Mind & Life
Willa Miller - Meditating with the Body

Willa Miller - Meditating with the Body

May 27, 2020

Willa_Miller_sq.jpgIn this episode, Wendy speaks with meditation teacher and Buddhist scholar Willa Miller about her work, and how the body is relevant in meditation. They cover many topics, including:

  • the roots of her interest in Buddhism and early experiences of Buddhism in action;
  • a research study about meditation and real-world compassionate behavior in which she was involved and various interpretations of the results;
  • how qualities like curiosity and compassion that we develop toward our own mental states in meditation might transfer to others;
  • the most relevant outcomes for contemplative scientists to be measuring;
  • role of the body in contemplative practice;
  • three natural metaphors for what she calls "somatic mindfulness" practice;
  • the role of letting go, and the importance of trust and how to foster it;
  • and implications of these ideas for how we view ourselves, and our interconnection with others and the world around us.

Full show notes and resources

Anil Seth - How Our Minds Predict Our Reality

Anil Seth - How Our Minds Predict Our Reality

May 13, 2020

 

AnilSeth_sq.jpgIn this episode, Wendy speaks with cognitive scientist Anil Seth about his work on consciousness and the mind. They discuss:

  • the idea of the brain as a prediction machine;
  • how perception is a kind of "controlled" hallucination;
  • the self as a construction and implications for psychiatric disorders;
  • connections between this view of the mind and Buddhist ideas;
  • how these views might inform our subjective experience;
  • the important role of the body in perception;
  • the connection between life and mind (and Anil's views on panpsychism);
  • emotions as prediction and interoception;
  • the question of free will;
  • communicating science to a public audience, and other topics.

Full show notes and resources

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