“Mindsight and Neural Integration” with Dan Siegel, MD

By | September 4, 2019


[ Silence ]>>I want to welcome you to this closing keynote
for our first Radical Compassion Symposium at Naropa University and especially
welcome people who are watching online. Thanks to our partnership with Yoga
Journal, a new relationship for Naropa. I want to thank the Editor-in-Chief, Carin
Gorrell and the publisher, Jeff Tkach, who came together with us just a few
weeks ago and actually allowed us to livestream some of our symposium. Tonight’s closing keynote, Dr. Dan Siegel
would be up in a moment and be fully and completely introduced by one of our faculty
members who I will introduce in a moment. This is the end, last night, the end is
actually tomorrow afternoon for all of you here in a very Naropa style, will actually end with
a Naropa like process, little less, blah, blah, blah and a little more interpersonal relating which I think is very good the way
we began is kind of the way will end. And I think that’s an important part of how we
bookend this conference and so I’d encourage all of you that have the opportunity
to come and join us tomorrow at noon for the closing ceremony. So, I’d like to introduce to you our Dean
of Graduate Education, faculty member, Christine Caldwell who teaches in
our Somatic Psychology Department and will introduce Dr. Siegel to you
all and I hope you enjoy the evening. [ Applause ] [ Silence ]>>Good evening. I’m going to read because otherwise
I just won’t get it all in. So, it’s really an honor and a trill to be introducing Dr. Dan Siegel
to Naropa’s extended community. Many different cultures and traditions are
currently contributing to our understanding of present moment focus and the power of leading
a self-reflective and contemplative life, but perhaps more than any other, Dan
Siegel is creating multiple networks for us that link theory to practice, east to
west, empiricism to the experience, brain to behavior, and mind to heart. By calling, he is a psychiatrist,
teacher, therapist, writer, and researcher and he is helping us to gracefully dance between research labs meditation
cushions, playgrounds, and family dinners. His accomplishments are many but I would like
to briefly highlight two areas of his work that have been game changers, particularly
in the field of psychotherapy and well-being and that he will talk with
us about that tonight. As we know modern western psychotherapy was
founded on the assumption that insight leads to healing Freud called it the talking cure. The idea was that if we deeply examine
what we thought and understood the way that early experience shaped
us, we would be free to change. While this view has always had
some merit, contemplative teachers and practitioners have always known
that there was something more. Wisdom traditions, many of which lie in the
east have known for centuries that how we think, how we relate to and engage with our direct
present moment experience using disciplined, high quality attention can be
much more central to well-being than understanding who did what to whom and why. Dan Siegel has created the language
system that helps us to understand that both scientifically and experientially. One of the central terms in his new
language system is called Mindsight, defined us more than understanding
and more than mindfulness. It involves how we focus
our awareness on ourselves and on the internal world of someone else. And then use this focus in the service of
therapeutic change that can heal communities and families, as well as individuals. The second concept is Neural Integration. Here we see the bridge that he and
others have built between neuroscience of the developing brain relationships
and present moment awareness. In this concept, we understand that the
brain develops first in distinct sections but then the important work begins when
these sections wire together, interconnect, and integrate their information and actions. With this wiring together of
various brain areas complex, healthy and relational behavior
becomes possible. And possibly if we remember the story
that Joanna Macy told us yesterday about the activist protecting trees
in the Australian rain forest, this neural interconnection
may enable us to realize that we are also connected
to others apart of all life. The really interesting issue is
that attention is a primary director of the neural growth needed for
creating this integrated neural circuits. First the attention and care given
to us by others and then the patterns of attention we subsequently develop
that direct our adult behavior. Dan has been at the forefront of
articulating and extending this concept so that we can understand the
neurological processes of attention that underlies states of radical compassion. These ideas and others he has pioneered,
articulated in his speeches and writings in a really clear and warm and accessible
way shifted the emphasis of psychotherapy so that it now includes an examination
not so much of what one thinks, but of how what one is feeling and doing right
now and how that present-centered experience when guided with consciousness and
compassion, can deeply heal us. The application of these ideas into
parenting and family life would allow us to take neuroscience and contemplative practices
not only into our hearts and minds but also into our homes and into our interactions with
our partners, our children, and our communities. Dr. Siegel is currently clinical professor
of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and co-director of the Mindful
Awareness Research Center. He has written such best-selling books as
“The Developing Mind,” “The Mindful Brain,” “The Mindful Therapist,” “The Pocket Guide
to Interpersonal Neurobiology”, “Mindsight”, “Parenting From the Inside Out”, “The
Whole Brain Child”, and “Brainstorm”. Dr. Siegel has lectured for the
King of Thailand, Pope John Paul II, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Google
University, London’s Royal Society of Arts, and TEDx and now he can add
Naropa to that August list. [ Cheers & Applause ] Please join me in welcoming Dr. Dan Siegel. [ Cheers & Applause ] [ Silence ] [ Applause ]>>Thank you so much. It’s a real honor to be here with you. I’d like to thank Naropa University for hosting
this incredible birthday party in general and the honor I have of participating with you. And Yoga Journal Life for streaming this
out to the world and making that happen and all the people who’ve supported
the work that you’re doing here. We get the joy of spending
almost two hours together. Really diving deeply into issues
related to internal practice and our interpersonal relationships
and our relationship with the planet. And so what we’re going to do in this time is
begin with the inner world and so in thinking about how we would spend our time together,
I felt it would be really important to actually start with a practice. So you’ve heard the world I live in which comes
from both academics and from clinical practice. It’s a field called the interpersonal
neurobiology, which combines all the different disciplines
of science together into one framework and we’re going to talk a
lot about that as we go. But let’s begin first with an
exploration that comes from this field of interpersonal neurobiology and
the central idea of integration. So, instead of giving you kind of the– all the
science behind it and the clinical implications of it before we do it, let’s
just dive in and do it. So when I ask you to do since
probably most of you are very familiar with contemplative practice because it’s the
center of Naropa University’s early origins and certainly it gives us time to say, well what is this inner world
of our mental life really like? Let’s dive in and explore it. So what I ask you to do is
just put your stuff down. Let’s make sure all our phones are off and even
turn them off from vibrate if you can and as, you know, get yourself ready, so sitting
up straight like any reflective practice. This one is called the wheel of awareness
practice and what it entails is an exploration of different aspects of our
inner and interpersonal lives. And to begin with, just to give a little
framework to the focus of attention which we’ll be really playing with and exploring
in just a moment, before we close our eyes, get ready for an inner practice,
we do bless you. In fact, let’s have a bless you, for everyone
who’s going to sneeze for this evening. There you go so feel free to sneeze. So, let’s just have with your eyes open,
let your visual attention come to the middle of the room around here and if you’re out in
the online world, just let your focus come within the screen to where you imagine in
the middle of the world — room would be. And then send your visual
attention back to the far wall here. And now, let your attention come
back to the middle of the room and then bring your visual attention to about
book reading distance as if you had a book or magazine in your hands and just notice
how you can determine where attention goes. And just like the common practice
of focusing on the breath, let’s just now let our attention find
the breath and just do a short bit of breath awareness practice,
the basic mindfulness practice of strengthening our attention,
sometimes called the Shamatha but it’s really a universal practice not just
in Buddhist practice to focus on the breath. And let’s sense the breath wherever you feel it
most naturally, whether it’s the air coming in and out of your nostrils or your chest rising
and falling or the abdomen moving out and in. Just let your attention ride the wave of the
breath, even the whole body just breathing. Let’s spend the moment now just ride
in the wave of the breath in and out. [ Pause ] And just sensing the breath can bring
us to a deep place beneath the surface of all the chatter of our thoughts,
and memories, and images, and feelings and for people who feel safe in the
water, this can be a useful analogy to going beneath the surface of the ocean. We’re deep beneath the surface,
it’s calm and clear. And from this deep place of tranquility and
clarity, it’s possible to just look upward at the surface and notice
whatever conditions are there. It might be flat. It might be rough waves. It could even be a full storm and
no matter what those conditions are, deep beneath the surface,
remains calm and clear. And so, we know from all sorts
of studies that simply focusing on the breath can bring a deep sense of clarity
and strength as it stabilizes our minds, and we’ll talk a lot about that later on,
but for this practice we’ll let the breath go and I’d like to introduce to you to a practice
if you’ve never done it before that we do at the Mindsight Institute
called the wheel of awareness. And the idea that is simply this, if
you can imagine in your mind’s eye if your eyes are closed or if you want to open
them and look at me I’ll show you with my body, if you can imagine a large
wheel with an outer rim and a smaller inner hub that’s also a circle. We’ll be talking about this visual image and if
you’re like me, it maybe hard for you to evoke, actually seeing the image and that’s fine
as long as you have the sense of the idea of a wheel with an outer rim and inner hub
and imagine that there’s a single spoke that can be moved around from the
hub to various places on the rim. So what I’d like you to imagine is this, is that the hub represents the experience
within consciousness of knowing. It’s basically the most direct way. The simplest way of defining what consciousness
or awareness is, it’s a sense of knowing. And within consciousness, we not only have
the knowing which is represented in the hub, we have the known which could
include for example, what you see with your eyes or
what you hear with your ears. And the known, which will go through
as a review includes what’s on the rim, so the rim represents anything that we
can know about like what we see or hear. The hub represents the experience of
knowing and the way we connect knowing to the known is with the spoke of attention. So the spoke is the way we direct attention
and we’ll systematically move the spoke around the rim, which if you
can picture it like a pizza, we can divide that whole wheel
of awareness into four segments. The first segment we’ll review
includes our first five senses of sight, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching. We’ll then move the spoke over to the next
segment of the four and this is the segment of the rim representing our
internal bodily sense which in science we actually
call this sixth sense. It’s called interoception. We’ll explore that and then we’re
going to actually move the spoke around to the third segment of four in the rim. This third segment allows us to explore mental
life or feelings, thoughts, memories, hopes, dreams, attitudes, intentions, longings. All of that mental life is represented
here on this third segment of the rim. And then as we go around, we’ll do some other
things including exploring the fourth aspect of the rim, which is our sense
of relationships to people and things including outside of
these bodies that we inhabit. So that’s basically an overview of
the wheel with its knowing in the hub, its spoke of attention, and
its rim of the known. So let’s begin now again, letting your
eyes stay open partially closed or closed, it doesn’t matter whatever
feels most comfortable for you. Let your back be straight, unfold
your legs if they’re crossed, keep– if you’re on the floor, that’s fine, you
can cross it but if you’re in a seat, it’s helpful that both feet flat on the floor. This is an active practice, so we want to have
a sense of dignity, our chest could be like, :OK I’m getting ready to go here,”
and let’s begin the practice. Let’s find the breath and ride the wave of
the breath in and out, letting that deep sense of clarity and calm place us in the hub
of knowing of the wheel of awareness. And now let the breath go as your focus of
attention, so we’re letting the breath go but imagine that you are centering yourself
in the hub of knowing, in this wheel, and imagine either visualizing it or just
the idea of it, that you’re now going to send this spoke out to
the first segment of the rim. And let’s begin with the sense of hearing
and allow sounds to feel awareness. [ Pause ] And now moving the spoke over a little
bit this time to the sense of sight and let light feel awareness
coming through closed eyelids or you can gently open your eyelids and let
us all focus bring light into awareness. [ Pause ] And now moving the spoke over a bit
this time to the sense of smell, letting any odors feel awareness. [ Pause ] Now moving the spoke over a bit
more, this time to the sense of taste, putting tastes feel awareness. [ Pause ] And now moving the spoke over one more
time in this segment to the sense of touch, anywhere where the skin is
touching clothing or the floor, skin touching skin, hand holding hand. Let the sense of touch feel awareness. [ Pause ] Now, I invite you to take a bit of a deeper
breath as we let these first five senses that bring the outside world into awareness. Letting them go as we imagine moving the spoke
of attention over to the next segment of the rim and this is the segment that
includes the interior of the body. And let’s begin with the facial region,
allowing the sensations of the muscles and bones of the facial area feel awareness. [ Pause ] And then, focusing on the sensations from
the skin and the muscles and bones at the top of the head, at the top of the
skull, and then back to the back of the head and the side where the ears are. And then moving to the sensations of
the bones and muscles and the shoulders, and then streaming attention down both arms from
the shoulders, to the elbows down to the wrists and then down to the ends of the fingers. And then bringing attention to the upper back
and the chest, and then to the muscles and bones in the lower back and the
muscles in the abdomen. And now bringing attention to the hips,
and then streaming attention down both legs from the hips, to the knees, to the
ankles and then to the ends of the toes. [ Pause ] And now bringing attention to the pelvic
region sensations, to the genitals. [ Pause ] And then to the sensations of the
intestines beginning in the lower intestines and then moving inside the abdomen to
the middle intestines in your stomach. And then even up through the center
of your chest, through the esophagus up into the interior of the throat. [ Pause ] And now bringing attention
to the interior of the lungs and now centering attention in the heart region. [ Pause ] And now expanding our attention to the interior
of the body, letting the whole of the interior of the body muscles and bones,
our internal organs, setting all those sensations feel awareness. [ Pause ] And knowing that our perception of
the interior world, our interoception, is a window into the wisdom of the
body invite you now to take in a deeper and more intentional breath as we let this
window into the wisdom of the body go for now and we imagine moving the spoke over
now to the third segment of the rim. And this is a segment of the rim, this segment
that represents our mental life of feelings and thoughts, memories, images,
intentions, hopes, dreams, anything that’s part of our mental life. This known of mental life is represented
here in the third segment of the rim. So with the spoke of attention
coming from our hub of knowing, we then aim it at this third segment and we’ll
do this part of the rim review in two portions. The first portion simply goes like this, from
the hub of knowing of the wheel with the spoke of attention going to mental life, simply
invite anything at all into awareness, any feelings, thoughts, memories anything. And so in many ways, this
is kind of the opposite of a standard breath practice instruction
where you’re told to focus on the breath and if a thought or feeling
or memory intrudes you, let that go and you come back to the breath. This is an opportunity to say to
your mental life, bring it on. Anything in there or nothing, whatever
from the hub of knowing, you’re spoke going out to this part of the rim, you just
say, “Come on in,” just like a room is on a guest house, anything
there just let it come. And let’s do that portion now
and when you hear my voice next, you’ll hear about the next portion
of this part of the rim review. So we’re just inviting anything
in from mental life. [ Pause ] And now for the second portion of
this review of our mental life. I invite you again to simply invite anything
