Buddhism Vs. Neuroscience

Long before my interest in Buddhism, I was fascinated by how our brains work, how thoughts arise, how consciousness works, and where this feeling of self comes from. In my opinion, going back to childhood, I’ve never seen the brain and body as separate, but instead two integrated systems. My interest in neuroscience was partly…

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Episode 119 :: Shinzen Young :: Meditation, Pain, and Science

Shinzen Young Shinzen Young joins us to speak about meditation, pain relief, and science. We encounter this practice in so many ways. Often through suffering. Sometimes through disciplines like the martial arts, or from an interest in fixing some issues we’re having with concentration. And sometimes, we come to it through a fascination with a…

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Episode 104 :: Rick Heller :: The New Humanism

Rick Heller speaks with us about the intersection of Secular Humanism with mindfulness practice.

Hi, everyone. There’s been a great deal of discussion online recently about how Secular Humanism has very strong alignment with what we’re calling Secular Buddhism. We see very little difference in the ideological propositions about social interaction, and one of the few outlying differences seems to be in the realm of practice. That is, we agree that improving our interactions with others is a positive thing, but what can we do to get better at that on a personal level?

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Episode 99 :: Dr. Rick Hanson :: Just One Thing

Dr. Rick Hanson Dr. Rick Hanson speaks with us about his new book, Just One Thing: Developing A Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time. It’s a daunting task, changing our minds. Not the simple, “I wanted a mocha, but maybe a latte would be better” kind of changing our minds, that’s pretty easy.…

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Episode 96 :: Tim Gard :: Pain Attenuation Through Mindfulness

Tim Gard speaks with us about a new study just released on pain attenuation through mindfulness.

Hi, everyone. As we mentioned in last week’s episode, we’re fortunate this week in having the author of a new study just released. This study helps shed some light on what happens in the brain when we feel pain, what happens in the brain when we feel pain while in a mindfulness state, and how this is different than what we see in placebo responses to pain. We also examine some of the subtle differences between studies of this kind, and why these distinctions matter.

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Episode 95 :: Britta Hölzel :: Mechanisms of Mindfulness

Dr. Britta Hölzel speaks with us about her recent paper about the potential mechanisms of mindfulness.

What are the mechanisms of a mindfulness state? A recent paper suggests, as a starting point of discussion, that four significant components may be Attention Regulation, Body Awareness, Emotion Regulation, and Sense of Self. As we look at the positive benefits of meditation, it is valuable for us to hypothesize about these qualities of the process, as that can help us think creatively about new areas for scientific investigation.

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Episode 94 :: Sue Blackmore :: Skepticism, Meditation, and Consciousness

Professor Sue Blackmore joins us to speak about meditation, consciousness, and her move from belief in the paranormal to skepticism.

It is fairly well-known that I’m a skeptic. Not to be confused with a cynic, or a denier. As host of the Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast, Dr. Steven Novella of the New England Skeptical Society, has described:

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Episode 93 :: Philippe Goldin :: Brain Changes with Meditation

Dr. Philippe Goldin Dr. Philippe Goldin speaks with us about changes in the brain from meditation, why psychological studies deal with placebo effects, and parent child mindfulness meditation training on family relationships. Hi, everyone. It’s been a very active few weeks with the release of the new Secular Buddhist Association website, and we’re seeing active…

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