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Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being Paperback – October 22, 2013
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Q&A with Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi
In this Q&A authors Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi discuss issues raised in their new book Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness and Spiritual Well-Being. Deepak Chopra. M.D. is the author of more than sixty-five books, including numerous New York Times Bestsellers. His medical training is in internal medicine and endocrinology. Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., is the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University and director of Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Q. How would you define super brain?
A. It's the brain you have now but maximized. Everyone uses the brain at every moment, but we use it unconsciously. We let it run in the background without realizing the power we have to reshape the brain. When you begin to exercise your power, the everyday brain, which we call the baseline brain, starts to move in the direction of super brain.
Q. The power to reshape the brain—can you be more specific?
A. It means being more mindful of your own thoughts and feelings and becoming more proactive in taking charge of your brain. Each of us plays four roles in relation to the brain. We lead, we inspire, we invent, and we use it. Most people do not actively use their brains. They passively let their feelings and thoughts control their lives. Or they only use their brains without giving it much inspiration or leadership. They don't invent new ways to use their brains, either, settling instead for the same routine and repetitive thoughts every day. But if you master all four roles, you create your super brain. The bottom line isthat you when you are the active observer of your feelings and thoughts, you become the user of your brain. Your super brain then serves you, not vice versa.
Q. How did you hit upon this power to create super brain?
A. Directly from breakthroughs in neuroscience. Modern brain-scan technology has revealed that each person shapes a completely unique brain. Other studies have documented the amazing regenerative ability of the brain, which can be reshaped by the power of your mind to bring you the world you desire. Knowing that, the obvious question arose: Why not use your mind to create the brain you want, using conscious choice?
Q. What does that mean on a practical basis?
A. We give a lot of pointers in the book, but the quickest answer is this: All experiences are either positive for your brain or negative. If you maximize the positive ones, you are shaping the brain you want to being you the world you want.
Q. Can you give a few examples of what you call"a positive lifestyle for the brain"?
A. We divide it into inner work and outerwork. Outer work includes diet, exercise, stress management, social engagement, intellectual stimulation, and good sleep—very familiar advice, but we have made it specific for the brain. Inner work is even more important and little understood until now.
Q. Can you describe inner work?
A. The brain is a dynamic system that constantly processes and creates your reality. It works best if you balance all the things that the brain is good at. The brain is good at being adaptable, flexible, creative, and intelligent. But it's also good at playing and just being. A balanced life provides time—every day if possible—so that every function of the brain is allowed to come alive and flourish.
Q. Do you think that "work" might be more than many people want to do?
A. By work, we mean doing the best you can for yourself. If you want lifelong good health, intact memory, reduced risk of Alzheimer's, and inner fulfillment, your brain plays the central part in all of them. The old adage of "use it or lose it" applies to the brain. The "work" is actually quite simple but requires persistence. One must simply choose to be the observer of the thoughts and feelings brought to them by their brain and use them to create a positive and constructive world that best suits them.
Q. Where is super brain taking us in the future?
A. We believe that super brain is the next evolutionary leap for the human brain. The last leap was the neocortex, the higher intellectual brain, which gave humans the ability to reason, to plan ahead, to love, to feel compassion and empathy, to attribute meaning to the world. Now we can build on that. Choice is the key, because human beings are the only creatures who can choose to evolve, who can shape their destiny. Furthermore, we have been given the gift of "self-awareness," which allows us to step back into our true selves to observe and use our brains to create the world we wish to live in. For us, super brain is the future and starts now.
