Does mindfulness practice improve your physical, social, and mental well-being? To what extent can your mind shape your brain? What does the latest research have to say about meditation and other awareness practices?
Now, with The Mindful Brain, Dr. Daniel J. Siegel, a pioneer of the emerging field known as interpersonal neurobiology, answers these questions and more in this original adaptation to complement his breakthrough book.
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You can train your brain
I heard this guy interviewed on the brain science podcast and followed the trail to listen to this book. I had always imagined that meditation was for people who were stressed out and needed to chill. Given that I am by nature pretty low stress, I never bothered with it. I gained some interesting insight here. Just as you might practice a tennis stroke to ingrain and master it, practicing meditation can be very empowering (in many ways). Have you ever tried it? Lie down and just focus on your breath. Empty your brain. Not easy, is it? If you're like most people you'll find that lots of thoughts start seeping in. Neurons that fire together wire together. The more you practice this, the better you get at it. This rings true for me. Years ago I was an Olympic athlete. I used to practice imagery to gain control of my mind in stressful and sometimes somewhat dangerous situations and also to practice and ingrain the rather technical motion of a ski jumping take-off. Initially I wasn't very good at it but with practice I dialed it in. I'd say that honing this skill was integral to my ultimate success in sport... and later in life as well. This relates to some other books I've read. One example being The Biology of Belief (great book). This book briefly explores the concept of "the director" - in a nutshell being introspective and conscious of the activity of your brain - your thoughts; "Isn't that interesting that I had that reaction". The author of The Mindful Brain (a scientist who by the way reads his own book here and conveys his passion for the subject matter) is exploring this concept in great detail. At times a little over my head but quite interesting ...
Nice, concise summation...