A central topic of this podcast is our capacity to change our minds.
I don’t mean superficially – “Oh, actually yeah let’s go see that movie instead.” I mean a more fundamental change, our faculty for shifting our very sense of self and perception of the world around us. This type of change is not just an ethereal alteration of mental processes, but an actual redesigning of neural architecture. Our capacity to create such fundamental changes is due to our brain’s ability to redesign its structure, lay new synaptic connections, which is called neuroplasticity.
The literature on neuroplasticity is not only well-established as being the means by which our brains change, but neuroplasticity itself is an essential ingredient in learning. Not just facts and ideas and ways of living, but even, as mentioned above, the very essence of our sense of self and how we see the world.
Here on adventures through the mind, we lean pretty heavily on the potential of psychedelics to facilitate this type of change, which they most certainly can when engaged in the right way. Psychedelics are potent agents of brain change. But, they are not required to remap the neural architecture and transform our subjective relationship to being. In fact, the practices that harness the brain’s potential for neuroplasticity in order to facilitate these changes are remarkably simple.
The guest for this episode of the podcast is here to tell us how we can change our brains to change our lives and why it works. Welcome to Adventures Through The Mind, world renown neuroplasticity expert, Dr Rick Hanson.
Rick Hanson is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and New York Times best-selling author. His books are available in 26 languages and include Hardwiring Happiness, Buddha’s Brain, Just One Thing, and Mother Nurture. He’s been an invited speaker at NASA, Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, and other major universities, and taught in meditation centres worldwide. His work has been featured on the BBC, CBS, and NPR, and he offers the free Just One Thing newsletter with over 120,000 subscribers, plus the online Foundations of Well-Being program in positive neuroplasticity that anyone with financial need can do for free. (Links are below.)
*originally published on jameswjesso.com
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- Neuroplasticity, emotional learning, and the sense of self.
- How negativity bias influences perception, learning, and memory.
- Positive Neuroplasticity; using principles of neuroplasticity to cultivate happiness and resilience
- “Positive” and “negative” emotions.
- The difference between healthy cultivating of goodness and unhealthy evasion of negativity.
- The potential dangers of mindfulness.
- The implications of transcendental or psychedelic experiences for the brain, the sense of self, and the nature of reality itself.
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