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#264: The Brain Science of Enlightenment | Rick Hanson

2020-07-13

Today we’re going to nerd out about what enlightenment (or, if that word is triggering, let’s just call it “high doses of meditation”) can do to your brain — and, more practically, how we can derive these benefits even if we don’t plan to spend decades living in a cave. My guest is Rick Hanson, Ph.D., psychologist and author of the new book Neurodharma. We go into the deep end, yes, but we also get very down-to-earth, talking about how anyone, including you, can “reverse engineer enlightenment,” and have “Nirvana operationalized in your nervous system.” Quick note that this was recorded right before the pandemic, but enlightenment is evergreen.

Where to find Rick Hanson online: 

Website: https://www.rickhanson.net/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/drrhanson

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rickhansonphd

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rickhansonphd/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/RickHanson

Book Mentioned:

Neurodharma by Rick Hanson: https://www.rickhanson.net/books/neurodharma

You can find meditations from our world-class teachers and more wisdom from Rick Hanson on our app. Visit tenpercent.com to download the Ten Percent Happier app and kickstart your meditation practice. Visit tenpercent.com to sign up today.

Other Resources Mentioned:

Hippocampus: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippocampus

U Pandita: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U_Pandita

Enlightenment: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlightenment_in_Buddhism

Nirvana: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirvana_(Buddhism)

Robert Thurman: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Thurman

Mark Epstein: http://markepsteinmd.com/

Joseph Goldstein: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Goldstein_(writer)

Jhanas: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhy%C4%81na_in_Buddhism

Stephen Batchelor: https://www.stephenbatchelor.org/index.php/en/

Neurodharma Online Program: https://www.rickhanson.net/teaching/neurodharma-online-program/

More Books: https://www.rickhanson.net/books/

Being Well Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/being-well-with-dr-rick-hanson/id1120885936

Additional Resources:

