Into the magic shop summary

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into the magic shop summary

Summary of Into the Magic Shop: by James R. Doty, MD | Includes Analysis by Instaread Summaries

Summary of Into the Magic Shop by James R. Doty | Includes Analysis



In his memoir Into the Magic Shop Dr. James R. Doty describes how simple meditative techniques have had a profound effect on both his personal and professional paths. His account traces his evolution from troubled child to struggling student to distinguished neurosurgeon, including his tenure as the CEO of a billion-dollar company. From the vantage of his current role as the founding director of a compassion-research center at Stanford University, he reflects on the ups and downs of his life so far.

He begins with a detailed account of one summer that changed his life. In 1968, up-and-coming eighth-grader James Doty went by “Bob” and lived with his impoverished family in Lancaster, California, a small town about 70 miles north of Los Angeles. Bob was a caretaker, not just for himself, but also for his mother, who was depressed; his father, who was a violent alcoholic, and his brother, who was frequently bullied by other kids…



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Inside this Instaread Summary of Into the Magic Shop:

Summary of the Book

Important People

Character Analysis

Analysis of the Themes and Author’s Style


About the Author

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File Name: into the magic shop
Size: 52210 Kb
Published 13.08.2019

The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, an adaptation

Has Into the Magic Shop by James R. Doty, MD been sitting on your reading list? Pick up the main ideas in the book with this short summary. Maybe you've read.
Instaread Summaries

Into the Magic Shop

Cancel anytime. 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. Jim Doty's life was at a dead end until, at 12, he wandered into a magic shop looking for a plastic thumb. Instead 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.

Thank you! A Stanford neurosurgeon and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education relates how to achieve lofty life goals by harnessing the power of both the brain and the heart. When Doty was an adolescent, he had a chance encounter at a magic shop with a benevolent older woman named Ruth, who over the next few weeks instructed him on a series of empowering mind-body exercises that would dramatically alter the direction of his life. Having grown up in impoverished circumstances in Lancaster, California, with an alcoholic father and depressed, suicidal mother, he would go on to achieve phenomenal success and wealth as a surgeon and entrepreneur. However, two episodes threatened to disrupt his future: a near-death experience from a car crash while still in medical residency and, later, a misguided business decision that led him to the brink of bankruptcy. In this well-meaning hybrid of inspirational self-help book and memoir, the author applies scientific investigation to the example of his life story, proving that you can overcome adversity and achieve meaningful success and enlightenment by embracing compassion along with focused willpower. This was the motivation to begin researching compassion and altruism.


Into the magic shop

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Skip to main content. When the author described calming his mind, relaxing his body and visualizing the bleeding blood vessel that has disappeared from view, what was going through your mind? If yes, why do you think this is so? Ruth offered to teach Jim a different kind of magic, the kind that could change his life, and he tells us in advance , it did. What is your reaction to this?


  1. Avice B. says:

    This summary of Into the Magic Shop includes a complete plot overview – spoilers included! We're considering expanding this synopsis into a full-length study.

  2. Telémaco P. says:

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