- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Yale University Press; 1 edition (March 7, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0300223242
- ISBN-13: 978-0300223248
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love – Why We Get Hooked and How We Can Break Bad Habits 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The combination of scientific research and personal experiences presented in the book make the teaching clear and accessible. As a psychologist and meditation practitioner, I have to say this is the best book to date that integrates the science and the wisdom of mindfulness in away that can be transformational to anyone who ever had a habit they wanted to change. Highly recommended.
Dr. Brewer conceptualizes addictions in such a way as to make sense of today’s technological dependence upon handheld devices, upon the insanity of needing to be “liked” on social media sites, and by the distraction of media, drugs, romantic relationships and more. All of the addictions discussed in The Craving Mind (technology, distraction, thinking and love) are conceptualized similarly: trigger→behavior→reward. It’s an unusual book because it combines a scientist’s research perspective on meditation, with a compassionate practitioner’s love of mindfulness, meditation and the noble desire to alleviate suffering in other human beings.
I have benefited from Jud’s work as a meditation teacher when he was the leader of our weekly meditation group at Yale University, but I never knew much about his brain research on meditation and flow states. This was fascinating-- rigorous investigation, highly academic in nature and at the forefront of meditation research-- all fueled by his research team’s passion and curiosity about the brain’s response to meditation and flow. Highly recommended!
Brewer also makes very astute cultural references when he discusses stress and happiness. One may miss his explanation of the "stress compass" upon first reading--but go back and read the pertinent pages again and find that most of what we seek is not happiness, but excitement. In Brewer's explanation, "excitement" involves the release of dopamine and "somewhere in human history, we were conditioned to think the feeling we get when dopamine fires in our brain equals happiness" (p. 55). The problem with this release of dopamine is that we always need to get more, but each time dopamine fires, it reduces the previous level of enjoyment. He goes on to further explain this phenomenon.
The only "complaint" that I have with the book are that Dr. Brewer seems to take for granted some of his readers will be familiar with the different types of meditation, but he names some of the more popular forms--which one can very easily find via simple google search. Also, as another reviewer mentioned, this book is not full of techniques like a self-help book.