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    #34 - Sam Harris, Ph.D.: The transformative power of mindfulness

    enDecember 20, 2018

    Podcast Summary

    • The Power of Mindfulness Meditation and Sam Harris' App "Waking UpPracticing mindfulness meditation and using the "Waking Up" app can reduce unhappiness and help achieve a happier state of mind. Peter Attia recommends exploring Sam Harris' work for valuable insights.

      Mindfulness meditation and the practice of understanding what's going on inside our own heads can be a powerful tool for reducing unhappiness. Peter Attia, the host, emphasizes the importance of mindfulness and the app for meditation called "waking up" created by Sam Harris. Attia admits to spending a significant amount of time thinking about this topic and acknowledges Sam's contributions in helping him understand it. The discussion delves into the concept of distress tolerance and the significance of being mindful in order to achieve a happier state of mind. Attia encourages listeners to explore Sam's work and suggests that this podcast offers valuable insights. Additionally, he highlights the podcast's regular schedule and invites listeners to sign up for their weekly email and leave reviews.

    • The Power of Mindfulness: Overcoming Distractions and Embracing the PresentPracticing mindfulness allows us to fully experience the present moment, overcome distractions, and gain valuable insights that can positively transform our lives.

      The practice of mindfulness can bring us into the present moment and help us overcome the constant stream of thoughts that often distract us. Peter Attia shares his profound experience of being fully present during his time at a rehab facility where he had no distractions and could only focus on his immediate surroundings. It was a revelation for him to realize that this was the first time in his life that he was truly present. He also discovered the power of mindfulness in his exercise routine, where he could only focus on the sound of his breath. Sam Harris further explains that mindfulness is about being aware of whatever the object of meditation is, and that being lost in thought is the main obstacle we face. Embracing mindfulness can lead to meaningful insights and beneficial life transitions.

    • Understanding the Two Types of MeditationFinding the right meditation approach is subjective, but the key is to find a technique that resonates with you and helps you become more present in your daily experiences.

      There are two types of meditation: concentration-based and mindfulness-based. In concentration-based meditation, the goal is to focus on one thing to the exclusion of everything else, aiming to eliminate thoughts. This type can lead to positive states of mind like bliss and compassion. On the other hand, mindfulness-based meditation, also known as insight meditation, is about breaking the spell of being distracted by thoughts and being aware of everything without perceiving them through a conceptual lens. It is a more choiceless form of meditation that can be applied to any experience. Unlike other practices, mindfulness doesn't exclude any aspect of life. Finding the right meditation approach is subjective and can vary from person to person, but the key is to find a technique that resonates with you and helps you become more present in your daily experiences.

    • The Pleasure of Being Present: Meditation and Alleviating Negative EmotionsEngaging fully in the present moment through meditation brings immense pleasure and helps alleviate negative emotions, while also shifting our focus towards happiness and understanding for graceful aging.

      Practicing meditation and fully engaging in the present moment can bring immense pleasure and help alleviate negative emotions. Sam Harris highlights that boredom is simply a lack of attention, and when we learn to meditate, we find that complete attention to the present is what truly pleases us. Concentration, regardless of the object, is intrinsically enjoyable, and meditation can have a superficial character resembling a drug experience. However, it's important to recognize that the pleasure experienced through concentration is impermanent and not the deepest practice of meditation. Importantly, being fully present in the moment makes it difficult to feel anxious, depressed, or angry. This realization has caused a shift in Peter Attia's focus on longevity, where he now prioritizes happiness and understanding the type of physical body necessary for graceful aging.

    • Cultivating mindfulness and finding peace through observing thoughts and emotions.True happiness comes from developing equanimity and awareness, separating ourselves from suffering, and finding growth and pleasure in the midst of challenging circumstances.

