Sometimes a story takes a hold of your imagination and makes new ideas possible. James Doty does this with his 2016 book “Into the Magic Shop”. It’s the journey of an underprivileged boy overcoming a multitude of challenges to become a neurosurgeon, entrepreneur, inventor and philanthropist.


Into the Magic Shop

The book tells the story of James’ challenging childhood and how as a 12 year old, his life changed one summer day when he walked into a magic shop during the holidays. The shop owner’s mother was minding the shop and she saw in James someone ready to learn new ideas. What follows is James’ six-week informal course on the magic of meditation. Doty describes the mediation exercises he learnt as a 12 year old in simple terms and ties them into what we know of neuroscience today. The book includes several exercises for relaxing, meditating and visualising.

As James learns to manage his mind with focus and attention, he opens himself to new possibilities. The skills he learned support his journey towards the life he dreams about and after overcoming many obstacles he eventually becomes a leading neurosurgeon at Stanford University.

Along the way James discovers the relationship between the brain and the heart. This happy relationship leads him to a meeting with the Dalai Lama and Doty goes on to found the Centre for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. Doty has collaborated with scientists from a number of disciplines examining the neural bases for compassion and altruism.

Whilst this book is an easy read, those not so keen on reading may prefer Dr Doty’s Google talk at:

Whichever way you consume James’ Doty’s story I hope you will be inspired to mindfully move towards the life that truly matters to you.

There’s plenty more information at the site:

James Doty Into the Magic Shop