Ten Percent Happier Live: https://tenpercent.com/live

Coronavirus Sanity Guide: https://www.tenpercent.com/coronavirussanityguide

Free App access for Frontline Workers: https://tenpercent.com/care

Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/rick-hanson-264

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Or maybe see. This is the ten percent happier Podcast Dan Harris. Hey guys today, we're gonna nerd out about what enlightened mentor of that word is triggering to you. Just think of it, as high doses of meditation can to your brain and more practically how we can derive these benefits. Even if we don't plan to spend decades living in a cave. My guest is Rick Hansen Phd, he's a psychologist and he's the through a new book called Neuro DARPA, we go away into the deep and here for sure, but we are also very down to earth in this discussion. Talking about how anyone, including you, can reverse and near enlightenment. That's his term, another term that he uses that hey like is that we can. We can
Nirvana operational lies in our nervous system. Quick note that this was recorded before the pandemic, but I am of the view that enlightenment is evergreen, so here we go with Rick Hansen, The kind of dirty little secret in the growth world is that most positive, most beneficial experiences. People have useful into more wholesome and leave no lasting value behind. While due to the negativity buys in the brain, the negative experiences tend to get lodge tried into a so I've had a long standing interest in what could be called taking in the good, I think of it as a really the fundamental process of social, emotional learning and getting more Guilford ourselves, selves, helping experiences were having really land inside based on
understanding of how the nervous system is most effectively changed for the better and how that boils down in concrete terms. A lot you just stay with the experience for a brother longer, rather and channel surfing to onto the next shiny object. First point: So if you buy me a moment where you fill strong determined or relieved or close to another person you realize how to be more effective with your teenager, whatever it might be made this a sense of inner peace may, with a sense of self worth, maybe just enjoy petting you're, getting your lap stay with it for a rather longer so that in the famous saying, neurons, TAT fire together wire together, so that longer you keep them firing the northern and attend to be wiring, feel it in your whole body. Second, the more the richer the expiring. says the worm body is the more can attend to leave a trace by and then also another easy good, simple, private, autonomous thing to do
is to focus on once rewarding about it. What's enjoyable, what's meaningful about this experience, there are different thing that happened in the hardware that occur when you do these practices that increase the conversion of the experts, to a lasting change of neural structure, function and free, ample when you focus on which rewarding about it that increases the activity of dopamine and nor up enough rent in your hippocampus, two of them technic Klaiber people speak of them in the singular, so have I the campus and the pattern of activation in the moment that underlies experience your having of let's say self worth or determination, or commitment or inner peace, the experience they are having the time if increase, increased dopamine in Europe and after an activity in the hippocampus at the time, based on focusing on what's wrong adding or enjoyable about it. Well, the pattern of activation at the time is flagged for prioritization and protection, and during consolidate,
and into long term storage, that's kind of a long way of putting that. If you stay, the sense of enjoying an experience, it's going to more efficiently turn into a lasting change in your body. It's gonna be more hard wired into your nervous system, so I'm just reaching for sending my life and think about how I could operational as this night I love my four year old, probably by the time. This goes, I feel be five and more than probably was the love him. And snuggling with him feels really yeah for him to get our hopes. Sometimes I feel like I'm coercion, but them sit feel, if I can be with it and really take it in all of it in my body in my mind, then Is it
registering in a more lasting way and my nervous system, which then may make me a more warm and affectionate person generally going forward exactly right and the whole point of this is not to cling to the experience or crave it as a war or turn it into a thing, but rather to help yourself heal. grow through your experiences hand, intuitively people who are good growers have to her. You know people intuitively get the most out of a mindfulness training or who get the most out of a therapy aura anything cumbersome with a frown. They tend to do this implicitly and teachers Pursue tend to have good results, tend to do this implicitly, but people usually don't systematically a handful of times a day.
Really less than ten minutes a day, probably closer to max five minutes a day, slow it down to let the good learning land they help it singing in and really striking to me, as someone has been involved in the growth best, for a long time in both the wild West forms of it human potential in button Deb, you know Julie, our school, a music forms of it. In terms of our formal psychotherapy, it's really striking that tending not focus on the actual, how of growth and in particular we tend to not teach the skills of it to the people. We work with sitting in our fourth grade school teacher: allow schoolteachers an awesome, fourth grade teacher MRS Hall. Thank you, MRS Hall shut out of the way they have a theory. They have a theory of what you're trying to do in terms that kid's nervous system, and they also trying to help kids learn how to learn in other teaching them to be active learners they treat. Kids is active learners.
memorizing that stay capital, South America or something But when we were working with other people, typically is teachers or therapists or coaches we tend to nod: teach them how to be active learners, round: social, emotional, motivational, somatic or spiritual learning. For me, that's a big, missed opportunity and solve written a fair amount about that, and I think that you know that. That's a really important thing What is the book about what is dirt? Neuro Dharuma, I even mean yeah. For me, it's of word, but what it really means basically, is weak, no ourselves into s right we can subjectively ourselves subjectively in what is called the first person perspective, our own experience inside inside out. We can also know ourselves objectively, through the third person perspective, a science from the US