      Finding true happiness and contentment is not about avoiding pain or negative experiences. It is about developing a sense of equanimity and awareness that allows us to observe our thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations without getting caught up in them. Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. By cultivating mindfulness and focusing on the present moment, we can separate ourselves from the grip of suffering and find a deeper sense of peace. Meditation can help us develop this ability and increase our tolerance for discomfort. It teaches us that pain does not have to define our experience and that there is immense growth and mental pleasure to be found in the midst of challenging circumstances.

    • Embracing all emotions and finding control in happiness.By observing and not allowing negative emotions to control us, we can find control in our happiness and break free from their grip.

      Happiness is not about constantly feeling joyful or trying to defend and maintain a narrow conception of happiness. Instead, it is about embracing all the vicissitudes of life and cultivating a sense of being and flourishing. Negative emotions, like anger or sadness, have a short half-life and can dissipate quickly if we are no longer lost in thoughts that fuel them. By observing our emotional states without allowing them to control us, we can gain some control over them and prevent them from lasting longer than necessary. This realization can be transformative, especially for individuals prone to anger or other negative emotions, as it empowers them to break free from the grip of their emotions.

    • Unlocking the Power of MindfulnessBy developing mindfulness and meta cognition, we can break free from negative thought patterns and achieve optimal mental health, allowing us to be more present in our lives.

      Our default state of being identified with our thoughts can be both a blessing and a curse. Our capacity for complex thought and language has given us the ability to create culture, civilization, and progress. It allows us to access the knowledge and learning of our ancestors, avoiding the need to start from scratch in each generation. However, this constant identification with thought can also be detrimental. We can become trapped in negative thought patterns, unaware that we are being controlled by them. Developing mindfulness and meta cognition allows us to recognize when we are lost in thought and break free from negative emotions and unnecessary actions. By becoming aware of our thoughts and the illusionary nature of our experiences, we can achieve optimal mental health and be more present in our lives.

    • The Power and Limitations of LanguageLanguage is essential for abstraction and communication, allowing us to represent things beyond the present. However, it also contributes to suffering, though the benefits it brings to society outweigh the drawbacks.

      Language is a crucial factor in our ability to abstract, communicate, and store cultural knowledge. It allows us to represent things that are not currently present and provides the basis for meaningful communication. While other species may have primitive forms of language associated with stimuli and recognition, they lack the conscious thought required to form concepts of the past or future. The ability to think beyond the present moment is acquired as we grow and develop. However, this capacity for thinking and distraction can also lead to suffering and misery. Despite the evolutionary origins of this difficulty, the progress and advancements that language has enabled in our society outweigh its negative effects on our equanimity.

    • Breaking free from evolution's grip: mindfulness and meditation as tools for fulfillment.By practicing mindfulness and meditation, we can become aware of our suffering, endure difficult situations, and reshape our responses for a more balanced and content life.

      Evolution does not prioritize our well-being, but rather focuses on our ability to survive and reproduce. While evolution doesn't care if we are happy or miserable, as long as we pass on our genes, we as a species have the capacity to break free from our evolved tendencies. We can outgrow elements like tribal violence and develop language, which becomes essential to our daily lives. However, this constant stream of internal dialogue often leads to unpleasant experiences for most individuals. Nevertheless, through mindfulness and meditation, we can develop a refined way of noticing our own suffering and find fulfillment in ordinary, pleasure-seeking lives. Mindfulness helps us endure unpleasant situations and reshape our responses to problems that arise, ultimately leading to a more balanced and content existence.

    • The Power of Mindfulness in Enhancing Well-being.By practicing mindfulness, we can observe our thoughts and emotions, find peace, reduce misery, appreciate fleeting moments, and fully experience each moment.

      Mindfulness can serve as a powerful tool to enhance our overall well-being. Peter Attia describes how he uses mindfulness to observe his own thoughts and emotions rather than letting them control him. By being present in the moment and examining the reality of a situation, he is able to find peace and reduce feelings of misery. Additionally, he shares how mindfulness has allowed him to enjoy moments with his children, even when they are misbehaving. This practice helps him appreciate the fleeting nature of these moments and avoid unnecessary worry or frustration. Sam Harris adds that living in a fast-forward mode is a common default for many people, but practicing mindfulness allows us to truly experience and savor each moment fully.

