Neurodharma - Deepstash


Rick Hanson, PhD


Think Outside The Box

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Think Outside The Box

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There are seven ways of being that form the basis of true awakening

  • To achieve happiness, wisdom, and strength, you have to practice seven ways of being, including steadiness, lovingness, fullness, wholeness, nowness, allness, and timelessness.
  • The seven ways of being require you to experience feelings openly (first step), accept them (second step), let go of what is painful or harmful, and let in what is positive (third step).


253 reads

Changing our neural activity can enhance our psychological well-being

  • Scientists have proven that our every sensation, thought, and desire depend on our nervous system and the brain. Changing our neural activity can enhance our psychological well-being.
  • Our brains are made up of 85 billion neurons connected in a huge network. Mindfulness and meditation can help us control this neural activity and reduce stress and overreactions.
  • Meditation can help you develop greater resilience and well-being by weaving qualities of steadiness, lovingness, and presence into your nervous system.


167 reads

The first step toward awakening is steadying the mind, which requires us to concentrate while meditating

  • When the author first began to meditate, he didn't take things that seriously. After a few practices, though, he realized something real was taking place.
  • The author explains that concentration is one of the three pillars of Buddhist practice, and that modern society constantly bombards us with distractions.
  • To calm the monkey mind, we can practice focused attention through meditation. During meditation, we can concentrate on a specific object of attention and lead our wandering mind back to this object of attention.


136 reads

Living with a warm heart means being compassionate to yourself and others

  • The author attended a conference at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California, where he met the Dalai Lama. The bodyguard radiated happiness and love, and he taught the author that being kind and compassionate to others is part of awakening.
  • The author's favorite practice for this meditation involves offering warm wishes to five types of people: a benefactor, a friend, a neutral person, someone who is challenging to be around, and ourselves.


137 reads

We can heal our suffering by learning the practice of resting in fullness

  • The author realized that unhappiness is common, and that it can take many forms. Buddha himself called this suffering, which can be healed by resting in fullness, which is the third step on the path to awakening.
  • To rest in fullness, replace negative material with positive material. To do this, have an experience of the positive material, enrich the emotion by staying with it, absorb the positive material, link the positive material to the negative material, and let go of the negative material.


134 reads

Strengthening neural factors can help us foster a sense of wholeness and live in the now

  • The fourth step to awakening is to feel truly whole. This is achieved by accepting yourself fully, despite the mind's natural tendencies toward negativity.
  • The brain's default mode network drives rumination, which can make us feel unfulfilled because we get lost in thought throughout the day. Expanding the brain's lateral networks can help suppress the midline cortical networks and allow us to see the bigger picture.
  • Gestalt awareness helps us feel whole, by bringing awareness to our whole bodies and our minds as a vast sky. This allows us to be present in the moment.


106 reads

Well-being increases when we decrease our sense of self and instead open into allness

  • If someone asked you what is meant by the word self, you might say that it is the essence of a human being. A strong sense of self can cause suffering because it makes us take things personally, act defensively, and even get possessive over others.
  • When we detach from the sense of self, we start to look at the world from the perspective of "we" rather than "I". We can do this by following practices for opening into allness.


100 reads

Finding Nibbana, or true happiness, means accepting impermanence

  • The author was curious to learn more about nibbana, the ultimate spiritual goal in Buddhism. The teacher Steve Armstrong replied that nibbana is like standing on top of the highest peak in a deep valley enclosed by mountains, and seeing the world in its entirety.
  • Finding timelessness means letting go of past pain and experience, and worrying about the future. The following meditation can help with this, as well as practicing steadiness, lovingness, fullness, wholeness, nowness, allness, and timelessness.


109 reads



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Rick Hanson's neurodharma approach to happiness combines modern neuroscience with teachings from the Theravada Buddhist tradition to help you become more mindful, balanced, and connected to the world.

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