to come in or nothing whatever is coming from that aspect of the room into
the hub of knowing of awareness. Only this time, I invite you to pay
particular attention to the characteristics, the qualities by which in mental
activity, let’s say a thought or it could be a memory,
but let’s say a thought. How’s a thought first present
itself to awareness? Is it sudden? Is it gradual? Does it come from one place to the other? What it’s like for something
to present itself to awareness? Then once it’s in awareness,
how does that to stay there? Does it vibrate? Is it solid? Is it fluid? What does it feel like to actually
have something stay in awareness? And then, how does this mental activity,
this thought, how’s it leave awareness? Is it just replaced by another mental activity
that kind of overlaps it or is there a gap between two mental activities and if
there’s a gap, what is that gap feel like? So, here I’m inviting you to study
the architecture of mental life. How things first present themselves,
stay present and leave awareness. And let’s begin that practice right now. [Pause] And now, I invite you to find the breath and
just ride the wave of the breath in and out. And before we move from this third segment
of the rim to the fourth and final segment, we’re going to try a step of the wheel where
from the hub of knowing the wheel of awareness, we’re going to send the spoke of attention out. But instead of going to the rim, imagine
that you can bend the spoke around. So it goes out from the hub, it then bends
before it gets to the rim and aims its focus of attention, straight into the
hub of knowing of awareness. So, for this part of the practice, from the
hub of the wheel, you’re sending this spoke out from the hub, bending the spoke around. So, it comes back to where it
was launched from basically, and aiming attention right
into awareness itself. And let’s see what awareness
of awareness feels like. Let’s begin that practice right now. [Pause] And I invite you to find the breath. And ride the wave of the breath in and out. [Pause] Knowing that sensing whatever
the hub of awareness feels like is something we can develop
more and more as we practice. I invite you now to imagine
straightening out to spoke of attention. And moving it now from its
focus on the hub to going out to the fourth and final segment of the rim. And this is the segment of the rim that represents what we can call our relational
sense, our sense of relatedness or connectedness to things beyond these skin-encased
bodies that are part of who we are. So, to begin with, I invite you to
just let the sense of connection, here and now with this spoke going
to this fourth segment of the rim. Just invite the sense of connection
to people for closes to right now. Physically closes to you, just
let that sense of connection to those closes to you feel awareness. [Pause] And now, let that sense of connection expand, if
you’re in this room doing this practice to all of us sharing this room here tonight. And if you’re out in another world listening
to this, just the people who are outside of this space here and a little bit further
away, but still physically somewhat close. Let your sense of connection to this
wider set of people feel awareness. [Pause] And now, let that sense of connection to expand
even further to people not physically close to you, but your friends and family. Let your sense of connection to
friends and family feel awareness. [Pause] And then, widening that sense of connection
even further to people you work with. People you work with clinically or
you are teaching or get taught by. All the different people professionally
you may interact with in your work life. And then, letting that sense of connection
to expand even further to people who live in your neighborhood, to people
who share your community. And then widening that sense of connection to
people who live in your city, to people who live in your state and then widening it even further
to open an awareness to the sense of connection to people who live in your country,
to people who share your continent. [ Pause ] And then broadening that sense
of connection to all human beings who share this common home, we call earth. And then see if you can permit that sense
of connection to expand even further to all living beings, all animals,
all plants, who share our common home on this planet, to all living things. [ Pause ] This sense of connection what we can
call our eighth sense is probably one of the most underdeveloped senses that we have
and helping nurture this sense of connection to other people throughout the world
and to living beings on this planet. It’s probably one of the most crucial missions
we can all be on as we expand our sense of consciousness or sense of
awareness from the inside out and recent studies have affirmed what
contemplative practices have been teaching for a hundreds and even thousands of
years that bringing a positive sense, not just of connection but of wishes of
love, and kindness, of care and concern out in the world, actually not only
bring positive changes out in the world. Recent studies have shown they bring
powerful physiological improvements to our own bodily health in many,
many ways that we’ll talk about. So with that in mind, knowing that science has
affirmed what contemplative practices have been teaching for a long time, we’re going to do a
very basic love and kindness, positive wishes, compassion reflective practice with
a little bit of a twist at the end. So, it goes like this. We’ve been feeling a connection to all
living beings, so we’ll begin with the wishes to all living beings and especially for
those who’ve never done this before, the way I’ll do it is, as you probably heard it
many, many times is I’ll say part of a phrase and then I’m going to pause
and quietly in your mind, you can explore that and repeat the phrase. And then I’ll complete the phrase
and you’ll repeat it the completion and then we’ll go on to the next phrase. So we’ll begin with, may all living beings be
happy and live with a playful and joyful heart. May all living beings be healthy and live with a
body that gives strength, energy, and stability. May all living beings be safe and protected
from all sorts of inner and outer harm. [ Pause ] And may all beings flourish and
live with the ease of well-being. [ Pause ] Now, taking a bit of a deeper breath, we now
direct those same wishes to an internal sense of who we are and this internal sense can
be represented with the word I for internal. So may I be happy and live with
a playful and joyful heart. [ Pause ] May I be healthy and have a body that
gives strength, energy, and stability. May I be safe and protected from all sorts
of inner and outer harm and may “I” flourish and live with the ease of well-being
and now taking a bit of a deeper breath. We now come to the little twist that I
was talking about which goes like this. You know, our world we’ve been taught often
from our homes, to our schools, to the culture, from media and other messages we
get that the self is a solo act, where the self lives in these bodies we inhabit. But that view, as we’ll explore, is
a limited view and a more integrative and perhaps accurate notion of
a healthy self is where, yes, you have an internal experience
the ”I”, we were talking about. This way we have a “me” that’s the body,
giving the body sleep, and nourishment, and caring for the body is really important. That’s the “me.” But we also have a connected self, where
we’re linked not only to other people, but to this magnificent and
fragile planet of all living beings. And we can encapsulate that sense of a self,
as a ”we.” And if we combine the “me” and the “we,” we get a single integrated
self that we’re going to call MWe, MWe. So we’re going to give a loving-kindness set
of phrases to MWe and here is how it goes. May MWe be happy? And live with a playful and joyful heart. May MWe be healthy and have a body that
gives strength, energy, and stability. May MWe be safe and protected from all sorts
of inner and outer harm and may MWe flourish and live with the ease of well-being. [ Pause ] I invite you now to find the breath and
ride the wave of the breath in and out. [ Pause ] Knowing that we can all return to this wheel
of awareness practice, doing the whole thing or parts of it whenever we feel
like it or as a daily practice, I invite you now to take a more
intentional and perhaps deeper breath as we let this wheel practice
come to a close for today. If your eyes are close, you can
let them get ready to come open. If you want, you can stretch your body around,
even get up and move around a little bit. [ Pause ] So, thank you for participating in
the wheel of awareness practice. We’re now going to continue
with the presentation. My aim is to have about 20 minutes of discussion
but given that we just did the practice, if anyone would like to share
anything briefly about just reflecting on your first person experience,
that would be welcome. Not so much questions or discussion about the
concepts but more just if you want to share what that was like we can certainly do that
knowing that you’re being streamed and recorded just so that’s clear. And no one says, “I didn’t know it
was going out to all those people.” Now that didn’t get anybody to get up. OK. So what I’ll do then is share with you some of the first person reports
from this experience. So I’ve done these in many
workshops around the world. We’ve had about half a million
people downloaded from our website, so you can get various versions of
this from the drdansiegel.com website. We just give it away for free and when we do
in-person workshops or when we get emails, I try to keep track of all
those first person reports. So we have basically data of what the
experience is like across many, many cultures, across educational backgrounds, ages,
religious backgrounds, all sorts of things. And what has been absolutely
fascinating about it, first of all, is if you want to understand mental life, having
the systematic reporting is a wonderful way of actually collecting, as a scientist, data
because part of when we’re going to talk now about what the mind is, is it’s about the
subjective texture of what our inner life is that we often experience within consciousness. So on one level the wheel of awareness
practice is a way to explore the inner world and then we can see what
that’s like for each of us. The second thing that we’ll talk about after
we just review that is we’re going to talk about what is the foundation for using
the wheel of awareness as an intervention? An intervention both on the individual level and
we’ve been teaching the wheel of awareness now to kids in kindergarten and
throughout the school years, and the results have been absolutely amazing. So what does it do when you
actually give people this tool to what we say is integrate consciousness,
and we’ll get in that in great detail. Then we’re going to move on to the whole topic
of compassion, and especially radical compassion and what does this practice tells us about that. And throughout all three of those explorations,
what am I going to try to do to you– with you is– do to you– what I’m going to
do to you is get you dizzy on the way home. What we’re going to do together is explore how
bringing all the sciences together, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, psychology,
sociology, linguistics, anthropology, and all the various sciences that exist. What would happen if you actually took
all sciences and created one framework? And that’s what we’ve done in this
field called interpersonal neurobiology and there’s a long story behind
it that we won’t get into tonight. But the bottom line is now there’s a series of
books, my colleagues and I have created a series and then the founding editor of the
Northern Series we have 40 textbooks that are now published for mental
health professionals to use. We have a new series for educators
and all the different books that you heard Christine mentioned
in the introduction are written through the lens of interpersonal neurobiology. So I know everyone laughed
when you heard the pocket guide because you probably know
it’s a very thick book. But if you wear cargo pants, it
actually does fit into your pocket. So when the book first came out,
I asked my daughter if it was OK. She said, “You’ll wear cargo pants
to a professional presentation.” Anyway, it does fit in there. So, there is a pocket guide and we’re going
to explore then how you can use science to make sure that what you’re saying
is consistent with the framework but not constrained by the framework. And what I mean by that is if you think
about the old Indian fable of “The Blind Men and the Elephant” if you
believe there is an elephant, some divisions of science was study the ear. Some will study the trunk, some will
study the toes, some will study the tail. They’re all right. But, the whole elephant needs a combination
of all those disciplines, step one. But step two, is if someone’s studied the
shoulder and someone studied the foot, you can kind of guess there’s
a probably knee in there. So, you got to be willing to have the courage
to be wrong and say, “Gosh I don’t know. But it’s probably something
that’s bending in there, we don’t know exactly what it’s
like, but let’s take a guess.” So, in interpersonal neurobiology we try
to say that all the sciences are fantastic and they’re looking at one division or one
way of looking at the whole of reality. So, if we’re working it right then what E.O.
Wilson calls consilience is what we’d be looking for, the universal finding
across all different disciplines. And that’s what interpersonal neurobiology is. The main textbook of that is
called, “The Developing Mind,” so if you read especially the second edition, you will see all the science,
all the references. If you want just the ideas,
it’s the pocket guide. I’m giving you all that background, because
we’re going to go on a whirlwind right now. Where you may hear things go,
where does he come off saying that? I just want to assure you that if you dive
into the science, like we’ve been doing for the last 25 years, you
actually can explore things like what the first person account
is in the wheel of awareness. Or why the research results from
mindulness training are identical, basically to the parent-child relationship
that produces secure attachment. And when I first said that in Washington D.C.
at this big neuroscience meeting to someone from the Mind and Life organization, they said, “I don’t think you know what
you’re talking about?” And I said, “Well I actually
don’t know what I’m talking about because I’ve never
meditated before in my life.” But why are you saying that about what I just
said, because I said, I think there’s an overlap in attachment and mindfulness, he said
“In Buddhism, in Buddhist practice, we try to get rid of attachment.” And I said, “What!” And then, I came to understand that its
attachment is clinging not attachment as love. So we have to be very careful the words we use. So, part of diving into each of these
disciplines like contemplative practices, the discipline for understanding reality
is you got to learn from the inside out what each discipline is
using as a vocabulary lesson. OK, so that’s just the background. So let me just describe to you
some of the first person accounts, because it’s actually fascinating. Number one, when I first did this
extensively it was in Australia and I have– was on a sixth city tour. Sixth city tour and I had minder by me, and
that means a person guarding me from something, I don’t know why they do that,
but she was by me all the time. And so people at the break would always come up. This would be a day-long conference and
sometimes I do the wheel at the ends, sometimes the middle, sometimes
the beginning just to mix it up. And in every single one of those cities,
someone would come and say, “I’ve had hip pain for three years, it’s completely gone.” “I’ve got shoulder plan, you
know, for five years, it’s gone.” “My elbow couldn’t move for a year and half,
and now I can move it and the pain is gone.” Every city, and this happens all the time. And when I’ve had people email me,
the pain continues to stay away. So, why would a 22-minute
practice change things like that? What’s going on? So, that’s one of the scientific
question we have to ask. That isn’t the intention of it. The wheel of awareness got designed simply to
say to my patients, if consciousness is required for change and in our view, in interpersonal
neurobiology what we say health is, is a process called integration,
you’ll hear about that in a moment, integration is the differentiation of
parts of a system and then their linkage. And I had this table I had designed for
this new office back in the late ’90s where the center was this clear glass and
the outside was a rim I would walk them around the table and I would say, “Imagine
this is the structure of mental life and imagine this center glass
thing is like the knowing. And what if you could differentiate the
knowing from this rim that was the known,” and then there was like this
thing that held up the table. And I said, “Imagine that’s a spoke.” OK, so maybe it’s not a table of awareness,
let’s call it the wheel of awareness”. And then, we will go around with the spoke. And they started getting over
anxieties and traumas and depression. It was freaky almost like
the thing about the pain. And the idea of it then is purely as an
integration of consciousness practice. It literally differentiates the
elements of the knowing from the known and then all the knowns from each other. And then, systematically links them through
the movement of the spoke of attention. So, that’s where the practice came from. Years later, my colleague, Marry
Hartzell and I wrote a book called, “Parenting from the Inside Out” where we took
the findings of developing mind and translate it for parents which basically said,
“Self-awareness is the best predictor of a child attachment to a parent.” And what kind of self-awareness, it was a
deep insight into where you had been as a kid, but it was also about being
intentional as a parent. So we said, well what’s a good word for being
conscientious and intentional and awake. So, we used the word “mindful”, not aware that there was a 2600-year-old
practice of meditation. So, we said, be mindful. So then with the book came out,
people would come to us and say, when you will teach us to meditate. Now, this is the– like 2003, 2004. So, I was already thought of as a pry