    • The Power of Being Present and Managing EmotionsBeing mindful of our experiences and managing our emotions can lead to a greater sense of well-being and healthier relationships. By paying attention to our reactions and choosing appropriate responses, we can cultivate self-awareness and recover faster from negative emotions.

      Paying closer attention to our experiences can lead to a shift in our perception of what truly matters. Sam Harris and Peter Attia discuss the concept of being present in the moment and how it can bring intrinsic pleasure. They also highlight the tendency to react negatively to predictable situations or triggers, even when we are aware of their impact on us. Sam shares his commitment to letting go of anger quickly, recognizing its toxic effects on his relationships. He emphasizes the importance of noticing and managing our emotions as early as possible, as even mild frustration can be perceived by others as intense anger. By cultivating self-awareness, we can strive to recover faster and choose appropriate responses in different circumstances.

    • The Power of Mindset and PerspectiveBy practicing mindfulness and adopting alternative framings, we can shape our experiences, navigate challenges with ease, find silver linings in negative situations, and improve customer service interactions through empathy.

      Our mindset and perspective have the power to shape our experiences. By practicing mindfulness and adopting alternative framings, we can navigate challenges and negative situations with greater ease. Sam Harris and Peter Attia highlight the importance of letting go of anger quickly and finding silver linings in seemingly negative circumstances. Additionally, they discuss the impact of empathy on customer service experiences, suggesting that viewing difficult jobs through a lens of understanding can lead to more positive interactions. Mindfulness and alternative framings are accessible to everyone, regardless of their familiarity with mindfulness practices. By consciously choosing our mindset and perspective, we can transform our experiences and find resilience in the face of adversity.

    • The progression of learning and mastery from incompetence to competence, with a focus on self-awareness and feedback loops.Recognizing weaknesses and actively working to correct them is crucial in the journey of learning. Mindfulness and longer practices, like silent retreats, can lead to transformative experiences.

      Learning and mastery require a progression from being unconsciously incompetent to consciously incompetent to consciously competent. This applies to various areas of life, such as brushing teeth, movement, and even meditation. Feedback loops and self-awareness play a crucial role in this progression. Similarly, the story of learning how to swim as an adult emphasizes the importance of recognizing one's weaknesses and actively working to correct them. Mindfulness, in particular, can be challenging but immensely rewarding. Engaging in activities like silent retreats for a longer duration, such as a week to ten days, allows for a deeper surrender to the practice and a greater chance of experiencing meaningful transformation.

    • The Power of Solitude and Unexpected Sources of Personal GrowthOur experiences and perspectives are subjective, and external factors alone cannot determine our happiness. Personal growth and enlightenment can come from unexpected sources and take time to fully comprehend.

      Being alone with no distractions can lead to different experiences and perspectives. While Sam Harris had a miserable time during his solo camping at a young age, others found profound happiness in the same situation. This highlights the subjective nature of our experiences and the importance of individual perspectives. It also emphasizes that external factors alone cannot determine our level of happiness or fulfillment. Furthermore, Harris's realization of being on the wrong side of understanding about the nature of his own mind came later in life through a different experience with psychedelics. This suggests that personal growth and enlightenment can come from unexpected sources and may take time to fully comprehend.

    • MDMA and the Transcendence of the EgoMDMA can help individuals break down self-centered barriers and foster deeper connections and empathy with others.

      MDMA allowed Sam Harris to experience an altered state of consciousness where he was able to let go of self-concern and connect with others on a deeper level. Prior to this experience, Sam had always been preoccupied with his own thoughts and how others perceived him. He recognized that his default state involved constantly worrying about himself and comparing his own success and happiness to others. This self-centered mindset limited his capacity for empathy and genuine happiness for others. However, MDMA broke down this mental barrier and allowed Sam to fully immerse himself in the present moment and experience a profound connection with his friend. This highlights the potential of psychedelic substances in enabling individuals to transcend their ego and cultivate more compassionate and empathetic relationships with others.

