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Into the Magic Shop

A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart
Written by: James R. Doty MD
Narrated by: Dan Woren
Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (124 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 12, 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 12-year-old. But he neglected Ruth's most important lesson, to keep his heart open, with disastrous results - until he had the opportunity to make a spectacular charitable contribution that would 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.

©2016 James R. Doty, MD (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Inspiring

By far the best book I’ve read thus far this year. Throughout many moments in this book I had tears in my eyes. James-your beautiful heartfelt story quite possibly broke my heart open and I thank you for that. Keep up the great work. I definitely recommend reading this book...and I’ll be getting back into a meditation practice. ;)

1 person found this helpful

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  • kav
  • 2019-08-07

great dynamic shifting between insight & real life

As a physician who operates similarly, with my own variations of trials and tribulations, this book brought tears to my eyes in reminder, recognition, and reaffirmation of the journey that I'm on. Empathetic, compassionate, playful, serious as needed

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Life Changing

Incredible story and well written. I am grateful to have randomely come across it. May others as well.

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Wonderful

This story was wonderful in many ways. It had me in awe and brought me back to my childhood. It was in all ways a beautiful novel. I will be honest in saying that eventually, the main character did begin to irritate me slightly. He has a bit of an ego throughout the majority of the book (which I think it the point) that sort of rubbed me the wrong way. However, it is definitely necessary, as without this ego, he wouldn't become the person he is. Either way, I would definitely recommend. I will say this- don't quit on this one! If you find yourself slightly irritated and wanted to give up on this one, know that it gets better and keep pushing on!

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Will not recommend.

Vanity project with little true insight. The secrect light might be a good comparission. Substance lacking.

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Powerful & Inspiring

Loved the memoir & have ordered the hard copy. One for further study & one to gift.

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Inspiring!

A wonderful retelling of the story of, through and with struggle/hardship. A really wonderful book. I wish it had a different name, I find it doesn't quite March the potency of the journey.

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Truly heartwarming and inspiring.<br />

Loved it. I will listen again. Highly recommended. The story and the messsges are real. What a different world this would be if everyone was in tune with this.

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wow

wow. what a book. mad respect to you Mr Doty, a serious kick in the ass when you need it.

10 stars. not too too often do I get mad when I have to turn a book off.

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AMAZING!!!!

Loved how the story was put together, but mostly loved all that the book had to teach. Plan to practice the ‘alphabet’ into my daily life.

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  • S. Potts
  • 2016-06-22

Delightful story, profound impact!

This book is truly an enjoyable narrative but also chock-full of applications that bring compassion and mindfulness into our lives in very concrete ways. The blend of neuroscience, esoteric training, and every day real life challenges with commonsense application make this an interesting weave that not only entertains but challenges us to come into our hearts and grow together. Magic is possible and it lives within us.

50 people found this helpful

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  • Joseph
  • 2016-02-05

Connecting the dots.

I have been on my own personal journey of self discovery for the past 15 years. I'm a truck driver and have used this amazing gift of time while I drive, to listen to things that have challenged me to be better. I have already learned in my own way many of the principles mentioned in this work. What I received from this book was a number of significant dots I was missing, that I've now been able to connect with what I've had. This created a much bigger picture with deeper clarity than I imagined possible when I started listening. When the student is ready the teacher appears. Thank You Jim for this gift. I to hope to help others now by living more connected to my heart, brain and spirit.

133 people found this helpful

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  • Christine Hatch
  • 2016-07-11

Reads like fiction

I listened to this in less than 24 hours. It was very captivating and gave me a lot to think about. I know I'm going to immediately practice the meditation and make my list. I will also listen to it again.

44 people found this helpful

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  • John Wernecke
  • 2016-07-10

Inspirational

I love the book I love the topic and the willingness of the offer to share some high-end low part of his life. This book is genuinely a must read. I helps us understand the reality of love and compassion which are necessary for greater humanity.

35 people found this helpful

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  • deirdre2k
  • 2016-03-11

Listen, learn and love

This is the first review I've felt worth writing. This book is incredibly inspirational (and not in the cheesy, neo-spiritual sense). Doty transcends religious dogma and opens up the Western mind to the possibility of human connection and hope.

45 people found this helpful

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  • Barbara S
  • 2016-08-21

Doty's determination and caring is inspirational

Would you try another book from James R. Doty MD and/or Dan Woren?

I can't say for sure if I'd read another book by these authors without knowing the topic.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

For me this memoir divides into four topics:

- Author's heartbreaking youth and teenage years
- Discussion of and instruction in "the magic"
- Author overcoming incredible odds to reach - and then lose - incredible wealth
- Author's redemption by re-orienting his focus from building wealth to helping patients

The topics are interwoven with basic neurological and physiological information, which balances the "woo woo" aspects of the magic steps. The magic is relaxation, meditation, intention, and opening your heart. There was a part of the story where I thought it was turning into "The Secret" because it was so focused on teenage Jim's desire to be financially stable. And his desire to have a silver Porsche Targa!

Would you listen to another book narrated by Dan Woren?

Yes

Did Into the Magic Shop inspire you to do anything?

It makes me glad to be working in health care.

Any additional comments?

Unlike some other books on laws of attraction, Doty is vulnerable enough to tell us not only what went wrong but why. He also details how he reconnected to the "magic" and changed his life once again.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Cliff K.
  • 2016-04-30

Highly recommended

Where does Into the Magic Shop rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best audiobooks - or books of any kind - I've heard or read. It's a gripping autobiography, with very practical information about a transformational practice that anyone can apply to their own lives.

32 people found this helpful

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 2016-07-14

Beautiful.

The experiences relayed in this book highlight the synchronicity of life. Simple world, complicated people. Many emotions elicited, too few words to describe.

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  • Ben
  • 2016-07-24

Touching

I really enjoyed the storyline right to the end. Very touching ending too. very teary

24 people found this helpful

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  • JJ
  • 2016-02-25

I really enjoyed this book

This was a great book to listen to. I wish I could've read it too. I really liked how it was narrated. The story is very uplifting and honest. I appreciated his perspective on the brain and heart and how we are all connected. my favorite parts are when he talks about his operating stories. I think this book is spiritual without pushing religion. I think after you read or listen to this book you will be inspired to try to make this world a better place and be kinder to yourself and others. This book was a win/win for me.

45 people found this helpful