idea what is actually happening in the nervous system once actually happening in the body when we feel all right or strong and determined, but not frustrated and addicted and driven was actually happening or what's happening. When we start moving into more and more, a ball qualities of being an inner peace that we can see demonstrated by our in our teachers or other people known throughout History was actually happening inside so for me, Neuro Dogma is where those two ways of knowing ourselves intersect, there's the Neuro and then there's the domicile dogma. The way I use that word is not restricted to Buddhism, yet I use the book road map of the mind in a basically secular way, to kind of oriental says we climbed the mountain of awaken as it were, but Dharmu basically just means truth, the truth of things which, for me, as a very deeply scientific way of looking at things once the trip
thanks and then Neuro Dogma is, was the truth of things particularly was the truth of various kinds of well being very well developed in the living body. So that's what it's about em! I get really interested in taking a fresh look at the peak of human potential. What is awakening? What is it to be awakened? What are the qualities that we see in people throughout history and, in the present day, our models for us of stable mindfulness hi nurse and in her peace and inner strength, and an often tissue tee and really being in the present moment and feeling connected to everything like what's goin on their so with the books about, basically is seven qualities that I say, and people who were really far along see them in myself. If I see them in you and it's about developing now, so we than by practising now so it's a book or practice is not an airy fairy magic carpet ride the peak of
enlightenment? I don't consider myself enlightened, I think enlightenment this one year, stably fulfilled and perfected, and these having qualities and irreversibly the old man, so the seven qualities are studying the mind, is your practices to steady or mine and think about that set? These qualities are described in the book and then followed up. with practice: yeah you how you develop. Yet how do you steady your mind these days, including in very deep Weiss. How do you do that? Ok, second, warming: the heart, cultivation of compassion, kindness, sense of belonging, healing of old wounds that happen, relationships, feelings of inadequacy, insecure attachment. How do you actually practice with all that? Third, I call it resting and fullness. That's me. Oh related to act when Emily, it's also related to what we were talking about earlier. But how do you stand a green zone when you're challenged and
How do you develop? There's a teaching from upon data of really pithy line? He says the purposes actors is to expand the range of experiences which were free, really interesting. It's easy to feel great when let's say you're coming or your four or five year old. That's really that's good, but how do you deal with rejection? How do you deal with physical pain on this challenge over time? You know those of the range of experiences in which we want to be finally free some resting, inform us and then those three clustered together steadiness of mine, warmth, of hard gun above happy equanimity and then the next three also closer together. I call it being homeless. What I mean by that is accepting yourself fully and being less divided internally and increasingly having a kind of non dual sands of awareness and the contents flowing through awareness.
Just one single field of consciousness fed and do some backed Africa? is not do old, maybe a bit of a yet argue term from you. Dual meaning there isn't me. here and everything else out there there is not a duality between observers of object and subjects. Yell at me that I just went right past that, so there are two kinds of non: do our duty really three kinds think about it? The first kind is is internal in terms of our subjectivity. Very often, we have a sense that there is in I inside who is witnessing thoughts, reactions, plans, sensations and so forth. In that somehow that's all happening in a kind of implicit field of awareness, it's possible and you see people do it in a developed, as myself is possible for those testing
since the soften internally, so there's more and more of a sense of consciousness occurring without a sharply divided I, whose watching things and there is more of a sense of just being your mind- is a whole being the stream of consciousness in this moment, and this moment as a whole and what is about that and theirs by the well a lot of neuroscience about each one of these things when you meet of more into that sense. That holistic way of experiencing yourself things taken as a whole. The strike for of suffering, search, changing because the structure of sufferings parts struggling with parts in her conflict starts to obey and other things really about it. Is that when you move more in that sense of things as a whole, you begin to activate neural circuits on the size of your brain, specially the right side and you deactivate circuitry,
as a work, reduced activity and circuitry in the midline of the cortex, the front part of which is about stressful task oriented doing, but the back part of it says that default mode network. where people go when they're doing a lot of ruminating getting anxious ruminating with a lot of self preoccupation me myself, So when you move in more of a sense of things is a whole Yunus watch it to be aware of the sense of your body as a whole. Breathing is body or the sense of breathing in a large party or body all at once. The whole torso left right, left right together or, as you get a sense of the whole spacer in the whole environment. Just watch your mind very quickly: you'll, calm down, it'll you'll be calmer, the of less sense of self preoccupation, less sense of inner division really great, and this is being open