on the university, because I was saying that relationships shape brain
structure which people thought was nutty. So, I didn’t want to do anything even
nuttier than that like meditation. So, I would say, “What do you mean meditation?” And sorry about that, but that’s
how I felt at those years. I’m so embarrassed to say. And they would say, “Well, look you say
meditation is one of your principles.” I say, “What do you mean?” “You said in your book.” I say, “Where is it?” They point it and say– they said, “Be mindful.” And they would– they’d point
to that and they say meditation. I’d say, “That means be conscientious.” They said, “No it’s a form of meditation.” I say, “What’s the form?” They go, “Mindfulness meditation. What are you talking about?” So, soon after that, I met this guy, I was put
on a panel with this guy that I didn’t know of. So, I read all his materials,
his name is Jon Kabat-Zinn. And you can actually get the
recording of this, this is in 2005. So, I was there with my buddy John O’Donohue
who he and I we’re doing all sorts of work on spiritually and all this stuff and,
you know, when John was still alive. Bless his soul. He was an Irish Catholic priest and poet and if
you never read this stuff, please get his stuff. Anyway, so John O’Donohue, he
was there and I was working– I met Diane Ackerman for the first time. But, anyway, I was on this panel with Diane
Ackerman and Jon Kabat-Zinn, so I said to Jon, I said, “I don’t know what does meditation
thing is because I’ve never done it before, but I read all your work
before coming up on the panel.” And what’s really weird is all the research you and that guy Richie Davidson
have done is basic– identical what my colleagues in attachment
research have done that points to a third thing which is an area of the brain
that takes differentiated areas, its right behind your forehead and it links
the cortex, the higher part of the brain, the middle, the limbic area, the brain
stem, the body, and even the social world that takes five sources of
energy and information flow. And all links them together, so
I said, all I can tell you is, you’re results from mindfulness training and our
results from loving attachments relationships that are secure are basically identical. And what was weird was I
dropped out at medical school– I’m getting through the side but you need this– gives you the feeling of
what was happening back then. I dropped out at medical school
in 1980, because it was– people are so not into what was going on inside
of us it’s all about the physicality of things, and decided to go back, and finish
school, I went on my further training. But 25 years almost to the day that I
dropped out at medical school I was asked to go back to that same medical school. And I was in the room where I decided to drop
out of school, it’s called the Ether Dome. And then, Etherized us and it was
weird, this is about two weeks after being with Jon on the panel. And I say, you know something– I
don’t know what I’m talking about, but its weird this thing called
mindfulness meditation have you heard of it? But, there’s bad and there’s secure attachment
and the third thing is, this integrative area of the brain they just seem to all
go together and if we have to guess, you’d probably see these particular fibers, and I named the fibers that’ll
probably grow if you do research. And then after I’m done, this guy comes
up to me and he says, “We’ve just finished that study and you’re absolutely right.” And it was Sara Lazar’s first
study of structural change in the brain mindfulness meditation. And that was one of our colleagues. So, it was– one of these weird things
is when you stick with the consilience, you start predicting things like
integration as a basic health. So, you know, Australia, one
way of understanding that is when people are not integrated, they
move either to chaos or rigidity. And so, part of what we’re going to explore
as we look into this first person accounts. Through lens of interpersonal neurobiology is that chaos rigidity reveal
a non-integrated system. And what is integration? Integration is the experience of harmony. It has the five features that spell the
word of you rearrange the element’s faces. So, F is flexible, so the
system can adapt to things. A is adaptive and it not only can
change but it can move over time. C is a mathematical term called coherent, which
means how it holds together fluidly over time. So it’s different from cohesive, it’s coherent. F-A-C, E is energize, it has
an energized quality to it. And S is stable. You can kind of rely on it. It’s like the ease of well-being. You rely on your own mental life. And so, part of what this first person
accounts for them, the pain thing was that these people have been
stuck either in the chaos of constantly feeling this thing flooding
them or you can interpret it as rigidity. They’re rigidly feeling the
pain in their bodies. And integration is a pathway for liberation. That’s the key. People would describe all sorts of
things about the emergence of mental life and in the topic I just see a big description
of what that is like for many, many people. But the part I want to talk to you about now
is when people try to articulate the hub. When you bend that spoke around in the
hub and I think one useful way of starting as Jack Kornfield and I started
teaching together, he is one person I met after meeting Jon where, you know, I’d
never been a part of mindfulness community or meditation community, never
studied religion or anything. This is like being– like
in this whole new thing. And so Jack and I, Jack and I started
teaching together and we taught in Seattle where there is a lot of high tech
people and, you know, we would– we did the wheel and there was a break after
the wheel and then after the break, we got back and people came up to the microphone. There is one engineer, he was 70 years
old, never meditated before in his life, just came because he was retired and
wandered, see what was going on here. And so he did the practice and
he goes like this and he says, “I have no idea what just happened to me.” And like everyone is like watching him. And we go, “Well, can you
share with us what happened?” And he goes, “I did the wheel and then
you had me bend the spoke and I was in this unbelievably open, spacious place and
I’ve never felt so peaceful before in my life and then when the whole thing was over, we did
the connection stuff, I went out on the break, I was walking through the
garden, it was like in– at Space Needle place, walk through the garden
and I see a gardener with that rubber thing in his hand and he’s like this water
is like floating all over the grass. And these butterflies are flying around.” And he goes, “And the roses were
like shimmering,” and he goes, “And I had this experience I’ve never had before
in my life where I was one with everything.” He goes, “What did you do to me?” He goes, “This is fantastic.” And he is not alone. We get people doing that all over the place. And it’s not that that happens every
time but the issue is what is that? And we’re going to talk about that. So from a first person account what’s
fascinating is whether you’ve meditated before or not, I’ve met people who were meditating
for 40 years, who do the practice, who are really, really excited about it. And what’s interesting about it is Jack and John both say it would meet
criteria for mindfulness practice. But it didn’t start like that. It started to be an integration of
consciousness practice which is so fascinating. So, you’ll see me talk a little bit about this,
there’s a book I will call “The Mindful Brain” which was– Jon said, “You
got to go get some experience because you never had any
experience,” I said, “Totally.” And so then I wrote about book about
being this naive dude, you know, spending my first time meditating on a week of
silence which is I wouldn’t recommend exactly. You know, it was the first time you do that. I thought it’d be cool to be, you know, near
all these scientists I always want to meet like my next door neighbor was Paul Ekman
and I really know what his feet look like. Because if you’ve done a silent retreat, you
know, it’s the royal silence, the noble silence, no non-verbal communication, nothing. You’re just looking down, no communication. So I never got a chance to talk to Paul. OK. So we’re going to take lessons from
those first person accounts in just a moment. Now, from a second person reporting that is
we’re receiving the first person reports, we’re going to start to compile this data
about mental life and what is the mind. So, as we now go through this, what we’re
going to do is look at the science of mind, science of health and from the lens of
interpersonal neurobiology and then link it to them– the third and final segment of our
talk is going to be about radical compassion. So, I’m going to say now a
couple of take home messages that if we we’re spending the
year together, each one of these, you could spend two months on each statement. And they’re so interesting at least to me. I mean, one time I was writing this book
“Mindsight” and I started getting all over excited about things on the phone with
my publisher because I want to put this in the “Mindsight” book and she’s listening,
there is silence on the other end. I said, wouldn’t it be so great to
really just address the issue of no one on the planet has defined what the mind is? Even the field of psychology,
psychiatry, philosophy of mind, they don’t have any– she’s silent. I said, “Wouldn’t that be a
great like part of this book?” She goes, “No. You’re probably the only person in the world
that’s really interested in that,” she said. And then she would say things to me like,
“Here in this paragraph you need an examples.” So I’d write up an example, she was, “No, I mean example that a normal
human being would relate to.” It was very humbling. So, I want to apologize for my excitement. But here is the bottom line about this part. The word M-I-N-D, the word M-I-N-D, they
are descriptions of the mind of course. And in Buddhist practice, there are
lots of descriptions of the mind. And I’ve had the wonderful, wonderful
opportunity to meet with all sorts of teachers, His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, all sorts of
Rinpoches that people wanted me to meet with and I have spend– I don’t remember
their names because they’re so– it’s like law firms, I just
can’t remember their names. Sorry about that. But anyway, but I’ll sit down and meet
with them and it’s very– it’s beautiful. It’s beautiful but ultimately my favorite was
recently, I sat down with some people actually to help start Naropa, and there would–
the one of the Rinpoches so I was just– it was supposed to be like a 20-minute meeting,
it went for 90 minutes and I started it with, “Can you tell me how you would
define what the mind is?” And of course his comment was, “Don’t you know?” And it went on like that for 90 minutes. So there are descriptions of course, mental
life, different functions, 92 this, 92 that, these all sorts of things but what’s fascinating
about it and this is to honor all that is that the only definition, let’s
talk about science at least, in science is to say the following statement. The mind is what the brain does. So the modern neuroscience view is
they say that mind is brain activity. And it may be related to
brain activity for sure. Well, I’m going to suggest you
is that commonly held definition. Short changes thus in a deep way. So, one time I was giving a lecture
to the retired professors of UCLA and an unretired professor starts screaming,
yelling me for what I’m about to tell you. Saying that I was reversing science for what
I’m about to say, so I want to apologize to him. He chased me to my car afterwards and then he’s
yelling and yelling and yelling and I said, “Do you really think that the
anger you’re feeling right now in your mental life is the same as
ions flowing in and out of membranes of neurons and chemicals being released? Even if they’re totally dependent on
them, why would you say they’re the same?” And he just looked at me and he said, “You’re going to probably use
this discussion we’re having in one of your lectures, aren’t you?” I said, “Yeah, yeah I will,
but I won’t use your name.” I don’t even know his name. OK. So here is the fundamental problem. Here is the fundamental problem. By equating the mind with brain activity, you
stick something very important like the mind and one of its outcomes which
is the self inside the head. You stick it in the skull. So it’s as if the body is just being
used as a transport system, right? I’m going to transport this guy’s mind
around because mind is just brain activity. So, we got to at least get out of the skull
and save the mind is at least embodied, right? But in 1992, I was on the faculty of
UCLA running the Child Psychiatry Program and I brought all these colleagues
of mine, they used to be my teachers, these scientists from all of these different
disciplines together and it was the beginning of the decade of the brain, we said, “Let’s
talk about the connection of mind and brain”. And there was an anthropologist in the room
and sociologist in the room and all sorts of other folks including physicist
and every mathematician is in the room, everybody was in the room. How could you get everybody get along? And the group is about to implode because
everyone can agree what the brain is. What’s the brain? It’s an organ up in the head
a hundred billion neurons, trillions of supportive cells
called glial cells. If I’m an average neuron I’ve got
10,000 connections to other neurons, that makes for trillions of connections and we
think the brain works by on-off firing patterns. Firing means ions falling in and out of
the membrane called an action potential, the release of a neurotransmitter at the
end, there’s lots of neurotransmitters. Let’s name a few. Adrenaline, what else? Cort– Serotonin, dopamine,
acetylcholine, exactly. So there’s lots of them. That’s cool, that’s great. Some are inhibitory, some are excitatory. I mean, here is the thing. There are more firing patterns in
your brain, on-off firing patterns with that various combination
than atoms in the known universe. So you should never get bored. Just try it every firing pattern. That’s the secret to life. End of story, any questions? So here is the story. What is happening in the brain is
the flow of electrochemical energy. Its electrochemical energy transformations and the neuroscientists, you
know, we’re happy with that. That’s what they do. What happens in a group is
relationships are the sharing of what? Energy and information. An anthropologist studies how patterns of energy
and information flow are institutionalized in various totems and cultural practices
that not only happen in the present moment but how they are passed across the generations. That’s what cultural evolution is all about. Changes in ideas that help mediate
changes in energy and information flow. So here I had this group, and the only
way to get them to get along was to figure out how do you connect culture to the cortex? Right? So, I’m– rather than spending a lot of
time with this, here is what I said to them, 100 percent of them agree with this. We went on to meet for almost five years. This definition has been very useful,
this definition has allowed us to predict what future science and
empirical studies will actually show and you read about that in “Developing Mind”. So, from a scientific point of view, we wouldn’t
never say its proven but so far it’s supported by the science and there hasn’t
been a single thing to disprove it. But that was offered up in 1992. You can see how many people were
excited and embracing it like no one. So, here is the definition that said predictive
value and that helps us understand the wheel of awareness practice and that
gives us a foundation for moving in to the idea of radical compassion. The system that we’re looking at, when we look
at the mind as an anthropologist or sociologist, or attachment researcher studies in terms of
parent-child relationships is about energy and information flow and how
it’s shared in a relationship. A neuroscientist who’s very interested in also
studying the mind equally devoted and dedicated and brilliant in all sorts of hard work
and wonderful things, is studying energy and information flow often just up in
the head, I don’t mean just meaning that but that’s all that fits in the scanner. So– and that’s great. The brain structures are
really, really important. But what they share in common is what did I say? Energy and information flow. OK. So, it’s not like rocket science, it may
be brain science but what we’re saying is that energy and information flow is
what an anthropology, sociologist, and relational psychologist study and energy and
information flow what the brain scientist study, and what a physicist will be
interested and even a mathematician. So how do we talk about the system
of energy and information flow? If relationships are the sharing and the word
brain, this could be the embodied mechanism. So, we have a place for brain and its whole
body so we can talk about the embodied brain, but my daughters says that’s redundant. I said why is it redundant? She says, “Have you ever
seen a brain not in a body?” But you get the reason we’d want to say that because we don’t want to
forget about the whole body. But if you just say body, there is so many
studies in what’s called neuroplasticity that look up in the head that people
would forget you’re really talking about really, really, really hard science. So, we’ll just call it brain
but we mean the embodied brain. OK. So, you have an embodied
mechanism, that’s the inside, you have the sharing, that’s the– between this. What would the mind be? What kind of thing would be
both within you and between you? Between you and other people
and between you and the planet. What would it be? Its energy and information flow, but
what about energy and information flow? So the system we’re talking
about has three features. It is open to influences from
outside of itself, so it’s open. It’s a system that is called nonlinear,
which means that small inputs– how many of you feel this in your
mental life, small things that happened in the morning have a large
and unpredictable results. Any of you feel that way? So it’s nonlinear that’s, just
the definition of nonlinear, small inputs lead to large
and unpredictable results. And the third characteristic is it’s capable
