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.


  1. I love Rick Hanson's work as well as that of Dan Siegel. I look forward to being a part of this series. Thanks, Shinzen!

  2. Shinzen, I know this isn't the best place for my message, but since I don't know how to contact you, I'm posting it here anyway.

    My name is Henrique and I'm a 26-year-old male living in Brazil and have studied and practiced Buddhism for two years and your teachings for about a year.
    Since I began practicing I began to lose interest for the so called good things of life and studying the Dharma became my main goal.

    I'm sending you this message to ask how long can we go without ordination? I hope I don't sound presumptuous, but is it realistic to think I can attain arahatship as a layperson?

    I'm interested in Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism and I have contacted Nalanda Monastery in France to get more information.

    I would love to know your opinion, since you ordained and disrobed.
    One of my concerns would be dealing with Tibetan dogmas and folklore since I'm an atheist. But Vajrayana is, in my opinion, the most elaborate form of Buddhism.

    My e-mail is

    1. you r a good man, good luck in life bro


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