the one after the other fifth practice I call receiving now. This array says beer now I'd power now I'll. How are you actually do that? How do you come really close to the front edge of now and there's neurology about how to do that? Having do with different circuits of attention that we have and more fundamental circuits are involved with being alerted by the next new thing. It's sort of like the front page of the windshield of justice, so you move closer and closer to the subject of now. You move closer and closer to the object of now and as you do that again suffering source falling away it's. What great teachers have set your more in the moment and technically in the brain you move close from coal search, the immediacy of perceiving what's happening now, and you be less engaged with neural processing. That's
full of worries and angers and preoccupations? Sometimes you need to do that, but most of us are not in a moment. You know you probably have heard about these. Studies, for people are paying routinely and they have a wandering mine on average fifteen percent time. So let's say here or I'll. If they're more present than average- or that means a lot of people, there's is gone. Eighty percent of the time right and as mind wandering increases So it is negative. Rumination, statistically so, are more inclined go negative. The more reminders wanderings of being able to stabilize in the present moment, but simply to be here at will is a really useful strength develop. So that's the practice of receiving now this and then others finish in the last two practices, and these are things I think, can we see and people are really far along. We also. with like in ourselves, Vall had flashes of these question is have stabilizing right, so I call it open
and almost I'm reverse engineering, enlightenment anyway. I'm that's what I'm trying to do here like what goes on with people who are having his extraordinary quite frequent actually about a third of the people in the world report. Having add these kind of very non ordinary. sometimes called self transcendent or not. Dual experiences in the second sense of non duality in that the boundary or or line between me and everything else, softens fade, sometimes just while taller drops out what's goin on and more generally, how can we cultivate a sense
This peaceful, in which we feel less of a beleaguered self struggling with the universe around us, divided from it and more carried along and supported by a vast network of causes of factors. That is reality. So there's really interesting, neurology about how to shift from the kind of classic egocentric perspective, its call That doesn't mean negatively adjust self referential where we're regarding what happening around us from my perspective, then there is this other perspective, this much more impersonal and holistic. Fancy term fortis, Hallo Centric perspective, where we have a sense of things as a whole and to cut up pull some threads together when we are feeling internally divided and caught up in the default mode. Let's say
and when we are doing mental time travelling down in the present and when we have that kind of egocentric orientation to life that were divided from it and separated from add the neurology was actually in our bodies for those three ways really into life kind of come together. There are interrelated circuits that promote the sense of inner division lost in the past to the future and a sense of me myself in a strong sense of self. On the other hand, when people have a sense of things as a whole in the present peace, they connected with everything else. Those experiences tend to come together and the underlying neural circuitry that promotes that way of being the three qualities of being his also interrelated and with pride
We can train so that more and more stable we acquire the trade we developed. A lasting learning. Lasting growth is trait, instead of just a passing state. Exactly right, level up more about more about how to do that. You have in terms of just putting some meat and bone meal. We have a nice phrase here. You shift from seeing pheasant as an isolated some reading for your book. You can shift from seeing yourself as an isolated, accurate, sometimes flailing against everything. To feeling that everything is managed. lasting locally? As you get us out of school is clever. How do you do it? Practice practice really helps and their practices in the boy. Oh yeah. Definitely, for example, this others come highlight some things here, so one really powerful practice is, if you
do any kind of meditation and you can do it in an informal way, be aware of the sense of your whole body as you breathe. You can start out with your chest, then torso then whole body, so you have a sense of whole body awareness and when you do that, it naturally tend to quiet activity in those midline courtesies in increase activity in the lateral on the side of the brain networks that are involved in cash or holistic processing. And, as you do that you can again just watch her mind internal chatter. a quieter. The lateral networks on the sides in the Midland networks are connected like a seesaw when one goes up a good pushes the other down. So as you increase at lateral activity that those negative so
preoccupations or stressful, doing in the midline cortex decrease. So just doing that, that's a really useful thing to do. Another thing is useful to do, but how does that get me toward feeling like the world is manifesting local. I am moving there. Yes, and I have more of a sense of things as a whole at accolade. It's alright vague, but to go to the pay when you're contracted inside yourself. How can you feel like the world's manifesting locally? As you you know so another thing you could do just try. It is to lift her gaze out from your body toward the horizon. Naturally, as we bring the gaze closer, the ego centric perspective increases, is again going eat me. Can I eat if friend, or fell? On the other hand, when you're gaze moves out ten feet away toward the horizon, maybe up above again above again, watch remind natural, become more peaceful. You'll have more of a sense of things as a whole lb be
not such an intense sense of me myself and I, and in that process you will be active. It does not the circuitry, the neural circuitry of the ILO Centric mode and through repeatedly stimulating that way of being. You will strengthen the circus over time, cause neurons, afire together together, for example, there are other ways also to develop that more sense of almost a key part of that is to practice with a sense of self. So in that sixth of seven practices, the almost practice. That's. Why I drop in a lot of deep teachings about. Is there a self? What is the south? What does it mean to be a person without presuming and internal entity inside. That is a self in the way that our meaning now word and are things we can do to be more comfortable