"The captivating story of our brain is brought alive by two world experts with different expertise in this elegant review that will keep your brain young." —Mehmet Oz, M.D., professor and vice chair of surgery, New York Presbyterian/Columbia
"Deepak Chopra hits a home run every time and now with Rudy Tanzi in Super Brain they have created an easy-to-read book that will help you maximize all that you have within you." —Larry King
"This compelling account explores cutting-edge and controversial issues to suggest how to effectively cultivate the mind to help guide our brain to function in more health-promoting ways. The stories and science of Super Brain illuminate how awareness of our own internal processes can free us from automatic pilot, opening the door to a new way of living with more connection to ourselves, and with the larger worlds in which we live. Why not start now to create more well-being and meaning in your own life?" —Daniel Siegel, M.D., executive director, Midnight Institute; clinical professor, UCLA School of Medicine; and author of Mindsight
"Thoughtful, engaging, accessible. . . a book that will improve the lives of many. Decoding the mysteries of the brain and debunking some of itsmost common myths while providing an empowering, practical plan to acheive your very own super brain, Super Brain is an essential read for making the most powerful tool for acheiving health, longevity, and our fullest potential." —Dean Ornish, M.D., founder and president, Preventative Medicine Research Institute; clinical professor of medicine, University of California, San Fransisco; and author of The Spectrum
"A mind-blowing book. . . read it carefully and process it all with your new super brain." —Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, author of Wishes Fulfilled
"With wisdom born of the integration of mind and brain science, Chopra and Tanzi give us important and quite practical suggestions for enhancing our well-being and for more meaningful lives." —William Mobley, M.D., Ph.D., chair and distinguished professor of Neurosciences, Florence Riford chair for Alzheimer's Disease Research, University of California, San Diego
"Super Brain is a user's manual for the brain, based not on long-outdated information but on the most up-to-date research available anywhere, providing you with entirely new and different--and finally, effective--self-treatments for everything from being overweight to depression and anxiety. Get this book--it will change your beliefs, your behaviors, and your life." —Ken Wilber, author of The Integral Vision
"In this brilliant book, Chopra and Tanzi lucidly show how the most cutting-edge breakthroughs of modern science can help you take full advantage of the amazing three-pound universe between your eyes." —T. Byram Karasu, M.D., Silverman Professor and the University chariman, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Top customer reviews
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Most importantly it's written by two brilliant and forward thinking scholars. The first being, Deepak Chopra, M.D. a New York Time best-selling author and author of numerous books who's known around the world for his work on the brain, mind-body connection, consciousness, spirituality, and Quantum Physics.The second, Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi a Harvard Professor who was a pioneer in Alzheimer's research and being one of the co-discoverers of the first Alzheimer's disease gene.
As quoted in the book "Every day you step into the invisible firestorm of electrical and chemical activity that is the brain's environment. You act as leader, inventor, teacher, and user of your brain, all at once.
As leader, you hand out the day's orders to your brain.
As inventor, you create new pathways and connections inside your brain that didn't exist yesterday.
As teacher, you train your brain to learn new skills.
As user, you are responsible for keeping your brain in good working order."
I have to say that this one is greatest books I've read on the topic of the brain because the two authors go extremely in-depth into the working of the brain, and they also give you tools that you can implement into your life today.
It's broken up into three parts. Here's a very basic summary.
Part 1 DEVELOPING YOU GREATEST GIFT
Which goes into great detail about the latest advancements in science that explain how the brain functions. It also talks about the five myths of the brain.
Part 2: MAKING REALITY
This part gives you information and knowledge to literally work on changing your brain from negatives states of mind to positive states of mind.
Part 3:MYSTERY AND PROMISE
I thoroughly enjoyed this part because its goes into the biggest idea in all of science. Something to which I'm fascinating with, the question being "How does this three pound brain produce consciousness?"
I think this is an incredible book that anyone can use to increase more positive states of mind. I've read hundreds of books on the brain and I think this one is one of the best because it gives you tools on how to work on changing your brain immediately.
Beginning with the latest brain science in neuroplasticity the book convincingly shows that that we have the ability to influence our own brains and thus can improve our own well being.
The next part of the book moves from science to conjecture. At first making claims that seem reasonable. Claims that may very well be true, but are based on “wisdom traditions” rather than scientific evidence.
In last and most disappointing part of the book, it uses Ray Tallis’ false logic and straw man arguments to show that the mind cannot be contained within the brain and therefore there must be some sort of external power that drives our mind. It is ironic that there are examples elsewhere in the book that show how certain superstitions have been replaced with scientific understanding, yet when it comes to our mind being contained within the organ that is our brain, the authors leave no room for an enhanced scientific understanding that makes that possible.
Bottom line: The first part is informative and worth the read. The rest of the book provides an interesting theory, but not an evidence based conclusion as it seems to claim.
Concepts are very well presented and easy to read.
Make choices to allow your brain to be more of a super brain.
Great gift. Would make a good graduation gift.
Ways to exercise your brain.
Most folks pay attention to exercising their physical body, but do not realize the brain needs exercise as well.
Choose and create the world you want for yourself.
Tools/practices for everyday use.
We have used some of the suggestions already -- fun and easy to actually do.
So read and use the Super Brain to improve memory and make new connections in the brain.
I grew up believing that the nerve paths of my brain were fixed and immutable. Science told us brain cells died over our lifetime and could not be regenerated, period. Super Brain helped me understand that’s just not true!
I recently wrote an article on My Philosophy for Mental Fitness for HappyLiving.com. I credit Super Brain for evolving my philosophy to include "rewiring". My philosophy for mental fitness is simple: 1) feed it, 2) rest it, 3) exercise it, & 4) rewire it.
Founder of Happy Living, LLC