Reveals how meditation can be used for emotional growth, releasing trauma, and accessing inner wisdom
• Shares 16 guided meditations for neuroaffective brain development and emotional maturation, along with links to online recordings
• Explores the stages of emotional development, from childhood to old age, and their potentials for developing new ways of functioning
• Reveals the biopsychological effects of meditation on the human brain, including how it affects us at the autonomic, limbic, and prefrontal levels
Drawing on her 25 years of research into brain development as well as decades of meditation practice, psychotherapist Marianne Bentzen shows how neuroaffective meditation--the holistic integration of meditation, neuroscience, and psychology--can be used for personal growth and conscious maturation. She also explores how the practice can help address embedded traumas and allow access to the best perspectives of growing older while keeping the best psychological attitudes of being young--a hallmark of wisdom. She explains that there is a sequence to emotional maturation, just as there is for the development of cognitive or athletic skills, and details the central developmental processes of childhood and adolescence and the adult stages of psychological development. She then explores the biopsychological effects of meditation on the human brain, including how it affects us at the autonomic, limbic, and prefrontal levels.
The author shares 16 guided meditations for neuroaffective brain development (along with links to online recordings), each designed to gently interact with the deep, unconscious layers of the brain and help you reconnect to yourself, your relationships, and the world around. Each meditation explores a different theme, from breathing in “being in your body” to feeling love, compassion, and gratitude in “the songs of the heart” to balancing positive and negative experiences in “mandala.” The author also shares a 5-part meditation centered on breathing exercises designed to balance your energy.
Presenting an authentic, stepwise approach to spiritual growth, emotional maturation, and brain development, this guide explains the science behind neuroaffective meditation and offers detailed practices for a truly personal and ever-evolving experience of inner wisdom and growth.
About the Author
Marianne Bentzen is a psychotherapist and trainer in neuroaffective development psychology. The author and coauthor of many professional articles and books, including The Neuroaffective Picture Book, she has taught in 17 countries and presented at more than 35 international and national conferences. She lives in Denmark.
“This truly remarkable book outlines a systematic journey of embodiment that enables the reader to bridge a pragmatic scientific perspective with a deeper respect for the richness of bodily feelings and their role in expanding and optimizing the human experience.” — Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D., founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium, Indiana Uni
“Marianne Bentzen has been a pioneer in the field of somatics, child development, and neurobiology for many decades. This guide is a thoughtful and inspiring synthesis of her professional work as a psychotherapist as well as her life-long personal devotion to meditation and spiritual practice. Included is a cogent overview of her brilliant neuroaffective model to add theoretical substance to the practices. All will benefit from the depth and breadth of the meditations. Designed to expand our capacity for presence in the body, to deepen our connection to self and others, to inspire, to challenge deep-seated patterns, and, ultimately, to heal trauma. This guide will stimulate you intellectually, evoke a kaleidoscope of emotions, and drop you gently into the marvels of your inner world.” — Ariel Giarretto, MS, LMFT, somatic therapist and faculty at the Somatic Experiencing Training Instit
“This book is a gift for anyone who is ready to discover the value of meditation for internal healing. The consequences of mental injuries cannot be meditated away. They are deeply anchored in the brain and the whole body in the form of splits and blockages. But the broken connections between thinking, feeling, and acting, between body and spirit, between heart and mind can be found again, relinked, and integrated. In this book, Marianne Bentzen not only makes the neurobiological basics of these reintegration processes understandable, she also uses examples to show how easily neuroaffective meditation can be learned and practically applied.” — Gerald Hüther, neurobiologist and author of The Compassionate Brain
“What does it take to grow up and then embark on a path toward maturity and wisdom? Marianne Bentzen’s tour de force is a lucid journey through the developmental psychology, biology, and neurology of maturation. Drawing on her immense knowledge of both science and meditation, Bentzen offers a step-bystep approach to becoming a full human being. Beautifully written, with compassion and the awareness of our shared humanity, this book is a must-read (and a must-practice) for those of us who wish to cultivate body, mind, and spirit.” — Halko Weiss, Ph.D., coauthor of Hakomi Mindfulness-Centered Somatic Psychotherapy
“Neuroaffective Meditation by Marianne Bentzen makes a contribution to several fields--developmental psychology, psychotherapy, and meditation, to name some--while also being a very user-friendly and entertaining read. In her own unique style, Bentzen lets complex ideas become powerful images that create a real ‘Aha!’ experience over and over again as we become able to connect to what is behind the words. Her clarity of thinking together with her great compassion for people shine through and make this an important book that truly models what it talks about.” — Kathrin A. Stauffer Ph.D., body psychotherapist and author of Emotional Neglect and the Adult in The
“Marianne Bentzen has woven a wonderful path through neuroscience, meditation, and psychotherapy that deeply explores the emotional development of our species. She has accomplished this at a time when the next phase of human evolution--spiritualization--needs shifting to warp speed. No matter where you are on your life’s journey, this book will provide great value to you on your way to a fuller and more joyful life for yourself and those around you.” — Keith Lowenstein, M.D., author of Kriya Yoga for Self-Discovery
“Marianne Bentzen has brought together a vast array of current research on neurophysiology and developmental psychology with spiritual teachings. She has woven this all together in a deeply satisfying manual for awareness training with good science behind it, along with very practical instructions for cultivating full-bodied living in our human bodies. I can think of no other book that brings all this together with such precision and poetry! I offer a deep bow of respect and a heartfelt hug of gratitude for her kindness in birthing this very wonderful book!” — Patricia Kay, M.A., homeopath and coauthor of Cell Level Meditation
“Finding stillness is much more than sitting still and, therefore, not so easy to reach as many people may think. Marianne Bentzen shows us with her newest book why.” — Urs Honauer, Ph.D., director of the Center for Inner Ecology in Zurich, Switzerland
“This book bundles knowledge with knowing, theory with stillness, body with mind. A must-have, must-do for every psychotherapist!” — Marjolijne van Buren-Molenaar, docent body-mind integrated psychotherapist