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Buddha’s Brain – Rick Hanson & Richard Mendius

After reading Altered Perceptions and writing that somewhat personal review, delving into my own thoughts and issues with mental wellness, the topic of mental health and depression began to rise with increasing frequency in my everyday life. A few days after I wrote that review, my girlfriend (a strong advocate for therapy and medication in general,) came home from work, afire with excitement and a new book recommendation for me. Buddha’s Brain: The practical neuroscience of happiness, love & wisdom, by Rick Hanson and Richard Mendius, is that book. It’s a tall order — happiness. It’s easy (and perhaps something of a cop out) to say that it’s relative and fleeting, or that it’s immutable and just beyond our grasp, or even that it’s simple and inside us all along. These grandiose statements, inspiring, comforting, or disheartening as they may be, aren’t very interesting to me. The question of consciousness

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