Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: James R. Doty, MD

Narrated By: Dan Woren

Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks

Date: February 2016

Duration: 7 hours 3 minutes


Extraordinary things happen when we harness the power of both the brain and the heart.

Growing up in the high desert of California, Jim Doty was poor, living with an alcoholic father and a mother chronically depressed and paralyzed by a stroke. Today he is the director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, of which the Dalai Lama is a founding benefactor. But back then his life was at a dead end-until at the age of twelve when he wandered into a magic shop looking for a plastic thumb. There he met Ruth, a woman who taught him a series of exercises to ease his own suffering and manifest his greatest desires. Her final mandate was that he keep his heart open and teach these techniques to others. Ruth gave Doty his first glimpse of the unique relationship between the brain and the heart.

Doty would go on to put Ruth's techniques to work, bringing power and wealth that he could only imagine as a twelve-year-old. But he neglects Ruth's most important lesson, to keep his heart open, with disastrous results-until he has the opportunity to make a spectacular charitable contribution that will virtually ruin him.

Part memoir, part science, part inspiration, and part practical instruction, Into the Magic Shop shows us how we can fundamentally change our lives by first changing our brains and our hearts.

"This book tells the remarkable story of a neurosurgeon's quest to unravel the mystery of the link between our brains and our hearts...Jim Doty's life illustrates how each of us can make a difference. We can make the world a more compassionate place. I'm sure many readers will be moved by this inspiring story to open their hearts and see what they too can do for others."-His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Nobel Peace Prize winner


  • Samantha V

    Insightful book regarding the use of visualization and focused meditation. Gets kinda off-topic at the end.

  • Jenifer Gardner

    So just when you're ready to chuck this book in the corner because you can't stand another minute of the author's arrogance -- stop! You'll miss out on some super valuable insight. Not only does Dr. Doty recognize that his life path was extraordinary, he recognizes that because others can benefit from it, he has an obligation to share. If everyone practiced these techniques and lived lives in this manner, the world would truly be better! I am a better person for having read this book.

  • Gabrielle Lawson

    This is the best book ever written! It changed my life!