I first encountered Buddhism in 1974, and it blew the doors wide open for me with its profound and practical insights into the mind, suffering, and true happiness. Over time I gravitated to the original teachings of the Buddha, embodied in the Theravadan tradition, for their down-to-earth clarity, and important sources for me have included the teachers of Spirit Rock Meditation Center and the Pali Canon itself. More recently, I've explored grounding the dharma in modern evolutionary neuropsychology - "neurodharma" - recognizing how mind arises dependently upon the body, especially the nervous system as it tries to meet ancient needs for raw survival. I am especially interested in using these approaches to heighten the learning - the cultivation (bhavana) - from beneficial experiences (otherwise often wasted on the brain) to reduce the underlying sense of deficit and disturbance that causes the craving that causes suffering and harm. Overall, I feel amazingly blessed to have the opportunity in this life to ride the dharma stream and share its gifts with others!
The Neurology of Awakening, with Rick Mendius: The latest brain research has begun to confirm the central insights of the Buddha and other great teachers. And it's suggesting ways you can help your brain to enter deeper states of mindfulness and concentration, love, and happiness.
Suffering, joy, and freedom all depend on what happens within your nervous system. Skillful practice thus means being skillful with your own brain.
This experiential workshop offers user-friendly information with lots of practical methods. No background in neuroscience or mindfulness is needed. We'll cover:
--- The relationship between the mind and the brain;
--- Strengthening neural factors of mindfulness;
--- The role of concentration in Buddhist practice;
--- Practical help from brain research for steadying the mind...quieting it... and bringing it to singleness.
Learning Objectives for participating health care professionals-
This workshop is designed to help you:
a) Name two mechanisms of experience-dependent neuroplasticity;
b) Give clients two examples of how repeated mental activity changes brain structure;
c) Describe temperamental variations in the control of attention;
d) Teach clients two ways to practice mindfulness.