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Just One Thing
Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time
Average: 4.1 (73 votes)
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You've heard the expression, “It's the little things that count.” It's more than a simple platitude. Research has shown that integrating little daily practices into your life can actually change the way your brain works.

This guide offers simple things you can do routinely, mainly inside your mind, that will support and increase your sense of security and worth, resilience, effectiveness, well-being, insight, and inner peace. For example, they include: taking in the good, protecting your brain, feeling safer, relaxing anxiety about imperfection, not knowing, enjoying your hands, taking refuge, and filling the hole in your heart. At first glance, you may be tempted to underestimate the power of these seemingly simple practices. But they will gradually change your brain through what's called experience-dependent neuroplasticity.

Moment to moment, whatever you're aware of-sounds, sensations, thoughts, or your most heartfelt longings-is based on underlying neural activities. This book offers simple brain training practices you can do every day to protect against stress, lift your mood, and find greater emotional resilience.

Just one practice each day can help you to:

  • Be good to yourself
  • Enjoy life as it is
  • Build on your strengths
  • Be more effective at home and work
  • Make peace with your emotions

With over fifty daily practices you can use anytime, anywhere, Just One Thing is a groundbreaking combination of mindfulness meditation and neuroscience that can help you deepen your sense of well-being and unconditional happiness.

Publisher Reviews
  • “These are great practices—wise and straightforward, scientific and nourishing. They can transform your life.”
    —Jack Kornfield, PhD, author of The Wise Heart and A Path with Heart

  • “Most people want to be happier, healthier, less stressed, and more self-accepting, but it’s often hard to find time to work toward these goals. The brilliance of this book is that it offers powerful, targeted practices that can be done easily throughout the day to help people reach their highest potential.”
    —Kristin Neff, PhD, associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin and author of Self-Compassion

  • “Delightfully clear and practical, this book distills profound insights from ancient wisdom traditions, modern psychology, and cutting-edge neurobiology into simple techniques anyone can use to live a happier, saner, more rewarding life. I felt more awake and alive after reading just a few pages.”
    —Ronald D. Siegel, PsyD, assistant clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and author of The Mindfulness Solution

  • “If you are looking for bite-sized daily practices that can open your heart and clear your mind, Just One Thing deserves to be at the top of your reading list. Grounded in fascinating science, psychological understanding, and timeless wisdom, this book offers a rich assortment of entirely simple, doable ways you can find more happiness and ease.”
    —Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Happiness

  • “Rick Hanson has done the work for us, distilling decades of self-inquiry and key psychological research into fifty-two essential skills for healthy, happy living. This deceptively simple book is a trustworthy guide to living our lives more deeply and fully. Read, practice, and your brain will surely return the favor.”
    —Christopher K. Germer, PhD, clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School and author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion

  • “This gem of a book is the perfect follow-up to Rick Hanson’s brilliant Buddha’s Brain. Just One Thing offers dozens of easy-to-learn practices that slowly work their magic on our brains, making it possible for all of us to dwell in the peaceful contentment of a Buddha. Just One Thing is one of those rare books that becomes a lifelong companion—never far out of reach.”
    —Toni Bernhard, author of How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and their Caregivers

  • “Is it improper to be begged by someone you don’t know to buy a book? Then call me improper because I am begging you to give yourself the miracle of Rick Hanson’s grounded science and earthy spirituality. Keep this book close by while giving copies to everyone you love.”
    —Jennifer Louden, author of The Woman's Comfort Book and The Life Organizer

  • “What a way to go through life! These simple yet profound practices train the brain, open the heart, and enhance well-being. Rick Hanson provides the map. If you follow it, you’ll surely increase your happiness and awaken your joy!”
    —James Baraz, author of Awakening Joy

  • Just One Thing is a very wise, sincere, and heartfelt guide to living well. Rick Hanson skillfully guides you through fifty-two accessible and down-to-earth practices that can transform your outlook on life and health”
    —Bob Stahl, PhD, coauthor of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook and Living with Your Heart Wide Open

  • Just One Thing is full of simple, down-to-earth steps you can take to experience greater happiness and love in your life. Based in brain science, but written beautifully from the heart, this book is a gem.”
    —Marci Shimoff, author of Happy for No Reason

  • “Rick Hanson has written a superb book that takes on the huge challenge of trying to live well by offering a sensible divide-and-conquer approach. Each of the fifty-two chapters defines a clear target and, utilizing Hanson's excellent and practical methods, encourages a gentle and regular practice of focus that fosters the gradual evolution of frames of mind and skills that can truly make a difference. Hanson's ability to inspire the reader with powerful insights, enlightening research findings, compassion, and mindful clarity of purpose make this one of those uncommon books I will enthusiastically recommend to those seeking to improve their quality of life.”
    -Michael D. Yapko, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of Mindfulness and Hypnosis and Depression Is Contagious

    “This book provides finely chiseled stepping stones on the path to lasting well-being and fulfillment. Rick Hanson has honed them with his unique, trustworthy blend of wisdom, clarity, and great love.”
    -Raphael Cushnir, author of The One Thing Holding You Back