of being chaotic, pretty much unpredictable. Any of you feel that way about your mental life? You are what’s called a nonlinear
open chaos capable system. And in math, now we’re going to math that has a very particular definition
it’s called a complex system. And a complex system doesn’t
mean you’re complicated. It’s actually quite simple. Complex systems are incredibly
elegant in how they function. Like a cloud floating across
the sky is a complex system. What I’m going to suggest to you is the mind
is a particular aspect of that complex system. And what is it? Complex systems have something
called emergent properties. And that’s not just some
California feel good term. It’s actually a math term that
the interaction of the elements of a complex system give rise to a property. And one of those properties
has a very cool name. It’s a math term. It’s called self-organization. Self-organization is what we’re going
to say that among many other things in mind might be one of those things
is this, the self-organizing emergent. So it’s self-organizing process. Where is it? It’s both embodied and relational. What does it do? It regulates energy and information flow. So it’s the self-organizing emergent,
embodied and relational process that regulates energy and information flow. Now when you’re a regulator
process, what are you doing? You’re doing two things. You are monitoring something
like when you’re driving a bike. When you’re steering a bike, you got to
watch where you’re going and feel your body. But the other thing you have to
do besides monitoring is modify. So the way you strengthen the mind is
you stabilize the monitoring capacity, which is what I think mindfulness
Shamatha practice does. And then what you do and this is the
proposal to make this mind not only stronger but make it move toward health
as you say to yourself, how am I going to modify
energy and information flow? I can do it by altering what I send
out in terms of photons, right, because that’s modifying energy flow. I can change what I say, that’s
the energy of air molecules moving. I can change the movement of my body,
that’s the kinetic energy of my body, right? So we’re not talking about something
mysterious when we talk about energy. And what’s information? Information is a pattern of
energy that has symbolic value. It has meaning. [ Foreign Language ] That was energy, right? Air molecules moving, but no
information, let’s just speak gibberish. So, we extract information from energy patterns. In fact, that’s what a learning difference
is some kids can’t do it in the classroom. That’s a whole another topic. But the issue here then is
mindfulness practice does two things. It strengthens the monitoring capacity
by stabilizing with what I call a tripod of this mindsight lens, mindsight is see energy
and information flow within you for insight and within other people in
between you for empathy. And then mindsight is the third thing. So it’s inside its empathy and its integration. So through a long line of
raising and exploration, the mathematics of self-organization
says this incredible thing. It says this, it says that a system that
differentiates its parts are complex system that allows different parts to be unique
and specialize in what they do like the left and right side of the brain being
different or the cortex and the lower part of the nervous system being different
or two people in a relationship. Honoring differences and promoting
compassionate linkages for a relationship or having differences in the brain and promoting
linkages, in common language terms not in math, but in common language term
we call that integration. So integration is defined as the
linkage of differentiate parts. The mathematics of complexity says,
when a complex system is self-organizing to do something called maximizing complexity,
which is basically creating harmony, for it to optimize it’s self-organization
to be flexible, adaptive, coherent, energize and stable, it must– not in math
terms are we going to use this word in English, regular language, it integrates the system. Amazingly, and this is what was really
disturbing me back in the early ’90s, all of my patients came in with
either chaos, rigidity or both. And when I looked at the DSM, I
could reinterpret it as every symptom of every syndrome in the DSM could be seen as
examples of chaos or rigidity like the many of manic-depressive illness would be
chaos, the depression would be rigidity or in experientially caused problems because
manic-depressive illness is not believed to be that, but an experientially
cause-like posttraumatic stress disorder. What would be chaotic symptom of PTSD? Flashbacks, intrusive feelings
from past traumas. What would be a rigid symptom of PTSD? Freezing, numbing, right? Shutting down, being disconnected
from your body, avoiding situations that
are related to the trauma. So a given person can have
both chaos and rigidity. Here is the amazing thing. Integration when it’s present is harmony. It’s like a river going through. And when integration is impaired, if you
block linkage or block differentiation, you get either chaos or rigidity, so there
was a science that explain the patterns of understanding all mental disorders. So the hypothesis from this definition was
when we looked in the brains of individuals with difficulties, you’d
see impairments integration. And what was found at Harvard University? Martin Teicher found people who are severely
neglected or abused, there’s various forms of developmental trauma, impairments
to the integrative fibers of the brain. The fibers that link widely
separated areas to each other. What about in non-experientially
related disorders? Hilary Blumberg at Yale University found the
integrative fibers from the prefrontal cortex, the right ventral lateral prefrontal
cortex to the right amygdala in the limbic area deficient,
deficient integrative fibers. What did Marcus Rico [assumed spelling] find
at the University of Washington in St. Louis? Impaired integration only
in manic-depressive illness, also people with schizophrenia,
people with autism. The implications of these are huge because
we know from the study of neuroplasticity that you might be able to do
interventions by doing something that promotes the growth
of the integrative fibers. So this book I wrote called
Mindsight is all about that. It says, “If mental disturbances in an
individual or cause by impairments integration, could you use neuroplasticity to focus
attention and drive energy and information flow through the nervous system based on
the inspiration of a relationship that could inspire a person to rewire
their brain toward integration,” and that’s what you’ll see in that book. Case study after case study and now a similar
controlled study is being done for example with people in manic-depressive illness
with mindfulness meditation in individuals with bipolar disorder, manic-depressive illness. David Miklowitz [assumed
spelling] is doing that at UCLA. What’s being done by Kiki Chang at Stanford? Taking adolescence what risks of
drawing manic-depressive illness, and giving them mindfulness practices. Why? Because if you have to say in a
nutshell what is mindfulness training do? It integrates the brain. It increases what’s called the connectome. Connectome is just a fancy word
that scientists are using these days for how differentiated areas are linked. And there are three studies that
have come out in the last four years that show mindfulness training
increases the connectome. And we can get into the details but it
doesn’t really matter for our purposes here. But the bottom line is mindfulness is
a training that integrates the brain. Now you say, “Well, who really
cares about that?” If you care about health,
here is what we need to know. Every form of regulation that we
looked into, I had 15 interns worked with me to revise a developing mind. And we looked into this in great detail
and I said, “Prove these ideas are wrong.” It’s easy to say they’re
right, prove they’re wrong. Let’s write a new book. They thought I was nuts. I said, “That’s the only way you could precede.” But here is what we found. Every form of regulation, regulating
attention, regulating effect or emotion, regulating thought, regulating
behavior, regulating relationships, all those come under a general
term called self-regulation. All of those forms of regulation
depend on integration in the brain. And here’s something that
took 20 years to figure out. And I told my interns this
is too simple to be true, but we couldn’t find a single
thing to disprove it. Tons of things to support it so we can’t
say it’s proven, but here’s the hypothesis. Relationships where the sharing of energy and information flow is integrative stimulate
the growth of integrative fibers in the brain that are the bases of all self-regulation. And that’s just– we can’t find anything
to disprove that, lots to support it. So then you go, “Whoa, that’s kind of freaky.” Integration is like outside
of you and it’s within you and that’s the amazing thing about this concept. So let’s come now to radical compassion and weave together the practice
we did in the wheel of awareness. The statement we made that we now finally
have in the field of contemplation or science or mental health or parenting or
whatever, where this recent book I wrote for adolescents themselves, Brainstorm. It’s all based on this idea that
you can define what the mind is, not just described it but actually define it. And you can actually say where it is? It’s within you and between you. So let’s go through some of the take home
principles based on everything we’ve just said across the wheel of awareness practice, giving
a definition of the mind and mental health, the notion of integration and now we’re
going to move into radical compassion. So, here we go. And I’m just going to start with a disclaimer. I feel so optimistic that with the kind of
work all of you were doing, all of us are doing by saying you got to start with an
inside job and then bring it out. I feel so optimistic that we can make
massive changes on this planet for the good. So, I’m going to– [ Applause and Cheers ] So it’s an incredible time for all
of us from, we, to make this happen. I’m serious. So let’s take this apart one by one. The next disclaimer I want to say is
that when we look at modern society and see that in just our larger culture,
the self is placed inside the body. And scientists these days, neuroscientists
are putting the mind which creates itself up in the head so it’s not
even just the whole body. But even if you just limit it to the body,
so let’s see a loving parent treats an infant as if the infant self is only in the body and the made relationships there are
important, but not a part of the self. In school, what happens to
kids when they get to school? They say this is a really rough world. You got to really work hard, get your grades
up, you know, take the standardize test. You got to get those test
scores up, get your GPA up. And then you’re going to apply to
this kind of schools so you get into the middle school that’s really hard
to get into and then hurry up and work hard. Compete with that person,
compete with this person, hurry up and get to the best high
school you can because you want to get into the most competitive college
you can because you want to get into the most competitive
graveyard you can get into. [ Laughter ] And everyone is freaking out. And the implications of a self that is
constrained by the boundaries of the skin are that I, me, mine as we know in contempt of
practice is a source of not such a good things. But from a science point of view, what it means
is I am going to assume that I can consume as much as I want and I have
this belief that I’ve been told that the more stuff I have,
the happier I’m going to be. So I’m going to try to get a lot of
stuff [inaudible] competing to get into these competitive, competitive,
competitive things and then I get things and
I get this amount of stuff. And then what do we know from research about
people who are focused on getting stuff? You want more this is what’s called
an insufficiency state of mind. So I get this much and I take
a moment to say, “Am I happy?” And I say, “No.” So, what’s my conclusion? Get more stuff, I get more stuff, and then
I get more stuff, and then I get more stuff. [Inaudible] obesity of stuff, right? And I’m miserable, which is all
the studies are showing that. Now we know that acts of reaching out to other
people feeling connected something larger than a self-defined by your body,
feeling a sense of compassion, feeling empathy toward others and then feeling
the suffering of others and then reaching out in wise and skillful ways to
help others, that’s the definition of compassion, one definition of compassion. Compassion brings happiness. Not focusing on stuff and not focusing on
the idea that this self is in this body. That’s actually the source of well-being. It’s called Eudaemonia. That’s what the Greeks called it. And what do we know from Barbara
Fredrickson’s study, understands controversial but that and other studies have come out. It actually improves the epigenetic molecules,
these non-DNA molecules that sit on our genes that help prevent inflammatory diseases like
some forms of cancer and some forms of diabetes. We know that developing this kind
of presence to be in the world where you say it isn’t just
about me and accumulating stuff. It’s about me entering this receptive
state, and we’re going to get to the wheel in just a moment, this open space where I
realize you and I actually part of one whole like that guy said when he went out in the
engineer when he went out in the garden. That state is a hugely integrative state. These little encapsulated
self-states are impaired integration, so of course modern society is filled with
chaos and rigidity and people feel horrible and they don’t even know what to do about it. Compassion is, yes, feeling the
suffering of others and reaching out. But when we did a conference call the Seeds
of Compassion, you can watch this online, and I was asked to be on a panel with Richie
Davidson and Andy Meltzoff and Alicia Lieberman and Dan Goleman and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to present to His Holiness
the science of compassion. And I said to His Holiness, this in 2008,
I said this is really a troubling time because science shows us that when we’re
threatened we increase the biological thing we’ve inherited which is to live with
in-group, out-group distinctions. That allowed us to survive in the past, so
if you’re in cave A and the other folks were in cave B, if cave B came to get your
stuff you would kill them or you’d die. So those of us who had this in-group, out-group
distinction we survived the cave B assault. That’s just our history. We’re not at fault for the brains we’ve
inherited from millions of years of revolution but we are responsible for rising
above their innate tendencies to make us act in certainly ways. So I said to His Holiness. I said the first thing to say is that
science shows in over 200 studies, that the more threatened we are the more
in-group, out-group distinctions pervade us where we treat people who are similar to us
in our in-group, we treat them with kindness, and compassion, “Oh, sweetie come here.” That’s wonderful. But if someone is in the out-group, we treat them with more hostility,
under threat especially. That’s called terror management
studies, if you want to look that up. Second state of studies, if you
give a photograph of a person’s face and just have a little paragraph where you can
identify with the paragraph or not, same face. The circuitry of compassion that we know
is somewhat involved with feeling empathy and compassion toward others, it turns off
when the paragraph is not even related to. In this particular study, these are
a bunch of Dark Myth undergraduates. They have the same picture but in one picture it
said, “OK, this person graduate from Dark Myth. He went is now working at Startup. He loves playing video games,
you know, and he likes this kind of music which is popular that time.” The other paragraph with the same photograph
said, “He dropped out of high school. He loves to move the grease around in garages
and plays with Barbie dolls while he listens to classical music”, something like that. No circuitry of compassion, right? So I said to His Holiness, I
said, “What are we going to do? This is a problem.” And he said this beautiful thing which
he said there’s two kinds of compassion. There’s personal compassion for people,
your friends and family and you learned that from being loved by your
parents and that’s a wonderful thing, that’s a necessary thing but it’s not enough. We need to have practices
of universal compassion. What does he mean by universal compassion? It means that you can even embrace
the suffering of your enemies and you can move beyond in-group, out-group
distinctions, is really what he’s saying. So then he said, “But, you know, in
religion we haven’t done a good job trying to make the world more compassionate place.” Then I go “Oh my God, he’s going
to get everyone mad at him.” He goes, “So, you guys figure it out.” Come up with the secular approach that
everyone can embrace by well-being. And then 14 months later,
I was with him in Vancouver and so I gave him my homework assignment,
which I’m going to give to you right now. Integration is the basis I believe of health. Every living being on this
planet has a right to health. Therefore, the universal, that secular,
is everybody has a right to integration. Now, well how does that relate to
compassion, and especially radical compassion which I would define as universal compassion. This idea that we rise above
just reaching to people we know and that’s why we did the eighth
sense of trying to move beyond that. Integration when it’s made visible, rises above
that and brings out kindness and compassion. Integration made visible
is kindness and compassion. What’s kindness? I would define kindness as honoring and
supporting one another’s vulnerability. So you drop beneath all the external
adaptations of self-identity and self-protection and all this stuff we’ll talk
about in a moment with the wheel. And you drop to an open place,
where you live an authentic life. Now, you have to have the courage to be
vulnerable but that’s would kindness permits. And what’s compassion? Well as we define it, compassion
is having empathy so you understand the internal
experience of someone else. But then moving beyond just
empathy to feeling their suffering and then moving beyond just
