Meditating in the Quantum Field: Get an audio interview of Dan Siegel and Dawson Church in conversation. Dan Siegel is clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the author of several bestselling books. Here he and Dawson share their insights on the meditative experiences we can use to fill our lives with love and kindness.
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.
“This book is a masterwork by a meditation adept who is also a scientist. Dawson captivates the reader with unforgettable stories and leading-edge neuroscience that open the mind, warm the heart, and elevate the spirit. His eloquent descriptions of meditative ecstasy and fact-based explanations of what brings it about provide big-picture understanding of the evolution of consciousness. This book shines with lucidity and caring. It most convincingly beckons readers to the heights of human awareness.”
Institute for the Awakened Mind
“Science has known for decades that the brain is changed by consciousness. Until now, we’ve never before had a truly practical guide showing how to put this knowledge to work. This comprehensive and accessible book integrates research from a dozen scientific fields and translates it for our everyday lives. It clearly shows us how to apply neural plasticity while giving us an evidence-based path to creating a happy, peaceful and resourceful brain. It’s a ‘must read’ for all ages.”
Marilyn Schlitz, PhD
Dean of Transpersonal Psychology, Sofia University
“This book is so superior to the dozens of popular books on meditation I’ve seen over the years that I want to shout about it from the rooftops! It will make a beautiful difference in people’s lives! I opened it with the skepticism that its ambitious title invites, and I completed it surprised by how many fascinating insights I’d come to about the topic of “bliss brain.”
David Feinstein, PhD
Co-author, The Energies of Love
“Four billion years of evolution have conditioned us to make safety & survival our brain’s default Operating System. But now we’re in the midst of an epoch change in which Enlightenment is emerging as the new Operating System. We’re in the early stages of that transition and Bliss Brain is the catalyst we need to speed up the process. In this book you’ll find the precise instructions that science provides for reformatting your brain for lifetime happiness. Buy this book. You’ll be oh-so-very-glad you did.”
Founder, Project Heaven On Earth
“Science and love embrace in this incredible book. It’s more than a clear and inspiring description of how radically our brains change in response to spiritual experiences; it shows us how to master the evolutionary quirks that sidetrack us in our quest for enlightenment. From one of today’s most brilliant scientists and accomplished authors, Bliss Brain is a gift to us all.”
President, Effective Action Consulting
“Stunning! Bliss Brain is a masterpiece of science, inspiration and possibility; opening doors to each one of us about what’s possible in our lives and unraveling the true meaning of human potential. I’ll be reading this again and again and sharing it with those I love!”
Author of The Tapping Solution
“This brilliant book is a road map for turning tragedy into bliss. In my many years of knowing Dawson Church, I've found him to be a beacon of positivity and joy, a living example of the values he teaches. His research into how meditation activates the happiness centers of the brain puts Bliss Brain within the reach of everyone. Dawson shows how you can grow resilience even in the face of great personal loss, using adversity to remodel your brain for bliss. This book will rock your world, and show you that happiness is truly achievable, no matter how far away it seems today.”
Host of The Aware Show
“The pace of change and the pressure to perform often leads professionals to the edge of burnout. The research in Bliss Brain shows that meditation provides an island of inner peace in a stressful world. It leads to massive increases in productivity, creativity, happiness, and problem solving ability. The techniques Dawson offers us provide us with the leverage to address the challenges confronting organizations and society. These are the secrets that make companies and teams thrive, both personally and professionally.”
Dr. Ivan Misner
Founder of BNI and NY Times Bestselling Author
“Accumulating evidence suggests that meditation training yields improved emotional regulation and enduring changes in brain function, even outside meditation sessions, both in clinical and non-clinical populations. Dawson Church succinctly reviews all the neural evidence to date in this comprehensive yet relatable book, and shows how all of us can achieve states of bliss through meditation. Beautifully interwoven is his own story of loss and heartache, and recovery and resilience. This is a MUST read for everyone from all walks of life.”
Associate Professor Peta Stapleton
Clinical & Health Psychologist, author of The Science Behind Tapping
“Bliss Brain by Dawson Church is a metaphor for a life of bliss. This remarkable and exquisitely crafted nonfiction book goes beyond our conceptual grasp of what reality is by taking us on a wild, but stunningly lucid ride, into the workings of the mind! It shines laser beams of wisdom on every page! It reminds us of our ultimate purpose and infuses us with a clarity that reaches heights of divinity! When finished reading, we are left with a dazzling new perspective about ourself and the world we inhabit!”
Author of Fresh Eyes Upon the World
“As The Secret meets the scientist in Dawson’s work, the boundaries of what you’ve believed possible will be stretched far beyond your existing picture of reality.”
co-author #1 New York Times bestselling Chicken Soup® series and featured teacher in The Secret