“An awakened brain is available to all of us, right here in our neural circuitry. But we have to choose to engage it. It’s a muscle we can learn to strengthen, or let atrophy. I’ve come to see the problems we have in leadership, education, social justice, the environment, and mental health as different emanations of the same problem: unawakened awareness. A universal, healing capacity that has not been engaged or cultivated, that’s been left to die on the vine. The problem is within. And so is the solution.
Each one of us has the ability to fully develop our intimate capacity to live through an awareness of love, interconnection, and appreciation of life’s unfolding. Beyond belief, beyond a cognitive story we tell ourselves, the awakened brain is the inner lens through which we access the truest and most expansive reality: that all of life is sacred, that we never walk alone. Our brains are wired to perceive and receive that which uplifts, illuminates, and heals. …
This book is the story of how I discovered the awakened brain, why it matters, and how we can cultivate it in daily life.
And it’s the story of human possibility—of all the ways we’ve been cut down and cut off in life, and how to become whole.”
~ Lisa Miller, Ph.D. from The Awakened Brain
Did you know that there’s a “Science of Spirituality”?
Yep. There is. It’s fascinating. And, Lisa Miller is the pioneering researcher who created the field. This book is the distillation of her decades of work to help us apply her research to our (Heroic!) “Quests for an Inspired Life.”
Lisa is also the founder and director of the Spirituality Mind Body Institute, the first Ivy League graduate program in spirituality and psychology. And, she is the New York Times bestselling author of The Spiritual Child and a professor in the clinical psychology program at Teachers College, Columbia University.
When I think of Lisa and her extraordinary work, I think of some of my other favorite pioneering researchers in the field of psychology including Ellen Langer (who has spent decades studying what she calls “The Psychology of Possibility” that we discuss in our Notes on Counterclockwise, Mindfulness, and The Power of Mindful Learning), Kristin Neff (who created the field and wrote the book on the science of Self-Compassion), Gabriele Oettingen (who redefined the science of goal setting and wrote the book Rethinking Positive Thinking), and Sonja Lyubomirksy (who is another leading wellbeing researcher who wrote The How of Happiness and The Myths of Happiness).
As you’d expect, the book is packed with Big Ideas. I’m excited to share some of my favorites so let’s jump straight in!
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