We all know that our brains are capable of rewiring themselves.
But what science is now showing is that this neural plasticity isn’t just happening over the course of months or years.
It’s occurring quickly, and can remodel entire networks in the brain over time.
In Bliss Brain, famed researcher Dawson Church digs deep into leading-edge research, and finds stunning evidence of rapid and radical brain change.
In just 8 weeks of practice, 12 minutes a day, using the right techniques, we can produce measurable changes in our brains.
These make us calmer, happier, and more resilient.
When we cultivate pleasurable “flow” states regularly, they become traits.
We don't just feel more blissful as a temporary experience; the changes are literally hard-wired into our brains, becoming stable and enduring personality traits.
The startling conclusions of Church's research shows that neural remodeling goes much farther than scientists have previously understood.
In meditation adepts, stress circuits begin to shrivel. Simultaneously, the “Enlightenment Circuit” — associated with joy, compassion, productivity, creativity, and equanimity — expands.
During deep meditation, Church shows how “the 7 neurochemicals of ecstasy” are released in our brains.
These include anandamide, a neurotransmitter that's been named “the bliss molecule” because it mimics the effects of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis.
Meditation boosts serotonin and dopamine; the first is an analog of psilocybin, the second of cocaine.
Church shows how cultivating elevated emotional states literally produces a self-induced high.
While writing Bliss Brain, Church went through a series of disasters, including escaping seconds ahead of a California wildfire that consumed his home and office and claimed 22 lives. A painful injury and financial disaster followed.
Through it all, Church steadily practiced the techniques of Bliss Brain while teaching them to thousands of other people.
This book weaves his story of resilience into the fabric of neuroscience, producing a fascinating picture of just how happy we can make our brains, no matter what the odds.