Mind & Life

Nicholas Van Dam - Nuancing the Narrative

October 8, 2021

NVD_sq.jpgIn this episode, Wendy speaks with meditation researcher and clinical psychologist, Nicholas Van Dam. Nicholas is the Director of the Contemplative Studies Centre at the University of Melbourne—the first such center in Australia. His work explores how meditation and mindfulness can support well-being, and help with conditions like anxiety and depression. This conversation covers many topics, including:

  • how an existential crisis led him to meditation practice;
  • bringing loving critique to contemplative science;
  • the complicated realities of mindfulness, how we measure it, and its impact on the brain;
  • looking at effects beyond just the individual who is meditating;
  • insights from a year of daily practice;
  • balancing personal interest vs. research objectivity;
  • the freedom that comes from letting go;
  • how skills learned on the cushion transfer to daily life;
  • deconstructing the self;
  • mindfulness and meditation for anxiety and depression;
  • getting out of your head and into your body;
  • connecting with Indigenous and other non-Buddhist contemplative traditions;
  • and advancing evidence-based research on meditation.

Full show notes and resources

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