feeling their suffering but actually imagining how you’d take an
action to reduce that suffering and doing it with wisdom, and Paul Gilbert
writes beautifully about it. And Paul and I were just teaching
up in Seattle together last week. And it was fascinating to
actually think about that. We’re going to work together again in a couple
of weeks in San Francisco on a whole conference on compassion, the science of compassion. And we’re going to have one whole meeting
with kids from middle school and high school. Because this can’t just be for adults
and it can’t just be for scientist. So here’s what want I to say
as I bring this part to an end and then we’ll have questions and discussions. The wheel– and put on your
seatbelt for this part. I was asked to spend a week
with 150 mostly physicists at a conference called Science and Spiritually. And I just kept on asking these
physicists, what is energy? What is energy? What is energy? And, you know, in various ways they would
say things like “We don’t really know,” or, “There’s various forms of it, like light energy,
the energy of sound, the energy of touch, electrical energy, chemical energy,
all the things we’ve talk about.” OK, so there’s different manifestations. I said, “But, what is it?” “What is it?” You could imagine what a nudnik I am, you
know, because I would ask people about the mind and other set saying, but here was
energy because these are physicist. And this is what they said. And you won’t really see this written so clearly as what they described but
this is what they say, “OK. If you had to lay it out, energy
is a potential to do stuff.” I said, “Energy is a potential to do stuff?” They go, “Yeah.” I go, “That sounds pretty cool. Tell me more. How do you measure this potential to do stuff?” They go, “Oh, that’s easy.” I said, “OK, what is it?” “It’s like a probability curve.” I said “What do you mean?” “It’s a probability curve the goes
between certainty and uncertainty.” I said, “Really?” I said, “Yeah.” I said, “Cool, that’s great.” So the conference ended and I’m
riding this train back to the airport. And I got three students with me who were there,
and I said, “Dan, you know, no one ever talked about what a mind was or what– how
that relates to the brain or anything. We just missed that in all this whole week.” I said, “Well I think I got some
insights from these physicists.” So I drew this picture that you’ll see in the
Pocket Guide or The Mindful Therapist book. Basically, here’s what I want to propose to you. The wheel of awareness is a metaphor. There’s no wheel anywhere. I mean, there’s a table on my office
but there’s no wheel anywhere. I don’t want to disappoint you. There’s no wheel. But what is it a metaphor for? Here’s what I think is going on. This is a total guess. It’s building on the science. It’s trying to be consistent with all these
first person accounts have been from hundreds and hundreds if not thousands
of people that have reported it. And then we have lots and
lots of people who’ve done it. So, here’s what I think is going on. I’d like you to picture the energy curve, its probability curve the
physicist are talking about. On one end, its certainty, and that’s
like when you observe a photon, you say this is exactly where it is. But at other times it’s uncertain
and its furthest distance from certainty is complete uncertainty. And if we graft that out, which everybody
did on the train for these students, and say it’s got this dimensions where the zero
point of this X axis, all on this X axis is like a plain and that’s zero certainty. And what zero certainty is
is infinite possibility. By being unconcern, it could be anything. So let’s just call that a plane of possibility. What arises from the plain are various
degrees of increased certainty basically. So let’s go midway and say, that as you
rise above the plane of possibility you get to something like an intention or a mood. And as you keep on rising above it you get to something called thinking
or remembering or feeling. And as you move all the way up, so
let’s call it a peak of certainty, you’ve arrived at a specific thought
or specific emotion or specific memory. And that mental life as we’ve
defined it is the movement of energy. Now what is it really mean to regulate energy? If the physicists are right it means
moving the energy probability curve. And what that means, is that all these reports
when people can articulate with the hub of the wheel was is that the hub of the wheel of
awareness knowing is the plane of possibility. And that the experience of accessing a mood or
an intention is your capacity to become aware of this energy curve moving upward, not all the
way to certainty, but moving above the plane. And then, let’s just call that a plateau,
when it rise even further and it gets closer to a peak level you get a
feeling like you’re thinking about something but it’s harder to detect. Maybe you felt that way as what people describe. And then bam! When it’s at thought, when
a possibility has turned into an actuality that’s what
our mental activities are, and that in this continuum we have a proposal of how consciousness itself
relates to mental activities. Now, that we can spend three days
doing nothing but talking about that but I want to relate this to compassion. If this hypothesis is true that the mind is a
self-organizing process that is both embodied and relational, so it’s within
us and between us. And then what is it doing? It’s regulating energy and information
flow, then the experience of mind is to move the probability curve continually back
and forth and back and forth between the knowing of awareness, the hub, which is the
equivalent of this open plane of possibility and all the things in between of your
intentions, your moods, your thinking and your thoughts, your emoting and your
emotion, your remembering and your memory. And then what we do in contemplative
practice is we strengthen the mind’s ability to stabilize all that, I’ll have you consider by
strengthening the capacity of a person to bring that energy curve to the open plane. Now here is the thing for compassion, because
obviously that’s an entire year we could talk about that has to relate to compassion. The place where we have personal identity is
the metaphor, it’s on the rim so that your peaks and your sub-peak values and your
plateaus, your intentions, your moods, they’re different from mine and
different from the person next to you and different from the person next to you. That’s fine. Personal identity emerges in these peak values
and sub-peak values of the energy curve. But here is the key experience
I want to offer to you. The plane of possibility would choose the
equivalent of the hub in you is identical to the plane of possibility in me. Infinite possibility is the same. And the place that we all find our deep
connectedness is when you teach people to drop beneath their peaks and plateaus and
strengthen the mind’s capacity to come back to the wheel metaphor to the
hub of the wheel of awareness. And that when you do that,
like that guy did in the park, suddenly you’ve dissolve the way all the
rim activity, all these peaks and plateaus that keep us separate from each other. And sitting in that hub for a guy who
never meditated before a day in his life, he is now realizing energy and
information flow with that kind of presence because this is the presence that
arises from this plane of possibility. That he now is not as a metaphor, not being
poetic, he actually is aware of the truth which is deeply are all deeply interconnected. So when I was doing the practice with you and
we’re all doing different parts but especially when we bend the spoke around, I did it myself and I just had this feeling
of unbelievable connection. When I look out at all of you right
now, we are all, in my suggestion, we are all nodes of a larger system
where the interconnection, the energy and the information flow between
us are the interconnection of these nodes we get born in
to which is called the body. And what’s happened in our modern society
is we’ve confused the node for the self. But it’s the system that’s the self. And the only way to get aware of
that is to do the internal work because the brain has a vulnerability, as
Einstein said, to develop a delusional belief because of all the cultural practice we have,
that actually the self lives in the body. But the system is the self. And when we do that, then you can enjoy
the node of your body, that’s cool. Your body is real. And you only get it for about a century, right? But here is the thing. Energy and information flow patterns
that all of us are trying to create in a movement toward radical compassion. We need to support love and families, yes. But we’re talking about moving beyond that
and saying we’ve inherited these bodies with these brains, with these
in-group, out-group distinction. We’ve got to train people
to drop to this open plane of possibility, get to the hub of the wheel. So they can actually not just hear
it, but feel it from the inside of how no matter what my rim points
are saying that is all this thing, oh your different from me, I drop beneath that. And I have the strength to see beyond these
evolved patterns of top down distortions that keeps us from really being present. So the work we all have to do
whether we’re scientist working with, seeing where all this is happening in the brain
or whatever or working in relationships in homes or in schools or working
with the larger culture. The time is right now, because
the self is distributed. We are just nodes in the distributed self. And this concept of we, allows
you to have the joy of your body and the joy of your interconnectedness. And together we can make this a more
integrated, kinder and more compassionate world. So thank you so much for your kind attention. [ Applause ] Thank us, thank us, thank us. So, we do have time for a
discussion which is wonderful. I invite you to reflect on these things and work
together, you know, this is a together thing as the saying goes, “It’s better together.” And the wonderful thing for me trained
as a scientist but working as a clinician and being just a person on the planet is there
is no need anymore for science and spirituality and well-being and everyday
living to be separate at all. They are all a part of one thing. [ Applause ] And the work is also love. This is hard work but it’s also filled with
joy because even when you reach out to connect with other people’s suffering, you
increase states of integration, you know? And we have to realize we are
literally all in this together. It’s not just some little saying
it’s something we can make happen. So there are two microphones here. I again want to thank you so
much and let’s have a discussion.>>Hi Dan.>>Hi.>>Welcome to Naropa.>>Thank you.>>I discovered your work in 2008
in an undergraduate class here. Studied stuff at Naropa University that
you can’t study anywhere in Australia. I know you’ve been there but anyway.>>Yes.>>So welcome. I’m so excited.>>Thank you.>>This whole weekend has
been full of my heroes. But just a little request, you didn’t
teach this today and I think you should.>>No, no. And the hand model of the brain, I was kind
of referring to it but you’re aware of it.>>I saw the gestures, yeah.>>Yeah. Yeah, I mean, I could do it
quickly but it’s in all the different books. But the idea that’s being asked is, you know,
that when people have a model of the brain and if this were more focused on, you
know, well-being and stuff like that. By knowing about the particular surface
of the brain and how to differentiate it, you can stream energy and information flow
within your inner life to promote integration. And the Mindsight book goes through
that in great detail and it starts out with a hand model, but basically it’s– your body is down here, your wrist represents
your spinal cord, you brain stem is here, your limbic area here, two thumbs be
a good model and your cortex is here. So, you learn the different
functions as you’re suggesting. And by knowing the functions as one of my– as a mother in on of the
workshops I was teaching said, “I realized it’s not my fault
but it is my responsibility.” She was flipping her little art, you
know, saying not going to do so well. So she realized instead of
beating up on herself, by understanding the brain you could be kind
to yourself and have more self-compassion. So, that’s just a quick model
but thank you for being here. Yes.>>So a certain feeling that I’ve been
getting throughout the weekend is for most of our presenters is that here at
Noropa particularly and probably a lot of the people tuning in, we’re
basically preaching to the choir. And as you said, this works is
not just for scientist and for– I’m not sure who else you
were saying, scientists and–>>Clinicians, parents–>>– clinicians, meditators–>>– human beings.>>– yes, human beings.>>Turtles and–>>And it seems like a lot of the
presentations are for people who are from highly educated communities
and I’m wondering, you know, how– and I’m not sure and I think this is a we,
you know, question it’s not just to you but how do we take these kinds of concepts
and this kind of learning into communities that don’t have the language, don’t
have this highly educated experience to support the understanding of some
of what we’re talking about here.>>Well, a lot of, you know, a lot
of the books for example that I write with my colleagues Mary Hartford [assumed
spelling] or Tina Bryson are to do exactly that, so we don’t talk about all the science. This is a university. Here, it’s a very deep learning so I
covered a lot of the very deep science. But for example we’re teaching
the wheel of awareness practice in the book called The Whole Brain
Child just so you had to teach to kids. We’re teaching it to kindergartens
all over the place. And by kids learning to distinguish the knowing
from known, they’re able to achieve all sorts of shifts in the way they comport
themselves at five years of age, they never hear about the plane of
possibility and all that kind of stuff. So you can do the practices without
all the scientific background. I mean, I’m a scientist and I thought you
guys might be interested, so we covered it–>>I love it.>>– but you don’t need to. And in terms of the practice I think there’s
a simple message that basically is this. We’ve come into these bodies with
brains we didn’t invite but that we live in that have certain proclivities. It has a proclivity to eat a lot of sugar. So you got to rise above that as we’re
going to need to smoke cigarettes or whenever you’re going to do to get
addicted to it, you got to rise above that. And like in the Brainstorm book, I invite the
adolescents saying, “Hey, this is your life, not the adults, but you got
to know about your brain.” So I wrote a book for adolescents and
it’s the same thing for the whole planet. We got to realized we’ve come in these
bodies but we’re going to kill each other in the planet if we don’t rise above that. So, it’s not our fault but
it is our responsibility. So the practice can be something in terms of
universal practicing of radical compassion, has got to be something like we have
a brain vulnerability to be in-group, out-group distinction and be towards
materialism that we need to rise above or we’re cooked literally,
with climate change issues. So, when the climate change folks
at the Garrison Institute asked me to do the keynote presentation
there, you know, I said I don’t– it’s not field, they said,
“No, come, come, come.” And I said, “What’s the problem?” They said, “Well we try to
inform people, it doesn’t help. We try to scare people it didn’t help. We don’t know what else to do.” I said, “Well if you– informing
them didn’t work and scaring didn’t work,
you got to transform them.” And, so this is basically a form of personal
transmission to dissolve the delusion of our separateness and realized
were own this together. And that does not have to be
a supper sophisticated thing. The good thing about it is everyone
is going to benefit from that. It’s just the matter of doing it.>>Thank you–>>Thank you.>>– and thanks for your presentation.>>Thank you. Yes.>>Yes.>>We’ll go back in forth.>>Sure. So, I work with a group called Social
Movements Research group that deals primarily with individuals who suffer from
dissociative identity disorder.>>Yes.>>And this has been, I mean, the
main founder of it has been working with people with DID for about 20, 25 years. And has discovered that when one personality
is in what you’re calling the hub I think that the other personalities are able to
exist autonomously and consciously outside of that space and I’m wondering how from
your position you would reconcile that.>>Yeah. So, you know, I’ve been working with
people with DID for over 30 years and it’s, you know, the area I’ve used to write
a lot about and still work with. So, I’m very familiar with that. Dissociation as you know is a fragmentation
of the mind that the research suggest, at least in over 90% of people happens
when there’s some form of early severe and chronic abuse before the age of 7. In my field in attachment research,
what we’ve been able to demonstrate is that disorganized attachment is at
least one cause, maybe there are others, of dissociation, of pathological dissociation. So, there are lots of ways in which trauma
literally impairs the integration of the brain and so you can have all sorts
to things going on. I actually have a patient with DID who wrote
me an e-mail about using the wheel of awareness and you’ll see it– I can’t remember which
book it’s in ,it might be in either Mindsight or The Mindful Therapist or The
Mindful Brain, one of those three. I just don’t remember which
one, too many minds in there. So, anyway, you’ll see here the e-mail she
wrote and she found it extremely helpful. So you can absolutely have
fragmentation of consciousness. And it’s an interesting question
about, you know, the knowing. You know, it isn’t so much that
I think there are different hubs. It’s that the fragmented personality states
in my experiences are more like rim states. And then you have a bunch of rim states
that are separable and at least in the way– they way I work with people,
the hub becomes this universal across all the different states
that are more like on the rim. And then the work becomes really workable. There are certain challenges of course when– anyway, it’s a complicated
thing to like the treatment. But anyway, one thing I just want to say is that
