Friday Favorite

First Aid Kit perform Patti Smith’s “Dancing Barefoot” live at the Polar Music Prize awards ceremony 2011.  

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Emotion in the Brain

The major brain regions that support emotional processing include the limbic system – particularly the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus – and the prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), nucleus accumbens, and insula. Technical note: there are two hippocampi, one in each hemisphere of the brain; the same for the two amygdalae, ACCs, and insulae. Following

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From Idea to Embodied Experience

This practice – From Idea to Embodied Experience– from page 92 in my book – Hardwiring Happiness – helps thoughts about a good fact become good feelings, sensations, desires and actions related to it: Be aware of your body as well as the good fact. Soften and open your mind and body, with a sense

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Be Mind Full of Good

What’s in your mind? The Practice: Be mind full of good. Why? It’s kind of amazing: right now, what you think and feel, enjoy and suffer, is changing your brain. The brain is the organ that learns, designed by evolution to be changed by our experiences: what scientists call experience-dependent neuroplasticity. Neurons that fire together,

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Using Imagery to Change Your Brain

Q: Is there any evidence that just reading the words which describe an experience will bring activity to the corresponding part of the brain? A: There is a lot of fMRI research in which the prompt to the subject in the scanner is reading a text. Many of the texts used are emotion words or

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Expressing Your Intentions

Once your intentions are clear, the next question is: How to express them? There are many ways, including: As thoughts in your mind As an image In writing As a collage with words and images Through physical expression, posture, movement, dance As a sense of being When you think intentions, you know them to yourself.

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Friday Favorite

Here is an amazing video of a solo climb by Catherine Destivelle. Enjoy!

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The Nature of Enlightenment

Q: What does it mean to be enlightened – does it mean being free of suffering? Once a person reaches the first phase, can you “lose” enlightenment? A: People define enlightenment differently. I like the expression: sudden awakening, gradual cultivation, sudden awakening, gradual cultivation, sudden awakening . . . . in lovely circle, or spiral,

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Empathy and Brain Plasticity

In this interview with Ruth Buczynski, PhD, I talk about the evolution of the brain and the development and neuroscience of empathy.

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Kindness to You is Kindness to Me; Kindness to Me is Kindness to You

What do you need? The Practice: Kindness to you is kindness to me; kindness to me is kindness to you. Why? I usually describe a practice as something to do: get on your own side, see the being behind the eyes, take in the good, etc. This practice is different: it’s something to recognize. From

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