Listen to Sandra Blakeslee, Jim Austin, Richard Davidson, and other presenters in these five podcasts recorded at a conference at the Upaya Institute and Zen Center.
- Zen Brain Science is just now documenting what meditators have known for millennia. Jim Austin calls meditation “artful attention” and discusses the importance of this skill in our lives. He talks about his own experience both as a Zen student and a neurologist looking at the brain in relation to meditation.
- Zen Brain 1 Science journalist and New York Times contributor Sandra Blakeslee provides an overview of how recent developments in neuroscience have changed the way we view the impact of various practices, including meditation, upon brain structure and function.
- Zen Brain 2 Neuroscientist Richard Davidson provides an introduction to brain systems that may be relevant to meditation. This presentation gives an orientation to neurophysiology and lays the foundation for Dr. Davidson’s second presentation which discusses the relationship between the brain and meditation.
- Zen Brain 3 The presenters read and answer questions written by the audience. Topics include the role of meditation in the scientific workplace; trauma, PTSD and resilience in relation to meditation; and whether meditators have less of a chance of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s.
- Zen Brain 4 Dr. Davidson describes his recent electroencephalographic and neuroimaging studies of long-term Buddhist practitioners, and of persons who receive short-term training in mindfulness-based stress reduction. He explores the ways in which complexity theory may help in understanding the patterns of brain physiology he has observed, and the development of compassion in long-term meditators.
I am happy the Zen Center has posted these for our listening and learning.