How Meditation Works - Deepstash
How Meditation Works

How Meditation Works

Huberman Lab

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Interoception & Exteroception: the spectrum of perception

Interoception & Exteroception: the spectrum of perception

Meditation is mainly focused on shifting your circle of attention to:

  • your inside world, where you focus on your breath, your heartbeat etc (interoception)
  • the outside, as your attention sets on sounds, smells etc. (exteroception)

These 2 types are the extremes on a spectrum of perception. Some of us are more attuned to our own states (like if we are aware of our heartbeats during normal activity), some are more exteroceptive, meaning we pay attention to our surroundings.

Dr. Huberman recommends practicing a type of meditation that goes against your normal mode of perception. 


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A Wandering Mind is an Unhappy Mind

A Wandering Mind is an Unhappy Mind

The Default Mode Network a collection of brain areas that are active when we are not doing anything. It generates mind wandering, shifting between the past, present or future. 

The concept gain prominence with a landmark study called "A Wandering Mind is an Unhappy Mind". The authors (Killingsworth & Gilbert) probed thousands of people about their wellbeing during various time intervals.

Key findings:

  • people's mind wandered no matter the activity
  • sex was the only activity with which the subjects were fully engaged with
  • unhappiness is correlated with the amount of mind wandering


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How to pick your meditation style?

How to pick your meditation style?

  • See where you are on the perception spectrum. If you are an inward focused person focus on the outside. Do the opposite if you are focused in the outside. 
  • Recognise if you want to relax or you need to increase your focus.
  • Sit in meditation for at least 3 minutes/day to get any benefits. 


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Life-long learner. Passionate about leadership, entrepreneurship, philosophy, Buddhism & SF. Founder @deepstash.


Dr Huberman looks at meditation as a brain scientists. Not a lot of philosophy, just some good ideas about modes of perception & the default mode network.


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