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Ep 056 Into the Magic Shop with James R. Doty, M.D.

Mar 9, 2020

James R. Doty, M.D. is the founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University of which His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the founding benefactor. 

He works with a variety of scientists from a number of disciplines examining the neural bases for compassion and altruism. He is also a professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Doty is an inventor, entrepreneur and philanthropist, having given support to a number of charitable organisations supporting peace initiatives and providing healthcare throughout the world.

Dr. Doty has supported research, provided scholarships and endowed chairs at multiple universities. He is on the Board of a number of non-profits and is the former chairman of the Dalai Lama Foundation and the former vice-chair of the Charter for Compassion. 

Doty is the Senior Editor of the recently published Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science and is the author of the New York Times bestseller, “Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart”that has now been translated into 36 languages.

But of all the accolades of all the amazing people who speak so highly of Dr James and his work, the thing that interests me most, is how in the emptiness of a life filled struggle, what happened when in the search for a plastic thumb, he walked into a magic shop.

what you will hear in this podcast:

* the beauty of what happens when we have no idea why we are doing what we are doing, but we do it anyway

* how the situations we are born into DO NOT always determine the life that is possible for us.

* what happened to him when he rode his bike much farther than he would normally ride and walked into a magic shop

*the power of a radiant smile

*the point where the way one person sees the world and another who sees the world differently collide and what happens to change the reality of the world they see

* what happened in the back room of a magic shop

* the important of attending life

*  the narrative we have that has nothing to do with reality

* how the change in narrative changed his perception of the world he saw

* the power of a change of perception and what it allowed me to become

* how being told things were not going to work and how he walked past that

* when we change the way we see the world the world we see changes, going deeper into that.

* the gift we have is how we respond to things, not the ability to change the things that happen.

* equanimity – evenness in a world that moves up and down

* attachment to transitory realities that bring unhappiness.

* the gifts of pain

* how the view of the angry kid and the way the world should respond to him but how this angry kid allowed this woman in a magic shop give him “psychological safety”

* the biases that effect the interactions we have

* the intersection point between the angry kid and the compassionate woman

* the dirty window story

* where did he learn some of the most valuable insights

* the ego mind and the beginners mind

* the story of the liquor story and the quart of vodka the story of the man and the friendship that emerged 

*  the story of the homeless man and  what he saw

*  the effect of listening to someone for only 10 minutes

*  the compassion center and how people would book appointments just so someone would listen to them

* one of the greatest gift we can give to ourselves when we just listen to another.

* what people think when we show our emotions and how people want to fix us.

*  the story of the village we used to grow up in and the moderation of the life we live now.

* in the presence of great spiritual leaders and unconditional love

* the story of the mirror maker

* the bridge from the world we do not want to hand over to our children to the possibility that exist for what the world could be

* his kind suggestion that everyone contributes to The Listening Tour. 

* the story of the 12 year child

* thank you all for the gift of your time and to Dr James for the work he is doing and get involved with what he has created.

* everyday we have the capacity to make one persons life better.


to learn more about dr. James and the work he does

Social Media: 

Twitter: @jamesrdotymd




listen to his 2 of his amazing ted talks:


to get his book Into The Magic Shop, go to:

To learn more about Danny:

to buy his book, The Mosaic:

to hear his podcast:

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