with regarding others and ourselves as persons who exist to have rights who have dignity needs who have responsibilities as persons without being identified with some unified independent entity inside that we think is me. You know that non self or selflessness idea. That is, central to Buddhism is confusing to a lot of people. Their fire quote. I've heard it third hand from some allegedly from a tibetan monk who set it to the scholar Robert there men who then set it to mark Epstein the psychiatrist is written a bunch of books about Buddhism and psychology, who said me or wrote in one of his books that the monks is said to have said to Thurman, of course, your real you're just not really real.
and I like that, of course you are you, you've got just as you did before your person with rights. You got your picture pants on and make a dentist appointment setter at sitter. But if you look closely enough some fundamental level. You can't find some core essence, and that is very important thing to know and end the constantly budding your head up against that the constant looking really, time, I think, is what pounds and jeered neurons deeper felt said. oh yeah. I don't have to take this. Me so seriously and build up and defend it all the time you are you it's really interesting now and as people relax the sense of self him, I mean that words self, not as the person as a whole and thus will distinction, but as this presumption that there is some kind of entity inside right, and and unified and independent, so when people relax, that relax, ego relax concede when they
are less caught up in possessiveness you, my precious or a priority, I matter more than you or identification that right as they do, that they become more functional as persons. Myth me come more successful, as person. Why? Why why that seems like a paradox? Why is it there's a lot to do? signal, since Trustfulness were caught up in trying to press others or compare ourselves to others or judge or routinely, and people can have compassion for persons, including a person that they are without thinking that there is some sort of entity inside Over there now there's another their line. I wondered if you were gonna quit this one, that you have to be somebody before you can beat no by the Jack anger. The emissary atta said yeah, and so there is definitely a place for
being on your own cited in recognising that in the body is continually constructing. A sense of the person process was how I think of it, that's on going as complete natural, but why wild? Is it at this point? There is a lot of Neuro imaging onwards, happening in the brain when people feel like me, or I indifferent ways recognising your own picture among us. Pictures of pulling up a personal memory which your stand on some big moral issue that I have people do this, while their brains rings around here yeah, what's while is that the patterns of activation are scattered all over the brain is a poker dots, there's everywhere in there there are certain parts of the brain like a set in the midline cortex is pushing more towards the door.
mode, end of it. The tend to be particularly involved, but self thing as it were, as a process is scattered all over the brain. You know we all want to feel special, but there's no place in the brain, special herself right, even though there is a lot of localization of function for all kinds of other things and you watch it. These patterns of activation light up than they fade sick Christmas tree you really get that this idea, we have that our self is unified. You don't see that in the brain spread all over the place. The sense that we have that we are independent of the sense of self increases, decreases, Jude all kinds of causes, rises and passes away and we have a sense that were sort of enduring. You know no, it's very transient
just you said so, as you said, when you look closely from that third person perspective on the brain or when you look closely from the inside out at first person perspective, you see that the defining characteristics of the conventionally assumed self don't exist. I say the office like a unicorn, some mythical beast. We can have, we can think about it. We can have experience of what we think it's there. It's always implicit. It's never found. The whole package is never found and was starting to happen. Is that you lighten up about it and which makes you a lot happier.
it did my teacher Joseph Goats and said that one way to think about enlightenment is lightning up much more. My a conversation with Rick Handsome come up ready for this. If you like, getting the story behind the story, chicken start heaped, the Daily NEWS, podcast from eighty seems every morning start here will get you ready for your day within sight. Full straightforward reporting, on a few of the days biggest headlines from ran breaking investigative reports to urgent revelations shaping your world recently honor with prestigious Edward, our Maroon Ward start here takes you inside the stories that matter and withered heading next, so start smart.
he check it out an apple podcast or if he replied, cast him just continue. This talk about how we mortals or not and has been decades arrives practicing. He get a taste of this all this. You have practices and in the book where we can work meditated. I'm this insight. We also talk about. We have some cognitive exercises to get us to think about small. We are within the universe, etc, etc. But then there are also recommendation for a kind of like how live your life that might bring us towards seeing this on a more regular basis, and you have some bullet points here, like one- is a simpler life with less self referential, ask doing, makes more room for an undefended on contracted risk. Receptivity too.
You think I saw then I found a pretty provocative, because my life is not that simple yeah minds, not that simple, either I put that sense in their little bed to tell the truth about people simpler wives were more connected. Denature, there's more room for the sense of this nature was Other thing you, but so long, sir? There's a reason why they have this experience like every Tuesday yeah, it says, though, for all like I'm, gonna, get on a plane pretty soon today and I'll do little things multiple is that in the larger point, is the bigger the challenge? The bigger the resources need to be so If you want to cultivate a greater sense of taken our business. You have your ticket with you. I have my passport with me because drivers licence has expired. I haven't renewed it yet. So you take your business.