it’s very clear at least in my look at in all of the research, the clinical work. The sad thing is that many
clinicians don’t think DID exist. They think it’s a distortion of the
clinician who’s making up the term, but I think there’s plenty of
research that show it exist. At least my clinical experience,
and the research would support this, you don’t get a general therapy effect. You got to specifically work with a different
associative states in order to see improvement. So, one thing you might find interesting to
do is Richard Schwartz [assumed spelling] and I are going to do for the
first time, a conference together. And Richard Schwartz is one of
those internal family systems work. And, so we’re going to talk about interpersonal
neurobiology and the frame on dissociation and the work on internal family systems
and that might be of interest to you. Yeah. But thank you. Yes.>>Thanks a lot for this. It’s been amazing to listen
to you talk about this and using the language that you have for it. I’m a wilderness therapist
here in town and I work with– we do a lot of community-based
work with folks with addictions and different issues that their working on. And we’re focusing a lot around
technology and video game addiction and being a wilderness therapist of
course we do a lot of essential stuff and just really realizing how it’s a different
kind of connection, you know, social media, being video game, this kind of
personalities that their working on online and I was just wondering, if you
could talk a little bit about that.>>Yeah. Yeah.>>You know, you talk about integration
and connection and it’s so great that I can call somebody or face time somebody
in Japan, you know, with this thing I carry on my pocket but it’s also– so, you know, especially video games, it’s
just visual and audio.>>Yeah absolutely. No.>>Yeah.>>It’s a really important
question you’re raising. There’s a conference that I participate in
every year called Wisdom 2.0 and you might think about coming to that in San
Francisco because this is– your question is what we talk about like
for four days just this one question. So, I’ll just briefly share with
you some of the thoughts about it and certainly Sherry Turkle’s work
both in her recent one, Alone Together but also her prior one which I
think it’s called Screen Life, would be an interesting thing
for you to look at that work. Here’s the problem with–
I find with social media. It isn’t that there’s something
inherently wrong with it, just to start with the social media piece. It’s that we want to really encourage
what’s called contingent communication. That is not where you’re posting something
and then that’s it, you just send it out. You want to be in the moment having a nonverbal
connection with another person, eye contact, facial expression, tone of voice, your
posture, your gestures, your timing, your intensity of response, like let’s
all do those so we all know what they are. Let’s do it together. Eye contact, say it please.>>Eye contact.>>Facial expression.>>Facial expression.>>Tone of voice.>>Tone of voice.>>Posture.>>Posture.>>Gestures.>>Gestures.>>Timing.>>Timing.>>Intensity.>>Intensity.>>So, thank you, thank you. So, you know, when we don’t
have the nonverbal part we– in chatting and texting all that stuff. You know, you’re missing out on that. And my deep concern about the next
generation is this incredibly deep loneliness that people feel.>>Oh that’s exactly what I work with.>>Yeah. So being in the
wilderness and being, you know, this idea that Mark Birkhoff [assumed
spelling] is talking about, you know, rewilding [phonetic] the
idea of being in nature. Even the idea just to play in spontaneity
where you’re connecting with people wherever if they our interpersonal neurobiology
conference this year is on play and this importance of just being presents. You know, being present so
you can actually be there. You’re not really presents
when you just upload stuff. That’s the thing. Now, I once really got down on this in Australia
actually and if someone said, “How you doing?” I would have say, “It wasn’t doing well,” because one of the Australian researchers
just blasted me in this knight– whatever the equivalent of a female
knight from England we were both saying, “Yeah, yeah, be careful, be careful.” She said she had done a study of 100,000
adolescents on social media and for 80% of them they actually increase face
to face time through social media. And I know for my kids, they do that. My son was just traveling around the world
and, you know, if he went to Ukraine, he would type on his Facebook thing
headed to Ukraine, anyone there? And someone from college to
say, “Oh yeah Beth is there.” And they would write a Beth and then bam! He was staying with her for a month. You know, now she’s my daughter-in-law. No. [ Laughter ] So, you know, all sorts of
cool things can happen. So, there is nothing wrong with this. It’s how we use it from what
is keeping us from doing. Same thing is true with video games.>>Yes.>>You know, video games could be very exciting. Surgeons that do video games have
actually better eye-hand coordination. So, we can’t just knock it,
we just have to see– we have to make sure that the
fundamentals of life are not being missed. And I think David Rock and I
put together called the wheel– the Healthy Mind Plater of seven
things we should do everyday. And, so for a kid or adolescent, they
should be doing these things everyday. I mean, sleeping well, interacting with each
other face to face, having physical activity, focusing well, and not getting distracted. And all sort of things in there. So there’s a whole lessen. But please come to the wisdom conference and– ->>It’s called wisdom 2.0.>>Wisdom 2.0 just put that
in and you’ll see the line up.>>Awesome, thank you.>>Yeah, great. Thanks. And also it stream. So if they can’t make it to California,
they just stream that whole thing, yeah. Thank you. Yes.>>Hi–>>And let me just tell you. I have attention excess disorder,
so I could just keep on going. So, I may– OK, we’re in no hurry, cool. Please.>>First all, just so much
gratitude for the contributions that you’ve been making to our field. It’s just been so amazing to be able to
connect with children and young adults through what you’re teaching and have ways
to explain it to people as to what happened.>>Thank you. [ Applause ]>>So I heard you mentioned the eighth instinct.>>Yes, the eighth sense.>>The eighth sense. And I was curious if you could say a little
more about that and where we might be able to find more information on that.>>Yeah. I mean, when I was– you know, doing
the wheel with my patients it was like just sort of like simple math, it was like OK you got
your first five senses and I knew as a scientist that for over 100 years we’ve called
interoception which means perception of the anterior, the sixth sense. So before it was co-opted, I
mean, you’re talking to the death. So the sixth sense actually,
you know, interoception. So then when it got to mental life
I said, all right well let’s call that the seventh sense, I don’t know whatever. And then I realized there
was something more than that. There was also an eighth sense which is
the feeling you have of being connected, so the people, the planet, stuff like that. The sense of awe, gratitude, all these
things develop this– the eighth sense. I really do believe that the eighth sense
is one of the most under developed senses. So like right now for example I
just want to just pause for a moment and let’s think our interpreters for making
this available for our understanding. [ Applause ] You know, so we have all, I mean,
this is a beautiful way I’ve seen with translation with American Sign Language. Energy and information flow is
how we connect with each other. And so rather than just thinking of it as many social neuroscience do,
and I want to make this clear. Social neuroscience is one branch of
neuroscience which is a branch of biology. Interpersonal neurobiology sounds the same. I made up that term a long time ago just
to mean everything from the personal, meaning the internal and
the interpersonal and I put in some science thing in
there too like neurobiology. So, it’s different from social neuroscience. So a social neuroscientist that I talked
to saying that this is just social stimuli and that the mind is just brain activity related
to the input of stimuli that leads to feeling, thoughts and behavior, that’s a quote. So, if I say the mind is between
us, they’re going to know it isn’t. The brain is just social and
mind is just brain activity. So, I want to be– make sure you’re not going
to get into trouble if you go to a party tonight or tomorrow and you hang out with a
bunch of card-carrying neuroscientist and talk like we’re talking tonight. They’re going to roll their eyes and they’ll
say, “That’s not the way we think in science.” And so, I just want to be just
forewarned and I don’t want to protect you because what we’ve been talking about
I feel very deeply as a scientist, thinking in this interdisciplinary
way of interpersonal neurobiology, that this has a solid foundation
in subjective experience and also in predicting scientific outcomes. So, for all the criteria of
science, I feel very strong about it. But it’s not what scientists are saying. So just be aware of that. So in terms of the eighth sense, for
a society I feel like it’s the sense that we so deeply need to re-awaken. Because for example, when kids are not out
in nature, we had a wilderness person here and you heard earlier in
workshops about wilding and stuff. To not be in nature just disconnects us
from our connection to the planet, right? And that’s a serious problem. So we treat the planet like a trash can.>>Yeah.>>You don’t want to treat your
living room like a trash can. Why should we treat the planet that way? So, we need to really open up
this eighth sense seriously. And there’s no time like the present. This is, you know, when my kids were younger,
they would say, “Why are you traveling so much?” I used to feel guilty but I said, “There’s
a lot that needs to be done in this planet.” And I felt it was for them and their generation. We’ve got to take care as much as we can in
expanding awareness, in expanding these senses that you’re talking about so that together, you
know, this is a work that it’s not going to come from some president and it’s not going
to come from chair people of departments of academic institution, it’s not. It’s got to be a grassroots effort. And if you read the book by
Christakis and Fowler called Connected, it was all about the science
of how deeply connected we are. That basically affirms what Gandhi said, “We
must be the change we wish to see in the world.” So that’s the good news. Start with yourself. Work with other people around you, your
friends, your family, you know, your clients, your patients, your students,
whatever nd let’s get this out there. It’s a grassroots effort. But I deeply believe that
we can make this happen.>>Thank you.>>Thank you. Yes?>>Hi there.>>Hi.>>Thank you for being here again.>>My pleasure.>>And I’m just really curious about this
concept of separateness that, you know, we hold in our brains and that pervades,
you know, culture and time for so, so long. And the example that you gave about
anthropology and science relating to, you know, back in the days when we were cavemen
and it was about survival, right? And I get that as being some evidence. But then I have to think about like the wisdom
traditions that had been around for hundreds of years and got a space societies where
they knew deeply about this concept of we and this idea of interconnectedness. And how that also exist in evolution and just
any other evidence or explanations that you have about why separateness continues to
be such a concept that we relate to.>>Yeah. You know, in anthropology, there’s two
terms and I want to make sure I get them right. One is called an individualistic culture and
the other is called the collectivistic culture. And so, what we see in fact in some cultures, there is no word for I and
everything is seen as we. And then in our culture, modern western
culture, you have to be very careful of that, I was once a teacher of the Dalai Lama in
German and my son was there sitting next to me and we had this sort of small little intimate
thing and so we were asking questions so I said to His Holiness, “You know, what can you help us
with, you know, western culture where, you know, we’re so individualistic and stuff like that?” And so His Holiness goes, “You’re really
mistaken when you think it’s just the west. It’s the whole world, the
east, the west like that,” and my son said “Oh the Dalai
Lama got you,” you know. [ Laughter ] So I wanted you have to be really careful,
making generalization is the point of that. So, I guess what this is an argument for is
something in between that we haven’t created yet in our humanity, which would be not
individualistic and not collectivistic. Collectivistic, meaning,
you lose individual stuff. Individualistic is where there
is no real sense of connection. Some– The we is the idea like I use to
teach about these talks called Me to We, and one of my online students who was
in the workshop, she got really upset. And I said, “What are you upset about?” She goes, “You’ve taught us to be
really in touch with our bodies. That in attachment terms you
want to have self-awareness, that you want to have this presence
of mind, you wanted, you know, really take care of your self, that’s me.” I said, “Yeah that’s great.” She goes, “Why should we
dump that and just go to we?” I said, “I’m not really saying that.” She goes, “Look at the title
of your talk, Me to We.” So I said, “Well, it’s more
like not only me but also we.” And she goes “Well that doesn’t rhyme.” And so– [ Laughter ] And so I said, “OK.” And that’s when I made up the word mwe
[phonetic], and I said, “OK, they’re both.” So that’s the idea of it. And in terms of the practice, those are
contemplative practices that are being in touch with the interconnectedness of everything. That takes effort, you know. And so there is a tendency I think to have
this delusion that Einstein talked about and, you know, His Holiness, my God, since what, he’s
six or seven years of age he’s been meditating from five in the morning till
like 11 in the morning, you know, six hours of meditation everyday. And, you know, I’m sure he’s still has all
sorts of things that he struggles with. So, you know, this is the idea of, can we
weave into the culture, modern culture, from a scientific grounding– a statement that
like this next booking I’m writing is kind of look at– it’s an academic book,
but it’s trying to look at it head on. Let’s not put the mind inside the skull that
that’s a serious assault on what you’re talking about this interconnectedness of everything
that there is a fundamental mental process that is much interconnected as internal. So, you know if there’s any little way
where science can contribute to that, it’s to stop saying those things. The mind is just brain activity, because I think
it really gets us into serious, serious trouble. And then, you know, how we help
parents expand that, you know, by stopping this feeling of competition. Because there are all sorts of ways
that culture mediates this, you know, and there are so many studies that show
acts of compassion or generate health. You know, acts of compassion, you know, the
simplest study, you give someone 20 bucks and you say, “OK, I want you to spend
this 20 bucks on your self and I want you to spend this 20 bucks on someone else.” And then you measure at the end
of the day how happy they are. One person is really happy,
the other person not so happy. Which one do you think is which? The one who spends it on the other person, but
that’s not the way our culture is saying things. So we got to get this message out there. I think contemplative practice know
this for a long, long time, absolutely. It’s a wonderful thing.>>Thanks.>>Yeah. And this is why when His Holiness
gave the homework assignment, you know, religion hasn’t made it permeate
society come up with a secular view. This is where we all need to
participate in this homework assignment. Yes>>Committee, let’s have this be the last one.>>Really?>>OK. [Inaudible Remarks]>>How about let’s do this? How about if we do all five questions and then
we’ll end but I’ll answer them as a whole. OK, so– [ Laughter ] Yes, so let’s have these five
questions and– but you all going to– we have to have a collective mind here, so we’re
going track each five, we’ll see they’re going to be all interrelated in some profound way. Let’s see. Here we go.>>That’s really good. I’ll be happy to see how you do this.>>Me too. [ Laughter ]>>Greetings. I’m Jamie Amery [assumed spelling] and I worked with an organization called Windhorse
Community Services and we provide services, home-based services for people
suffering from acute mental illness. And basically create villages for folks to get
healthy, to get in line with their schedule, with their rhythms of sleep, with
their medications and so fort. And one of the things that we’ve seen is
the power of the tendency towards health.>>Yes.>>So, I know we’ve been talking a lot
about that, but specifically in this– in working with people with mental
challenges, if you could talk a bit about the tendency towards health.>>Beautiful, thank you. Yes? I’ll remember that one,
tendency toward health. Integration is a natural push
of a self-organizing system. Yes?>>I was hoping you would say a little something
about what it is to understand versus knowing, because you talked more about
known and unknowing.>>Absolutely.>>And when you asked us to go
back and take the knowing back on the known, I saw there’s understanding. But I know you said a lot about vocabulary
and how, you have to be very careful. And I don’t know if you see those
two the same or if that process–>>Yes.>>– which you can sense that
probability is in fact different.>>Great question, very different
and I’m glad you bought that up. Thank you very much. Yes, knowing versus understanding absolutely. Yes.>>Hi.>>Hi.>>And, can you talk a little more about
if this process towards integration and self-organization. Is that decentralized process
on how it gets articulated. Who are the structure that happening the
mind to support that process of integration.>>Absolutely. Yes, we’ll cover that. This is the next semester in Neropa.>>Right.>>The concern behind my question is, is
really has do to with the health of our planet and the issue that you’re raising for me was