    “An owner's manual for the brain written in the simple, intuitive language our brains understand: short, pithy, easily-digestible nuggets that you can feel and remember. Extrapolating from neuroscience and skillfully synchronizing it with the insights of psychology and dharma, Hanson's voice shines through every page. Sane, helpful, deeply reassuring, and yet strong, clear, and penetrating, this is a helpful guide you can trust.”
    -Terry Patten, author of Integral Life Practice

    Just One Thing is just the thing for people who have full lives and can sometimes find only brief interludes for reflection and self-improvement. But don't be fooled-these bite-size chapters hold scientific insight, practical tools, and simple, direct, profound wisdom that will nourish your brain and your being as you navigate through daily life.”
    -Cassandra Vieten, PhD, director of research at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and author of Living Deeply and Mindful Motherhood

    Just One Thing is a brilliant, concise, and wise book for people who want to live with greater ease, joy, and skill. It clarifies the five foundations of living a great life and provides powerful practices to help people live more fully. While the form in which Just One Thing is written may appear simple, the messages are deep, profound, and useful. I highly recommend this book to anyone who dreams of thriving.”
    -Daniel Ellenberg, PhD, president of Relationships That Work

    “Rick Hanson speaks from experience. He offers us simple, accessible, and fun insights and exercises that have real psychological benefits and practical value for a better life.”
    -Elisha Goldstein, PhD, author of The Now Effect and coauthor of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook

    “Anyone who thinks neuroscience is for the erudite will be pleasantly surprised by Rick Hanson's new book. Just One Thing has many, many things in store for readers, especially those interested in maximizing their brain potential, and, in fact, their life potential. Hanson not only presents a vast array of tried-and-true insights, but also spells out how each principle can be applied day by day and backs everything up with scientific understanding.”
    -Stan Tatkin, PsyD, assistant clinical professor in the department of family medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of Wired for Love

    Just One Thing is just about everything you could want from a self-help book! It offers fascinating bits of information from recent neuroscience about our brains and nervous systems, along with simple exercises that can help us overcome our inherited programming. Just One Thing is a singular gift to us all!”
    -Wes Nisker, Buddhist meditation teacher, author, and performer

    “The word that comes to mind when reading this gently wise book is kindness. Rick Hanson has a kindness that pervades the pages, while his writing remains grounded in science and spirituality. Peace and subtle change can arrive for you as you read and put into practice the compassionate, simple, yet powerful ideas and practices contained in Just One Thing.”
    -Bill O'Hanlon, featured Oprah guest and author of Do One Thing Different

    “All of these tiny prescriptions, each one wrapped around a nugget of wisdom, make a happy life seem feasible and within easy reach.”
    -Sylvia Boorstein, PhD, author of Happiness Is an Inside Job

    “Rick Hanson brings his compelling perspective-he is both a neuropsychologist and an experienced meditation practitioner-to this pragmatic consideration of wisdom practices. Down-to-earth and inspiring, Just One Thing is a companionable guidebook for inner travelers on a path of transformation, written by one who knows the territory well.”
    -Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness and Lovingkindness

    “By giving us simple practices for rewiring our neural networks, Rick Hanson is literally reminding us about what is truly important. I plan to devote a week to each of the fifty-two practices, taking this next year to cultivate the compassion at the heart of this book.”
    -Gordon Peerman, author of Blessed Relief: What Christians Can Learn from Buddhists about Suffering

    Just One Thing is more than just one more thing for you to read. It is Rick Hanson's gift drawn from four decades of learning about how to live with wisdom and peace. This book is filled with small, easy-to-understand lessons on how to live a meaningful life. These insights will surely enHanson your life! Each small essay explores the essential questions of our times: How do we find inner clarity in the face of outer turmoil? How do we feel less stress and learn to be more at home in our own skin? This gem of a book is filled with treasures that will build your relationships with others-and with yourself! I loved soaking in the clarity and sincerity of these offerings that invite us to enter life with more vitality and to live each day to the fullest. Feast on these pages and enjoy!”
    -Daniel J. Siegel, MD, clinical professor at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine and author of Mindsight and the Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology

    “There is joy and energy in learning to be kind to yourself and others. This book gently challenges you to do just that-step by step, practice by practice, day by day. The sense of wholeness that results will make a profound difference in your life.”
    -Steven C. Hayes, PhD, author of Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life

    Just One Thing demonstrates how deep transformation of the mind and heart can come as the result of one's simple, day-to-day inner work. With lucidity and compassion, Rick Hanson lays out clear practices for breaking destructive mental patterns and opening new pathways for inner peace and freedom.”
    -Michael A. Singer, author of The Untethered Soul

    “This is the self-help book-the one to keep beside your bed, and also in your purse or briefcase. It will quietly change your life by rewiring your brain. For anyone interested in happiness, this book is a treasure trove of science-based practices made simple.”
    -Christine Carter, author of Raising Happiness


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