This Is the Power of Mindfulness | With Jon Kabat-Zinn

This Is the Power of Mindfulness | With Jon Kabat-Zinn

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Foreign [Music] [Laughter] [Applause] You know the neuroscientists talk about Well if you put somebody in a scanner And you just tell them to in a fmri Scanner and you tell them any Neuroscientists here so Oh good I can get away with saying Things that probably are all wrong But it lets you put people in an fmri Scanner and you say to them don't do Anything just just lie there And you move them into the scanner and What turns out is that there's a region In the sort of medial frontal cortex Here that just goes insane I mean that Uses up tons of ATP lots and lots of Energy people are told don't do anything Just lie here in the scanner and they Start to show tremendous activity in What's called the default mode Network Okay this region the body and when you Interrogate or investigate what is this All about Um Well what it's about is uh mind Wandering It's like you put someone in a scanner And you say don't do anything they go Into thinking And what do they go into thinking about Their favorite subject and guess what

Their favorite subject is mwah Me I mean Who could be more interesting than me It could be a tragedy the story of how Horrible my life is it could be like a Comedy it could be you know But it's all about me we saw that this Morning did we not Drill down deep enough it's not about Kate or it's not about the teacher Mwah You know the center of the universe The interesting thing about this Universe is everybody's the center of The universe so we have to befriend each Other we have to sort of work out new Rules for how we're going to negotiate This because hey wait a minute I thought I'm the centered Universe if I act like I'm the only center of the universe I could wind up You know in some very very unusual Domains and we can read about them in The newspaper every day we've got like Classical you know examples of it so you Put someone in a scanner be interesting To put him in a scanner Put someone in the scanner and you say Don't do anything and they start to do This kind of thing okay now if you train Them in eight weeks of mbsr Mindfulness-based stress reduction so It's only eight weeks okay of training

And then you look at this default mode Network it turns out this is work out of The University of Toronto and other Places with the zyndall Seagulls group a Norm farb is the first author on this Paper these papers it turns out that When you put people in the scanner Before they do mbsr this like goes crazy And so it lights up and nothing else Much lights up and it's all about me and About the ways in which my mind I'm lost In thought And the fight is almost all about me Uh and then you train them in eight Weeks of mbsr And they learning how to drop into being And notice recognize thoughts as Thoughts recognize how attached or Seduced we get to them without but then Coming back in some way so we don't take Them quite as seriously or reify them Quite as much as we did before eight Weeks later put them in the scanner and What happens is that this default mode Network attenuates and what arises is More activity in the lateral Network Which they call the experiential Network Now this the full moon Network it's all About narrative It's all about a sequence of events in Time The story of me Here it's just this moment this breath And the whole universe of experience not

Linked to narrative And then these become uncoupled now you Do need the story of me I mean when you Go to the bank for instance And they ask who are you and you say I've been practicing meditation for Quite some time so I'm not going to get Caught by that question now and just say I don't know And then you want to cash a big check Probably not going to be too sort of Auspicious an occasion There's a funny Sufi story about that whereas wild crazy Man nasiruden goes into cash a big check In the bank and they say you know in his Classical robes and so forth Baghdad Um Can you identify yourself so he pulls Out a hand mirror looks at and says yup That's me all right hahaha So these are like deep questions like Who am I you know what am I and and the Thing is if you could so the narrative Can be uncoupled from the attending the Experiential Non-narrative present moment Network and Then you've got what do you have you've Got some approximation of a higher Intelligence because you need this or You'll you know But if you don't it in some sense hold It in balance with with the present Moment unfolding then you're basically

Imprisoned in your narrative And we've seen the consequences of it This morning And even if we didn't see the Consequences of it this morning all you Need to do is sit down with your own Mind for five minutes and you'll see how Many of you noticed that whether you've Been sitting for 60 years or for 60 Minutes you sit down Then you drop in How long before you The Mind secretes some thought and You're off Someplace else how long Not long here how long But there's nothing wrong with that That's the nature of the mind it's like Saying well if you go out to the Pacific Ocean or even to the Bay You know Does it wave depending on the surface Wave depending on the atmospheric Conditions yes it does Yes it does And it's the same with the Mind thoughts Are going to do what thoughts do And sometimes they'll be much calmer and Sometimes they won't again depending on The atmospheric conditions and this can Modulate the atmospheric conditions to a Very large degree but still Water is water mind is mined it will do What it does

[Music] If you drop down because the ocean is Not just the surface well the bay is not Just the surface if you drop down 20 or 30 meters below the surface That's our default mode that's where we Are so the idea is can we shift the Default mode from mind wandering and Thinking thinking thinking narratives About me my future my past and Everything else to being Then We're operating out of an entirely Different platform Do you can you feel what that would be And then so it's and I don't want to Create that as an ideal now I have to Shift my default mode there hasn't even Been enough evidence to really I mean we Need another 30 or 40 Years of Neuroscience research to understand the Complexity of this just think for a Moment Inside You're a little old cranium And I'm talking about you Is the most complex arrangement of Matter in the known universe So to wake up the Press there's a little Off wouldn't you say I mean Your eyes work as a rule Your ears work Nose Works Touch works I mean pretty

Much everything works so you wouldn't be Sitting here this afternoon So where is the Dysphoria where is the disease coming From what is the root cause Of these things that separate us from Our true being True nature true Humanity And this is the work of mindfulness this Is the work of awareness this is the Work of Dharma

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