around self-regulating systems and whether– or rather complex systems of that have
a self-regulating activity and does that mean necessarily that
they have mindfulness, so. In other words, does a blady grass which is– I think is a complex system have
mindfulness that couldn’t be depressed. And the question that comes up–>>Yes. Yes, yes. OK great. So we’ve– The blady
grass question is the last one about this distributive self-organizing element,
yes, and the element to this one question.>>So on the same line is nonverbal
communication that was talked about earlier. What is you’re view on nonsexual touch. Any imports of that for interconnection
with us and the world.>>Yes, OK great, great OK thank you. [ Laughter ] This is to Gandhi, OK. All right. So, let’s begin with the
fundamental issue about the push of organizing systems we have three
question related to that, right? We have one question about the
natural push towards healing. What’s that about? We have another element of
that question of integration which is how does a self-organizing
system find this processes? Are they distributed? Are they localized? How is that going on? A related question was, where
do we put this process? Like is it in a plate of
gras and what’s going on? We’ve got those three. Then another one was about
knowing versus understanding. And then the fifth one was about
touch, right, a nonsexual touch and the value of that in human life. So let’s start with the first
three and then we’ll move on. But to dive into them, let’s all just
put your arm around you’re neighbor and just realize we’re going
to now dive in this together. So this is doing the last one first and just
feel how good that feels and I’m sorry if you’re out and if we’re still– are we still streaming? You know, if you’re getting this
then you hug yourself, actually. Seriously, actually put one hand on your
chest then one hand on your abdomen if you’re out in the streaming world, and this is
actually a pretty good way to hug yourself. So, yeah, it’s nonsexual touch. Sadly in our society of legal issues and actual
abuse, we have to be super, super, super, super careful about that for sure. I mean, it’s just a wild side we live in. But with our friends, we can
do what we’re doing right now. And with yourself actually this
is a great move and I’m trying to get some I’m going to get a PhD on this. Because if you put one hand
on your chest and one hand on your abdomen you’ll get some comfort, and interestingly if you flip it the other
way you’ll see it may not be so comfortable and I’ve done this now on 14,000 people. And what you get with these numbers is you get
75% are right hand of top people are comforted, a quarter of left hand on top, it doesn’t
seem to relate a left hand or it’s right hand on this, so much to get a PhD on this. So any– No one has figured out why. And the second thing is I did one research
study of myself and I’ll just have you know that I’m a left hand on to a person. When I do it, my automatic nervous system
becomes integrated when I do it this way and when I do it the other
way I become unintegrated. And then you do that with the
heart rate variability coherence and I had the research director of HeartMath
didn’t know what I was doing I had him close his eyes and put the gadget on him. I put my right hand on his chest,
he was completing unintegrated. Took my right hand off with his formation, he
didn’t know what I was doing, I put my left hand on his chest, he behaved
completely integrated, a second PhD. I’m serious. Go figure it out. Someone will do it because you
have a built-in control, right? You know what UI mean? It’s a controlled grid. You say, OK do that and now do this. All right, and study the person. OK. So, yes, so the answer
to the last question first. Nonsexual touch is great. We don’t do enough if we touch each other. That’s great. But watch legal issues. And if someone’s been abused
it’s not– it’s a serious thing. So, in psychotherapy for example, super careful, misinterpreting what touch means,
I mean, it could be a disaster. So you have to really honor people’s boundary. So, so important clinically
and in the world too. OK, so now let’s do the second to the last
question and then we’ll get to the first three, which was the knowing versus understanding. So the quality of first person
experience is what we’re talking about, and one way of describing consciousness is just
it’s a feeling, if you had this to put a word to it, that I know that you’re
here and I’m here. I just know it I’m conscious of it. So the simplest way of describing
what consciousnesses is, it’s knowing not understanding. Understanding would be a point on
the rim of intellectual analysis and complex intricate interrelationships
among things. Understanding is fabulous, but
it’s not the same as knowing. Now I totally get where you can put those two
words together and I am going to try to think about how to introduce the wheel
practice maybe and try to avoid that, although you have your experience
then you can see what it’s like. So maybe I shouldn’t make a big deal out of it. But it’s a really good question
and thank you for addressing that. In any of these practices, we have to realize
when we convey them to some of the words. Words can be interpreted in all sorts of
ways and so you really want to explore with people what was that like and then say,
“Well I really understood, I understood that.” So I give you one little hint from me when I
was first learning Mindful awareness, you know, some of the people that taught it to
me used the word observe your breath. Just observe your breath. And in the end it turned out to be not
such a helpful thing for them to say. They should have said, sense your breath because now we know there are
a two circuits in the brain. One is the sensing circuit and
one is an observing circuit and they’re are very different. The observing circuit is mid line,
the sensing circuit is lateralized, this is the work of Farb et al in Toronto. And even in the “Mindful Brain”, I
suggest there are even two other circuits that haven’t been discovered yet. And they all spelled the word sock,
I’m an acronym addict, but S-O-C-K. I think there’s a sensing circuit, an
observing circuit, a conceptualized circuit that conceives, that’s the understanding part. And then there’s a knowing in terms of
this deep sense of knowing something. And that might be the same as sensing
or not, we don’t know, but that’s– I think there’s actually four and then I think
what mindfulness does is it differentiate those four and then links them. So thank you for the question
about knowing versus understanding. Now, that being said, the presence that arises
from getting in touch with this pure knowing and I say pure meaning, if you think about
our model, when you can drop to the open plain of possibility and there’s a model by Rodolfo
Llinas of the 40 cycle per second loop, if you’re talking about the brain
between the thalamus and the cortex. Now what I think when that happens in
mindfulness practice is that you have this– let’s just use Llinas’ model, you have
this constant 40 cycles per second going. So someone who’s mindfully aware
of something has a higher ratio of however the nervous system is
mediating this open plane of possibility. Let’s say just to make numbers easy,
you’ve got 40 units of something. So if I’m mindfully aware of something, I might
have, you know, 28 units of this open plane and I’ve got 12 of what I’m seeing. So, I’m knowing and seeing
with the sense of spaciousness. Or I could get lost in the seeing and
have one unit of consciousness knowing and 39 of the seeing and Mike
Csikszentmihalyi, would call that flow. That I know I’m seeing something
but I am not thinking I know it. I just am in it. So I’m playing tennis, I’m just playing tennis. So, mindfulness I don’t think is the same
things as flow, there’s a big debate about that. I don’t think it’s the same. I think you need to have both sensing and
observing and probably these other things too. But from a ratio point of view, there’s
way of scientifically to tap into it. Because clearly you can have 40 units of knowing
and that’s this kind of thing where you can sort of bliss out, where you aren’t
connected to your body and you just feel this kind of expansiveness. It’s fantastic, but you got
to live in the world. When you see a red light, you
got to press on the breaks. So you can’t just live in the hub all the time. So I think a strong mind literally
differentiates knowing from known and knows how to balance the ratio of the peaks,
the plateaus and, the plane. And the other way to say it is, it knows
how to balance what’s on the rim and what’s on the hub, does that make sense? And you do it in different ways. If you’re making love with
someone, you want to be mostly up on a rim and really floating in that. And that’s beautiful and that’s great, you know,
you don’t want to be lost in other the parts of the rim, you know what I am talking about. So, I hope. So you want to sense the experience
of lovemaking not just observe it. That’s one of the risks. That’s one of the risks of
mindfulness practice is that people only develop the observing capacity. You know, and they’re just kind of not really
in life and you talk to them and you go, doesn’t that person feel anything and they’re
just going to say, I’m just really mindful. So, you know, you got to be able to be in it. Now, we’re segueing to the first three. So the questions were, why does–
why is there a push for health? How is this thing integrated and does
it take place in a blade of grass. So let’s start with the grass thing first. You know, I had an amazing conversation with
one of the people who is a disciple of or– I don’t even know if he’s a disciple. He was a follower of– in terms
of taking his place in Paris, Francisco Varela who I know was part
of the founding of Naropa Institute. And Francisco suddenly died a little bit about
10 years ago now, a little about 10 years ago. And so Francisco had this view which this
fellow and I were talking about which is that the mind existed in an amoeba. And that as long as there were these
fundamental processes happening inside of a cell that you had to attribute
mental processes to them. So, you know, I had a three-hour dinner over a
lot of pasta and wine when used to be glutton to talk about this because I said,
that doesn’t really make sense, why would an amoeba have a mind. But at the end after all that wine and past, he convinced me that Francisco
was really on to something. So, in that case you would put a
mind I think in a blade of grass too. And you would talk about this self-organizing
capacity of the blade of grass constrained of course by the DNA that makes it a
blade of grass and not a chimpanzee, or a monkey, or a frog, or something. So we live within this constraints,
there are internal constraints that govern certain variables of the system. We’re not all the same. And the complexity that’s achievable by a
human is much greater, and I’m not trying to play favorites towards species,
but because we have so many variations and epigenetic controls and the way
neuroplasticity unfolds even more than chimps. Even though we share 98% of our DNA, we’ve got
just a lot more capacity for this going on. Now, that doesn’t make us
better than a blade of grass. It just makes different. It means we probably can’t ask a blade
of grass to transform its identity. I don’t think and I’m not trying to put down
the blade of grass, it’s just different. We have to really own that there is these
different constraints over different bodies. Now, that being said, coming to the other two
questions, it’s a really interesting issue and just to highlight the important
things about self organization. Self organization does not require a conductor. So I don’t know if you want
to take time to do it, but if you can imagine there are
choir up here, you know, singing. But do we have time to do a choir, example? Does anyone sing in a choir would be
willing to sing in front of the camera. OK, no. All right, so imagine
if a choir up here, right? And we did this thing where they– we’re going
to make them not connect with each other. So they plug their ears really
tight and just belted out a song. That would reveal the chaos or cacophony
of unlinked parts of the system. Well, let’s say 10 choir singers or you
have them sing the same note the same way for three hours. Boring is anything completely rigid. But then, what I do in the example
is, these are choir singers let’s say, sing a song together and I leave. So I’m not going to conduct them. This 10 person self-organizing system gets
together and so far now, I’ve done this many, many times, 75% of the time,
they pick Amazing Grace. And Amazing Grace is actually thought to be the most harmonic song
in the western canon of songs. And then they sing Amazing Grace and
imagine a choir singing this Amazing Grace. And every one gets chills and feels
the harmony of the integration. Why is it integrated? Because they’re differentiating
they’re voices in harmonic intervals but they’re linking by singing the same song. So the bottom line is there was no conductor. I just say to them sing a
song together and I take off. And the point of that is to allow a system to
have its natural self organization movement. So in terms of– we did the blade of
grass question, turn to the question about the distribution of this, there
are all these systems and subsystems. So we want to start with the first
system which is the inner sense of me, the node that you live in. If people are not integrated that
way, it’s going to be harder for them, there’s a natural push, here is the
secret to that last part of the question. There’s a natural push towards this integration,
because a self organizing system wants to move to link differentiated parts, that’s what
it wants to do, but junk gets in the way, whether that’s genetically something you’ve
inherited, an affection you went through, head trauma you experienced or, you know, trauma
you experienced it does not– it’s not a– it can be what parents did, it
can also be not what parents did and just something you happen to have to happen. So you have to make sure this is not about
parent bashing, but it is about integration. So that’s a natural push and part of what
therapy does and maybe the organization that you’re talking about does this is to
create the conditions to permit the blockages to differentiation and/or linkage to be removed
and then to allow the natural outcome to unfold. You know, Mark was telling me earlier on about
the study that just came out of an African grey, the parrots, when they live by themselves they
live 20, with a person, they live 20 years. When they have another parrot with
them, they live 80 years and the enzyme that improves the maintenance
and repair of their– ends of their chromosome telomeres is higher
when they’re living with other parrots. And this is interesting because
Elizabeth Blackburn who won Nobel Prize for discovering telomeres and telomerase, she
did a study with Elissa Epel showing that one of the best predictors of your
telomerase levels is presence. Presence is how you’re aware of
what’s happening when it’s happening without letting judgments distort
your perceptual experience. You’re just there, presence. So with Elissa Epel and I did with two of
my interns, Ben Nelson and Suzanne Parker, we wrote up this chapter to say, why does
presence they do improve relationships and improve telomerase, and the only way
the four of us can answer that was to talk about the wheel of awareness, to talk about the
plane of possibility and to use that as a model to show how the integrative states that
arise from that plane, where presence comes from because here is the way I think about it, presence is the portal for
integration to emerge. And then when you realize that then
you say OK, that’s why integration within the body raises telomerase
levels, it improves the immune system, it shifts your brains to an approach
state rather than withdraw state, these are all the findings from mindfulness
training and it also, this is controversial but it’s not just about Fredgerson’s
[assumed spelling] study, but other studies that show even after a day
doing mindfulness practice those epigenetic controls on your immune system that
is part that’s fighting inflammation, that area is optimized with presence. So this is where you see energy
information flow is happening within you and your body improving telomerase levels,
epigenetic controls, again some inflammation, immune system functioning, as well
cardiovascular and all that stuff, but also it’s improving relation of things. So getting back to the parrots, the natural
state for a social being is to elevate states of what’s called complexity, this– elevate your
state of integration by being with other beings. So if you’re a parrot just hanging
around with this goofy human being, you’re not doing what your DNA has urged you
to do, which is to be a part of a system. You know, in our neighborhood
we have this parrot that fly around it must have escaped somewhere, but
now they’re in a whole group of parrots and they have a lot of fun,
they’re very inspiring, because they do things together as a flock. I’m sure they have a differentiates set of
interests and I hope they’re differentiating that way so they can link and as a truly
integrated flock, I don’t know I didn’t talk to them, but this is the issue of
the telomerase for those parrots, we would be able to predict that. The same things through with our society and this combines all those three questions
together, whether it’s the blade of grass and self-organization or distribute to nature. We want to see self organization
happen within us and between us. We want to see integration within and
between, it isn’t just one place to the other. It’s happening in the node that is
your body and the linkages between you that makes the whole system interconnected, a
system is nodes and their interconnectedness. The self is the system, but each component
of the system like what’s called fractals, you know, each reflects these larger
things, so we want to work at both levels. We want to work internally with contemplative
practice and we want to work relationally, and together releasing those self-organization
but restores integration is going to give you self compassion
inside and interpersonal and planetary compassion in the betweenness. And that’s the promise for all
of us in doing the work together. So thank you very, very much for your attention. [ Applause ] [ Music ]

