Mind & Life
Richie Davidson - The Science of Meditation

Richie Davidson - The Science of Meditation

July 22, 2020

In this episode, Wendy speaks with neuroscientist, psychologist, and director of the Center for Healthy Minds, Richard (Richie) Davidson. Richie is one of the founders of contemplative science, and shares his perspective on the past, present, and future of the field. Their conversation covers many topics, including:

  • his early interest in the mind and experiences with meditation;
  • the beginnings of meditation research, and a challenge from the Dalai Lama;
  • what we know (and don't know) about how meditation changes the brain;
  • how investigating the self can lead to resilience;
  • current challenges to the field of contemplative science;
  • the need for research on analytic meditation;
  • negative findings and publication bias;
  • promises and pitfalls of research on psychedelics;
  • the value of training well-being, and other topics.

Full show notes and resources

Tanya Luhrmann - How Social Worlds Shape Our Minds

Tanya Luhrmann - How Social Worlds Shape Our Minds

July 8, 2020

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In this episode, Wendy speaks with anthropologist Tanya Luhrmann about how practices embedded in social realities change our minds and our experiences. They discuss:

  • her research on unusual spiritual experiences (voices, visions);
  • her work with magic practitioners and evangelical Christian communities;
  • the boundary between reality and imagination;
  • local theory of mind;
  • the psychological constructs of absorption and porosity, and how they relate to these spiritual experiences;
  • how mental training and mindfulness affect the way we relate to our thoughts;
  • the impacts of a relationship with the divine for self and society, and other topics.

Full show notes and resources

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