September 26, 2012

(Main)Stream Entry

General Mills’ Janice Marturano, who created the
company’s 'Mindful Leadership' programme

Many years ago, I was talking with Jack Kornfield about my dream of how a modernized, secularized, and science-based reworking of Buddhism could infiltrate the institutions of the Western world. He said something like,

"Oh, I see—you’re not just interested in stream entry, you’re interested in mainstream entry.” 

Recently a student sent me this article from the Financial Times, and my friend Jeremy Hunter sent me this article from the Wall Street Journal. Check them out. It’s amazing to see how mainstream entry is gradually becoming a reality....

September 19, 2012

The Compassionate Brain with Rick Hanson

Check out this cool program by my friend Rick Hanson.

Over the years, Rick and I have enjoyed a deep and productive dialogue regarding science, spirituality, and the potential for revolutionary global change. In this free (!) video series, Rick will be interviewing some real heavy hitters like Richie Davidson and Dan Siegel.

What’s not to love here? :) 

In his book, Buddha’s Brain, Rick points out that the brain is designed to emphasize and install negative experiences and to de-emphasize and quickly forget positive ones. Therefore, to capitalize on the brain’s plasticity for positive change, one has to systematically focus on any positive effects that may occur during meditation practice, and to do so for a sufficient duration of time. I independently came to a similar paradigm several years ago. That is why I developed the elaborate sensory taxonomy and algorithmic branching that characterizes the Basic Mindfulness System. That system is designed to uncover and emphasize the positive windows that nature is constantly presenting to meditators but that sometimes pass unnoticed and unused.

You’ll probably enjoy this series. If so, I hope you’ll use that as an opportunity to systematically apply Rick’s Pleasure Principle.