Episode 51 Buddhist Traditions And Neuroscience with Rick Hanson

"When you change your brain, you change your life.”

~ Dr. Rick Hanson.

Revolutions in science have shown that the brain continues to change and adapt even in adulthood, disproving the old belief that our brains are linear and unchanging. In this interview of his book “Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom,” Dr. Rick Hanson discusses with Dr. Rebecca Risk an analysis of theoretical physics and Buddhism in language suitable for intermediate readers or newcomers to the field of neuroscience.

Topics Covered In This Episode:

  • What inspired you to write this book?
  • Can you tell us some facts about how the brain works?
  • What do you mean by “Buddha’s brain”?
  • How do the mind and brain interact with each other?
  • What is the cause of suffering?
  • What is craving?
  • What is the suffering of separation?
  • Can you explain why the brain is drawn to bad news?
  • How does anxiety affect us?
  • Does it have a use?
  • What is compassion?
  • How can we cultivate compassion?
  • How does self compassion help us?
  • What happens to us when we are stressed?
  • Can you explain the saying “pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional?”
  • What are the first and second darts that you talk about in your book?
  • How can we change all this suffering?
  • What is neuroplasticity?
  • How can we use positive experiences to help heal our pain?
  • How do we find the balance between finding positivity and happiness, or just covering up the negativity with a positive face/attitude?
  • What are the two wolves?
  • What is virtue?
  • What is mindfulness?
  • What is wisdom?
  • How are these supported by the brain?
  • How can we be on our own side?
  • What are some tools people can use to help them relax?
  • How does meditation help us?
  • Can you explain what meditation looks like?
  • How can we start if we haven’t meditated before?
  • How can someone feel safe doing this?
  • How can we deal with some of the negative thoughts that we keep thinking?
  • What results can people see when they start to meditate?
  • How can someone get ahold of you if they have any questions?