The Awakened Brain: The New Science of Spirituality and Our Quest for an Inspired Life

Lisa Miller. Random House, $28 (288p) ISBN 978-1-984855-62-6
In this insightful study, psychologist Miller (The Spiritual Child) shares research on the role of spiritual experiences in the human brain to argue that “an awakened brain is the healthier brain.” She explains personal spiritual experiences, including a Lakota ceremony that taught her “healing was not synonymous with brokenness [but] part of life,” and how such spiritual insights inspired her to start treating patients in an “intentionally spiritually supportive way” that was at odds with conventional psychiatric wisdom; the approach was based on developing a “personal relationship with a surprising transcendent presence” so as to allow one to “stop trying to fix the world.” Miller explores the long-term effects of spiritual searching and recounts her breakthrough discovery of the awakened brain, or “the neural circuitry that allows us to see the world more fully and thus enhance our individual, societal, and global well-being.” While Miller’s writing can veer toward the academic—with many technical terms and lengthy sections of data—the practices she suggests to “awaken the brain” are relatively straightforward and include mindfulness practice, exposure to nature, prayer, and therapy. Those interested in the interplay between spirituality and neuroscience will find much to consider. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 05/28/2021
Release date: 08/17/2021
Genre: Religion
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-9848-5563-3
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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