Into the Magic Shop is a beautiful story of how one may find joy even in life’s darkest moments, and in its most challenging seasons. In this compelling memoir, Jim Doty shares the extraordinary lessons he learned from a remarkable journey from despair to his emergence as one of today’s most renowned spiritual teachers.
This book chronicles Doty’s life, from being born with a cleft lip and palate to his struggling with addiction before experiencing a sudden transformation in California when he abandoned his quest for fame, success, and wealth for a more meaningful way of life. He began to practice meditation based on Buddhist principles, which helped him overcome his addictions and transform himself into a compassionate person.
In Into the Magic Shop, you will learn practical skills, drawn from neuroscience and positive psychology, that can help rewire your brain and change your life. These include mindfulness techniques and how to carry out effective mental rehearsals of the future you want, as well as Doty’s own self-transformation journey.
A confession: for the first half of my life, I had no idea how lucky I was. The scars from growing up in the high desert of California were so deep that by the time I reached my fifties, it took a visit to a magic shop in San Diego to totally change me forever.
About Into the Magic Shop Book
Growing up in the high desert of California, Jim Doty was poor, 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 (CCARE) at Stanford University, of which the Dalai Lama is a founding benefactor. But back then, his life was at a dead end until he wandered into a magic shop looking for a plastic thumb at twelve. Instead, he met Ruth, a woman who taught him a series of exercises to ease his suffering and manifest his greatest desires. Her final mandate was that he keep his heart open and teach these techniques to others. She gave him his first glimpse of the unique relationship between the brain and the heart.
Doty would go on to put Ruth’s practices to work with extraordinary results—power and wealth that he could only imagine as a twelve-year-old riding his orange Sting-Ray bike. But he neglects Ruth’s most important lesson, to keep his heart open, with disastrous results—until he can 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.