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God is great—for your mental, physical, and spiritual health. Based on new evidence culled from brain-scan studies, a wide-reaching survey of people’s religious and spiritual experiences, and the authors’ analyses of adult drawings of God, neuroscientist Andrew Newberg and therapist Mark Robert Waldman offer the following breakthrough discoveries: • Not only do prayer and spiritual practice reduce stress, but just twelve minutes of meditation per day may slow down the aging process. • Contemplating a loving God rather than a punitive God reduces anxiety and depression and increases feelings of security, compassion, and love. • Fundamentalism, in and of itself, can be personally beneficial, but the prejudice generated by extreme beliefs can permanently damage your brain. • Intense prayer and meditation permanently change numerous structures and functions in the brain, altering your values and the way you perceive reality. Both a revelatory work of modern science and a practical guide for readers to enhance their physical and emotional health, How God Changes Your Brain is a first-of-a-kind book about faith that is as credible as it is inspiring.
"How God Changes Your Brain" is a highly practical, easy-to-read guide on the interface between spirituality and neuroscience, filled with useful information that can make your brain and your life better.--Daniel G. Amen, M.D.
Reveals the controversial discovery that thinking about God -- however we define the term -- can improve cognitive functioning and physical health, interrupt the devastating effects of depression, Alzheimer's disease, and a host of stress-related disorders, and foster compassion towards others.
Outlines a strategy for "compassionate communication" in order to forge bonds for more effective conversation and productivity, explaining how to use strategic steps to overcome conflicts and to promote more collaborative environments.

In this original and groundbreaking book, Dr Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldmanturn their attention to the pinnacle of the human experience: enlightenment. Through his brain-scan studies on Brazilian psychic mediums, Sufi mystics, Buddhist meditators, Franciscan nuns, Pentecostals, and participants in secular spirituality rituals, Newberg has found the specific neurological mechanisms responsible for an enlightenment experience - and how we can activate those circuits in our own brains.

In his survey of more than one thousand people who have experienced enlightenment, Newberg has also discovered that in the aftermath they have had profound, positive life changes. Enlightenment offers us the possibility to become permanently less stress-prone, to break bad habits, to improve our collaboration and creativity skills, and to lead happier, more satisfying lives. Relaying the story of his own transformational experience as well as including the stories of others who try to describe an event that is truly indescribable, Newberg brings us a new paradigm for deep and lasting change.

Why have we humans always longed to connect with something larger than ourselves? Why does consciousness inevitably involve us in a spiritual quest? Why, in short, won't God go away? Theologians, philosophers, and psychologists have debated this question through the ages, arriving at a range of contradictory and ultimately unprovable answers. But in this brilliant, groundbreaking new book, researchers Andrew Newberg and Eugene d'Aquili offer an explanation that is at once profoundly simple and scientifically precise: the religious impulse is rooted in the biology of the brain. Newberg and d'Aquili base this revolutionary conclusion on a long-term investigation of brain function and behavior as well as studies they conducted using high-tech imaging techniques to examine the brains of meditating Buddhists and Franciscan nuns at prayer. What they discovered was that intensely focused spiritual contemplation triggers an alteration in the activity of the brain that leads us to perceive transcendent religious experiences as solid and tangibly real. In other words, the sensation that Buddhists call "oneness with the universe" and the Franciscans attribute to the palpable presence of God is not a delusion or a manifestation of wishful thinking but rather a chain of neurological events that can be objectively observed, recorded, and actually photographed. The inescapable conclusion is that God is hard-wired into the human brain. In Why God Won't Go Away, Newberg and d'Aquili document their pioneering explorations in the field of neurotheology, an emerging discipline dedicated to understanding the complex relationship between spirituality and the brain. Along the way, they delve into such essential questions as whether humans are biologically compelled to make myths; what is the evolutionary connection between religious ecstasy and sexual orgasm; what do Near Death Experiences reveal about the nature of spiritual phenomena; and how does ritual create its own neurological environment. As their journey unfolds, Newberg and d'Aquili realize that a single, overarching question lies at the heart of their pursuit: Is religion merely a product of biology or has the human brain been mysteriously endowed with the unique capacity to reach and know God? Blending cutting-edge science with illuminating insights into the nature of consciousness and spirituality, Why God Won't Go Away bridges faith and reason, mysticism and empirical data. The neurological basis of how the brain identifies the "real" is nothing short of miraculous. This fascinating, eye-opening book dares to explore both the miracle and the biology of our enduring relationship with God. From the Hardcover edition.
"Neurotheology" has garnered substantial attention in the academic and lay communities in recent years. Several books have been written addressing the relationship between the brain and religious experience and numerous scholarly articles have been published on the topic, some in the popular press. The scientific and religious communities have been very interested in obtaining more information regarding neurotheology, how to approach this topic, and how science and religion can be integrated in some manner that preserves both. If neurotheology is to be considered a viable field going forward, it requires a set of clear principles that can be generally agreed upon and supported by both the theological or religious perspective and the scientific one as well. Principles of Neurotheology sets out the necessary principles of neurotheology which can be used as a foundation for future neurotheological discourse. Laying the groundwork for a new synthesis of scientific and theological dialogue, this book proposes that neurotheology, a term fraught with potential problems, is a highly useful and important voice in the greater study of religious and theological ideas and their intersection with science.

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