Relationships are the spiritual hub of our lives. They include family, marriage, friends, and the various communities we call our own. These connections with others impact the ways we deal with the past, guilt, pride, forgiveness and transformation.

Rick Hanson is a neuropsychologist, a senior fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and a meditation teacher. He is the author of Hardwiring Happiness, Buddha's Brain, and Just One Thing. For more information, visit

This audio program consists of 5 CDs which Hanson calls "A Guided Training Program." In six hours and twenty-nine minutes, he presents:

1. The Foundations of Self-Directed Neuroplasticity
2. Befriending Yourself
3. The Core of Relationships
4. Kindness & Assertiveness

Along the way, Hanson gives us plenty to think about in terms of how to build up the neural circuits of empathy, compassion, kindness, and love.
Throughout our days, our inner work involves patch, patch, patch. The author shares tools to heal childhood wounds and ways to move beyond fight-or-flight reactivity.

Balance plays a major role in our relationships as we try to give voice to both intimacy and independence. To stay in tune with the best self we can be requires that we always keep an open heart and find new ways of resolving conflicts. Hanson provides instructions on spiritual practices that will enable us to make the most of our inner strengths such as "taking in the good" and "growing your own inner caring committee." In the recent deluge of material on brains and spiritual emotions, Hanson has been the scout exploring the territory ahead. We are fortunate to have such a curious, serious, and profound pioneer getting the lay of the land for us before we pitch camp.