16 thoughts on ““Mindsight and Neural Integration” with Dan Siegel, MD

  1. Marcello Di Santo Post author

    Dan is the MAN! And so are you and you and you 😉 Time to get integrated people!

    Reply
  2. Michael Peter Ammel Post author

    great speech, perfectly explained the complex processes – thanks 🙂

    Reply
  3. Nathalia Harris Post author

    Wow! He is amazingly brilliant. Thank you Dr. Siegel. You are a true inspiration. You have answered all my questions and validated my own discoveries .

    Reply
  4. shawna mahoney Post author

    energy and information flow
    i see why people enjoy and need Anonymous meetings…
    seeking a spiritual experience a spiritual awakening ♡

    Reply
  5. Neilgs Post author

    Yes ,brilliantly presented, i.e., nodes of self(individuation) and WE and the confusion or blindness of the WE and the empathic dance between the two or the interrelationship but you cannot intellectualized or expedite the process, however well intended. That is, you cannot "dissolve the illusion of our separateness" on intention. Integration for example, with those (actually a majority) who have experienced various lives of mild to severe early childhood trauma (i.e., disorder of early attachment, etc) can only meaningfully occur when the experiences, for example, of shame, guilt, rage etc. can be consciously accessed, i.e., voiced, felt and integrated through psychotherapeutic practices that reconnects not to an abstract we (albeit a universal existential fact) but rather to healthy Individuation. Without the latter (albeit with good intention or presence of mind) we risk a false and abstract (caricature) conception of the WE.

    Reply
  6. Mowington Mowington Post author

    Dan Siegal, a continual inspiration, with his ideas created by a synthesis of human experience and evidenced based science allows us to be freed from the cynical ego by his explanations and usable practical simple exercises bridging the gap between the newly understood if not completely understood workings of the brain. My experience if his explainations are clear and powered by the best aspects our common humanity a desire to heal and share fir our common good by being at peace with ourselves and each other through mindfulness. Thanks Dan.

    Reply
  7. Mowington Mowington Post author

    Dan Siegal, a continual inspiration, with his ideas created by a synthesis of human experience and evidenced based science allows us to be freed from the cynical ego by his explanations and usable practical simple exercises bridging the gap between the newly understood if not completely understood workings of the brain. My experience if his explainations are clear and powered by the best aspects our common humanity a desire to heal and share fir our common good by being at peace with ourselves and each other through mindfulness. Thanks Dan.

    Reply
  8. Maureen Murphy Post author

    There is a book called, Steps to Knowing -The Book of Inner Knowing by Marshall Vian Summers. It's a powerful spiritual practice. This practice with devotion and intent has taken me to experiences of what the book refers to as Knowledge or the Knowing Mind, which the author described as the part of the Mind that has never left God. It is very grounding, integrating and directly related to personal connection, purpose, meaning, and direction in service to each other and to this troubled world in need. The 8th sense. We are living in Separation from the Creator and this Knowing Mind is the connection.

    The man Dr. Siegel referred to as being one with everything had an experience of this Knowing Mind.

    Reply
  9. mika and yotam arnold Post author

    ! Absolutely fantastic ! Great speech and lecture , You really helped me discover new things Thanks Dan !

    Reply
  10. John Carter Post author

    As an aside, glial cells (particularly those articulated as microglia cells derived from mesoderm) do much more than supportive functions if by support one means structural glue or insulation. For example, they guide learning in neuroplasticity and shape the development of neuronal circuits.

    Reply
  11. John Carter Post author

    Two questions come to mind: where on the plane of possibility is Trump's hubby and can eudaimonia cleanse the epigenetic palate?

    Reply
  12. ZAID SSERUBOGO Post author

    Nature is decidable so is the mind sight and so is integration

    Reply

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