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Change your Mind; Change your Brain


The Inner Conditions:


Program Description
Presented by Richard J. Davidson

In this talk, Richard J. Davidson explores scientific research on the neuroscience of positive human qualities and how they can be cultivated through contemplative practice. Distinctions among different forms of contemplative practices will be introduced and they will be shown to have different neural and behavioral consequences, as well as important consequences for physical health in both long-term and novice practitioners. New research also shows that meditation-based interventions delivered online can produce behavioral and neural changes. Collectively, this body of research indicates that we can cultivate adaptive neural changes and strengthen positive human qualities through systematic mental practice.

If happiness is an inner state, influenced by external conditions but not dependent on them, how can we achieve it? Matthieu Ricard presents factors that generally may increase or decrease well-being, happiness, authenticity, compassion, peace, and joy.

Happiness and joy may stimulate compassion and compassion may stimulate happiness and joy. This is ideal. This may then be noticed to be increasing positive energy, empathy, pro-social behavior, and the change within may serve as the kernel of an evolving moral-ethical framework.

Matthieu Ricard is a scientist turned Buddhist monk and a best selling author, translator, and photographer. He has lived and studied in the Himalayas for more than 35 years.

A wellness approach in learning: act as though we don’t yet know anything more important — eliminate the inner ego voice from learning.

I pray to be released from any responsibility for making judgments and to learn as though this is all new to me. Later, I’ll review the important lesson again. Always when material is important in my life, I review the material many times.

TreesBirdsBeesInFreshAirStarting off into a new day, there is something to learn and something to share — what that is comes to me with my morning meditation — I don’t really even think about it until it comes — I remind myself, “This is my wonderful journey of self discovery. Love envelopes me and the gentle waves of peaceful waters and the light shine from my mind into the world around me.” As I face myself in honesty, open to guiding spirit, I turn my life over to God and I ask Him to allow me to do whatever I may to do His will — Thy Will, not mine be done.  

His Holiness the Dalai Lama says “in today’s secular world, religion alone is no longer adequate as a basis for ethics… any religion-based answer to the problem of our neglect of inner values can never be universal, and so will be inadequate.” My religion practice is rooted in utmost fondness and enthusiasm in me. I love Jesus and being Christian. I also love all others as best I am able and this is certainly a growing condition in me, prompted by my love of Jesus’s words that make clear that we are to love God with all of our being and also love others as we would be loved. I realize that my world around me is a secular world where my religion is separate from societal norms and therefore that I must involve myself with others in ways that make me attractive; not by promoting my religion. I am to be a channel for love. 

I hope that this lesson is helpful for you in your life of spiritual enlightenment — awakening the skill to foster well-being and for freedom, mastery of living in moments of serenity, inner peacefulness, joyfulness, and of course for sharing happiness.

Thanks for learning with me.


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