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🎦 Rick Hanson 2010

— "Using the Mind to Change the Brain"

"Most people will not Do the Work.

But if you Do the Work, the sky's the limit."​

Dr. Rick Hanson on Buddhism, self-directed neuroplasticity, and SO much more.

This talk rings deeply True for me on so many fronts.

Raw Commentary

Outstanding Quotes

"Social pain uses physical pain as a fundamental basis."
(same for pleasure)

"Long term relaxation practices enhances gene expression of stressor down-regulators" (paraphrased)

"Long-term meditators strengthen *insula* + *sensory-motor strip* and *PFC attention area*" (paraphrase 21:13)
AND they didn't lose cortical tissue in those regions with aging!

"Neurons that fire together, wire together." —Donald Hebb

"We have to deal with negativity bias."
aka. dukkha
"bad is stronger than good" brain-wise
5:1 ratio

"Chronic stress is the enemy."
"Paper tiger paranoia."

"If you take care of the minutes, the years will take care of themselves." —Tibetan Proverb

45:23 !! Mapping of samadhi \ sila \ panna
to Western psychology and multiple metaphors
mindfulness/concentration \ virtue/discipline \ wisdom/insight
map to: nervous system functions...
receiving/learning \ regulating \ prioritizing
mind it \ release it \ replace it
let be \ let go \ let in

"It's tough to be a jack rabbit in a turtle culture."

"The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if you are good you will be happy; I mean that if you are happy, you will be good." —Bertrand Russell

"Taking the Fruit as the Path."

"Gradual cultivation, sudden awakening... Gradual cultivation, sudden awakening... Gradual cultivation, sudden awakening..."

My Takeaways

DENSE, well-presented
Evolutionary history of brain
Useful definitions of mind, brain
Neuron charts
Quantities and stats on grey matter
Avoid ~ Approach ~ Attach
Self-directed neuroplasticity
caudate nucleus - "reward system"
thalamus - "central relay station"
anterior cingulate cortex - sustained attention \ vicara \ executive function \ mPFC?
insula - tracks the body \ vedana-nupassana?

! hippocampus + amygdala close together
hippocampus - "smoke detector"
amygdala - visual\spacial\contextual memory
H trips -> A stores for fast-retrieval (as I speculated, the "snapshot of context")

negative experiences? chronic stress
good list of physical \ mental effects
HPAA hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis
endocrine system + nervous system = stress response

threat reactivity at individual \ organization \ national levels

Home Base of the Brain
Calm ~ Contented ~ Caring ~ Creative
Engaged, embodied, enactive
! 43:05 triangle map

Brain seems Dialectically arranged
yin ~ yang
inhibitory ~ excitatory (firings)
ground ~ figure


Bad > Good
...or is it?
Maybe only on a manual/conscious level.
The tremor-based releasing system seems to automate the overcoming of this mental momentum toward bad/stress/suffering.

THIS is the "Flip"


Stream-Entry ~ when this innate tendency in the brain "flips" and Good becomes easier than Bad.


Sufficient Jhana +
Allowing the natural shaking\soothing release of the sankharas\trauma from the muscle tissue + hippocampus (vedana)
Repeat until it flips.
Train the mind.
Free it.



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