32: Richie J. Davidson, PhD - The New Science Behind Mindfulness - Center for Healthy Minds

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Manage episode 236442429 series 2090330
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Our guest today is Dr. Richard Davidson. He is a pioneer in studying the effects of mindfulness meditation on the human brain. He is a neuroscientist, psychologist and research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin Madison where he is also the founder and director of the Center for Healthy Minds. He is the co-author of The Emotional Life of Your Brain and Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body In this interview Richie explains, “I first met the Dalai Lama in 1992. He challenged me. He said you've been using tools of modern neuroscience to study negative qualities of life stress adversity anxiety. Why can't you use those same tools to study positive qualities like kindness and compassion and flourishing?” He brought buddish monks from Tibet and Nepal into his lab and the rest is history. Richie has been studying how a healthy mind has a direct impact on improving physical health. He recommends starting a daily meditation practice, even it is just for 2 minutes a day. He likens this habit to the way we brush our teeth every day to obtain good physical health. He shares stories of the Dalai Lama, including his emotional latitude and his kindness and compassion for not just a small group of family and friends but for all people. This is why Richie believes that kindness and love is the next frontier. One of the reasons we have studied the body more than the brain in the past is because blood pressure has been easier to measure than well being. But this is changing. This fascinating interview includes some of the inspiring research being done today by Richie Davidson and Nobel Prize laureates in the field of happiness, emotions, brain development in gestation, and even what happens to meditators in the body after death.

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