If you're interested in developing the sense of just interconnectedness, ingratitude, really for everything it is more of a sense of being carried along? Rather than oppressed, even though you recognize ways you actually oppressed, but by having more of a sense of interconnectedness, it draws you into a sense of resources and things that you can use. Well, if you want to cultivate that in life like I have for you. Have you really have to practice so multiple times a day, I'll, just sort of like all step out on a busy city street pretty soon, and look around and I'll others have a sense of how all this is here. So many things cause these skyscrapers to be here, cause the sidewalk cause the taxes to be here. I'm part of it. Asked hall. That's enabling was happening right now is gonna carry along to the next thing low king at an airport. As you land or take off their extraordinary places,
so much human effort so much technology, and that rests on previous generations of effort that have led to the capabilities we have today. That draws me out. Or crazy. You know like like a bottle of water. Here I look at it. I go oxygen where that come from can from exploding stars we're breathing, stardust and yeah till totally goes to my geeky. You know science fiction background, but is also completely true and just little reflections like that in the flow of a day where you just kind drop in it's like You know it conceptually. Can you feel it like? You said earlier, you move from knowing it to feeling it, and if you give yourself that multiple little times a day, this proverb drop by drop as a water pod filled. Likewise, the wise one gathering at little by little fills oneself good and in these little drops as well. As you know, if you can do
mega practice like a weekend retreat or if they have meditation or twenty minutes straight great. But a lot of the other opportunities are to kind of weave these ways of being through practising them again and again draw your day which to me is incredibly hopeful, because it means we grow through lots of little steps that we are responsible attack In your mind, no one can defeat you, but no one can do for you now makes it real. He talked about big projects or something I remember the exact words require a lot of resources. What are you Yes, so I think you know this The big challenge and some people think, oh, I need to rip my life up to go experiences, and I think that is
do it without hurting anybody or yourself, then go for that. Members have a lot of respect for people who go to become monks or become meditation. Teachers has been a lot of time on silent retreat, but you don't have to rip your life up. You just have to in. This is going to sound dumb thing, but make it the organizer simple your life, which you can do within the current context of your life. You can live your life by all intents and purposes, for all intents and purposes, or at least by every objective, met the same way you're still going to the same job and dragging the same people, but if your integration is hey. I'm went to squeeze in, station every day and I'm gonna do all these little practices and that they become just in a part of your life every day, part and then you're going off our retreat once or twice a year once every other year. That is a way in which it just over time. I think it takes on a big momentum. S huge and that's person would have done honestly myself and I think it's doable that whole approach. I dont know if you'd
Except this way of talking about it, but I've thought about your bark and I think that if people are ten percent more practice oriented in what are really means more than one percent border increase by one percent, the number of breaths in a day or minutes four seconds in a day in which they were purposefully, helping themselves grow and somewhat Helping something land really trying to understand something recognize what would be better to do next time when you're talking with your partner one percent, if people are low, one percent more effort for one percent more deliberate every day, they were deaf become ten percent happier and maybe even more yeah. I agree. I often joke that the ten percent compounds annually, and so I do think this is the room for infinite expansion here final question for me, which is just, is there more to say about feeling
part of the all in your life, and what does that mean because you do you are writing- is how to books. You darn treating patients in Europe active in the world, and yet it sounds like you do some presented at the time like, the world is manifesting locally through you, yeah that's accessible. There are people who had these huge fireworks experiences. I've had mid range fireworks experiences, The problem is the fireworks usually fade? And then what do you do? How do you go forward in your life, but the kind of open good receptors? present mom and found it grounded on those three first practices steadiness of mind loveliness of hard economist, wellbeing Those are foundational, then yeah, allied, you really can feel like softer sounds of arm,
who you are and and where you are this really great swill accessible, I saw get on it and I think that those fireworks experiences can often really help people because her breakthroughs they show you was actually really true, but through cultivation over time, people can defiling experience on while still being functional. Eighty I met Our time is seventh of the area, your is really interesting. That takes us into the potentially third kind of duality as it were, and big area of controversy Buddhism and also elsewhere. In other words, when people are following the classic progression in the Buddhist training, that basically says: ok, you quite your mind, you steady it. You bring it to single less. You move into the John US, that's the right concentration or wise concentration, Jonah's our deep state of comes from northern areas of vat
