Growing up in the high desert of California, Jim Doty was poor, 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 (CCARE) at Stanford University, of which the Dalai Lama is a founding benefactor.
As a child, his life was at a dead end until at twelve 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.
Ruth’s final mandate was that he keep his heart open and teach these techniques to others. She gave him his first glimpse of the unique relationship between the brain and the heart.