Thinking about Thinking - Excerpt from Huffington Post

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(An excerpt from Into the Magic Shop, by Dr. James R. Doty.)

"Do you know what a mantra is, Jim?"

I shook my head. I didn't have a clue.

"It's kind of like a song or a sound you make that helps you focus your mind. Just like you've been focusing your mind on your breathing or the candle, this is another way to trick your mind."

Scope Interview - Stanford Medicine

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When he was 12 years old, Stanford neurosurgeon Jim Doty, MD, met an unusual woman named Ruth in a magic shop in Lancaster, Calif., the town where he grew up. When she enters his life, she seems ethereal or perhaps even a dream. She arrives at the exact moment she’s needed, a young boy from a fractured home spinning without direction or parental love. Well before mindfulness became commonplace, Ruth taught him a series of mental exercises to ease his angst and focus on a world of possibilities not problems. Most significantly, Ruth offered hope to a somewhat hopeless life. 

Review by Publisher's Weekly

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Neurosurgeon Doty combines gut-wrenching memoir with meditative how-to in this well-told, grueling tale of his personal journey from frightened pre-teen with an alcoholic father and depressed mother to a respected doctor and philanthropist. He attributes his success to the ancient mindfulness and visualization techniques that “rewired” his brain and were taught to him in the back of a magic shop in 1968, when he was 12 years old.