very non ordinary or Non Kansas anymore of end. I'd about them in the book where they actually characterized by sea through these already not typical states, usually experience after days of not least on retreat, I've experienced them, and then you move in what are called a formless. China's Fergus really exotic, and then you drop into the unconditioned Don T worry is that right, so people have been arguing about that ever since do we understand the ultimate, the ultimate sense of unconditioned, the unconditioned or on fabricated on constructed. How to understand that and the Buddhist training is to encounter it in some way and be changed by it and then be increasingly able in small ways drop by drop over the course of the day to be in touch with it. So I wanted to honour that and for me, there's a place, a practice there's a place for
Be more aware and be nicer, has kind of great consider the alternative right, that's great, and if that's all, you want that's cool. On the other hand, the path goes all the way to the summit, and I'm inspired by that. I think that, on all throughout the world across multiple passive practice, I think of them is different routes up to the fulfilment of heights of human potential, whatever that is a different routes up the mountain to the peak, but on each of those different routes and different traditions, including secular traditions, you find the same steps, the same training yeah I'm standing as a mind, warmth of hard, wholeness, mountainous, almost and more, more deeply. What is unconditioned actually so,
one way to understand it is that we are unconditional, our selves and we are getting more in touch with, where unconditional, from what from what is reactive, habitual contracted and pressured, and we are opening into what is unconditioned. In our ordinary mind, the unconditioned field of awareness, which can represent anything- that's great. Secondly, to understand it is that people are having extraordinary states of mind within ordinary reality. When I go. Do cessation experiences they drop in Nirvana what is Nirvana yet operational ized? As you said earlier, What is Nirvana operational lies in the nervous system, so right about that, what might that actually be let the second way to understand we seen Nirvana them. Our MRI disagree in Europe. We have seen people in deep, John US and was interesting.
The brain doesn't look that different, but there are some key distinctions that seem like plausible neural correlates for what the janitor described ass. So the third way, though Understand it in its whether when someone is really really developed in this way or stressing pinprick said this over the course of their ordinary day are they accessing something? This genuinely transcendental genuinely transcending ordinary reality and in the book I talk about Those different ways relating to conditioned the unconditioned on conditioning with respect for both of them. If someone is purely secular, they want to stop at the first two fine. very strong tradition and put us on this. As now, there really is something genuinely transcendental that is transcendentally, unconditioned and thus timeless. It's not impermanent. It's not subject to arising in passing away and the ultimate aim upright
just have some access to it. That is a huge area debate. I vastly respect people, like Stephen Bachelor and others, who argued very firmly Tredick earth, key practices, I could frame. On the other hand, most people in the EU all right now we are now in the last twenty four hours you right now Georgie people in the world who are doing something contemplative are doing it in the with reference to something transcendental for them. It's in the frame of something theistic if you will die, having some porn honour that and try to think how might Conditionality, intersect worth and ordinary reality, and I go after that without trying to preach in anybody. Anyway, that's it, those are the seven I just figures so cool and what an opportunity to keep playing with ourselves and every They have you a little opportunity to grow a little further and get a little deeper in those seven. Each one of them can be developed.
Just as a taste or all the way really really fulfilled and that keep us busy a whole good life. A man or saw do as they say in the poorest tradition well said, Lucy example just remind us of the name, the book, your other books, where you are digitally it? Is it Roger Plug Zone, yet with Mozilla and of every task. other books called Neuro Dogma, and I could add that I also have an online program that people can do that experience. Also it takes the book and has a whole bunch I admit it once you: U, r! L for that, just go to my website record son so end out net? Ok, and then you can find it there, recant, son and unknown and dumb in that programme. it was based on a ten day meditation retreat, I taught so it has all. The talks has guided meditations q and a lot of support of materials. That's the online programme: that's a good companion experiential to the book nor dogma, And you ve written Buddhists brain
yeah and enough situation gonna right. My first book was mother, nurture, which me you we want yeah in an situation, gonna colleges they murky polychrome. Basically, it's about promoting the law term well being of mothers past the post pardon period, and if we want to change the World Bank card number one public policy priority taking care mothers, hello in a generation that would change everything every moment Let's talk about that. You just take off the names of the other books. Yeah mother nurture the followed by Buddhist brain, followed by just one thing. Fifty two practices followed by hardware, happiness, followed by resilient, which I wrote our Sun Forest Hansen Shadow to you for us who else Medio podcast actually help him do his podcast, really the being well podcast we try to from the master down here has been the most recent six book, Neuro Dormer excellent. Thank you were doing
regulations on the work of real pleasure to do this, and I appreciate your graciousness honestly and having mere your free, big thanks to Rick. I also Thank the team, everybody who worked so hard on this show Samuel. Many is our senior producer. Moorish Snyder men are new producer, are sound engineers that point and on yeah she's of ultraviolet Audio Maria, were tell us our production coordinator. We get it useful input from Tpa colleagues such had been Reuben Gent Point need Toby lives, Levin also big. Thank you at always the ABC his comrades, Ryan, Kessler and Josh CO hand we'll see Wednesday for fresh Epps in July. Thirty, first exclusively on Disney plus follow the journey of the young prince in search of himself through betrayal
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