Buddha’s Brain

buddhabrain.jpegI’ve enjoyed reading Buddha’s Brain a blend of neuroscience and Buddhist philosophy. The opening chapters were especially remarkable, as they describe in layman’s terms the extraordinary things that go on in our brains as we go about our daily routines. When you get this picture, you see that even simple human activities require an extraordinary orchestration of activities in the brain. I found this quite humbling. I also reflected that even when someone is behaving in the most offensive or annoying way, how their brain organises this a**hole performance is still rather wondrous.

This thought also struck home for me:

Because self-compassion is more emotional than self-esteem, it’s actually more powerful for reducing the impact of difficult conditions, preserving self-worth, and building resilience.

I think we work rather hard, in rather brittle ways, to build our self-esteem. We try to brand ourselves to the outside world. Self-compassion, on the other hand, might feel rather weak and feeble, since it touches on our vulnerability… yet it may produce more tangible results.

1 thought on “Buddha’s Brain

  1. Antonio Dias

    Yes! This is a good way to put it, the connection between brittle self-esteem and vulnerable self-compassion and the way the two are actually the opposite what we would expect, the first promising strength and delivering weakness, the second exposing “weakness” and giving strength.


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