book that explores the biological foundations of love.
The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are
The title speaks for itself. Much more readable though less comprehensive than Allan Schore’s work.
The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making
Great book. Not an easy read. Really wrestles with the brain-mind conundrum in a most nuanced way. Still falls back on a biologistic solution.