    • The Unique Effects and Risks of MDMAMDMA creates a sense of love and empathy towards others, but caution should be exercised due to potential physical effects and neurotoxicity risks.

      MDMA, when consumed in its pure form, does not alter consciousness or induce hallucinations like other psychedelic drugs such as LSD. It creates a unique experience where individuals feel a deep sense of love and empathy towards others, wanting only the best for everyone. This state of mind eliminates feelings of envy or competition, even towards strangers. The neurobiology behind this phenomenon is not fully understood, but it is believed that MDMA affects serotonergic receptors in the brain. However, it is important to note that the physical effects and potential neurotoxicity of MDMA are a concern, and caution should be exercised when consuming this drug. It is advisable to take it infrequently and avoid consuming substances that may be mixed with MDMA to reduce the risk of toxicity.

    • Cultivating loving kindness and compassion through Meta meditationMeta meditation actively generates feelings of well-wishing and goodwill towards oneself and others, fostering a more positive and empathetic outlook on life.

      Meditation practices like Meta can help cultivate a deep sense of loving kindness and compassion towards others. Unlike mindfulness, which is about non-judgmental observation, Meta focuses on actively generating feelings of well-wishing and goodwill towards oneself and others. By repeatedly thinking thoughts of happiness and freedom from suffering for loved ones, neutral individuals, and even those considered as enemies, one can develop a genuine attitude of care and compassion. This practice aims to bring about both a state change and a trait change, influencing one's default attitude towards all conscious beings. Through concentration and immersion in the feeling of love, meditation can transform the mind and foster a more positive and empathetic outlook on life.

    • The Power of Perspective and EmpathyBy seeing situations from different perspectives and practicing empathy, we can develop compassion, understanding, and cultivate kindness, leading to positive relationships.

      We should strive to view situations from different perspectives and practice empathy. We often judge others based on our own experiences and fail to consider the challenges they may be facing. For instance, when encountering a frustrated customer service representative, we should pause and remember that they have been dealing with difficult people all day. By putting ourselves in their shoes, we can develop compassion and understanding. This mindset shift can be applied to various situations, such as when someone cuts us off in traffic. Instead of reacting with anger, we should consider that there may be valid reasons for their behavior. Ultimately, by recognizing that everyone is suffering in their own way and was once a vulnerable child, we can cultivate kindness and foster positive relationships.

    • Balancing compassion and security in societyEmpathy and understanding are crucial in addressing societal issues, while also recognizing the role of circumstances in shaping individuals' choices. A compassionate approach paired with necessary measures ensures order and safety.

      Compassion and understanding are not incompatible with protecting society from malevolent individuals. Visiting a prison and playing a game called the Step Line revealed profound similarities and differences between inmates and volunteers. It highlighted the role of random circumstances, such as growing up with two parents or access to books, in shaping a person's life choices. Both Sam Harris and Peter Attia recognized that they too could have easily ended up on the other side of that line if their circumstances had been different. This realization emphasizes the importance of empathy and recognizing that there is little difference between individuals in terms of their underlying causes and conditions. Ultimately, the key takeaway is to approach societal issues with both compassion and the necessary measures for maintaining order and safety.

    • The Role of Moral Luck in Our LivesRecognizing the impact of luck in our lives can inspire us to take more care in our actions and cultivate empathy for others, as small differences in luck can lead to significant outcomes.

      Moral luck plays a significant role in our lives, and we often underestimate its impact. We rarely recognize how fortunate we need to be to live a morally good life, as even small differences in luck can lead to drastically different outcomes. For example, driving drunk or texting while driving may seem insignificant risks, but the consequences can be life-changing and irreversible. Understanding this concept can push us to take more care in all aspects of life, increasing our chances of living a happy and fulfilling life. Additionally, recognizing the role of luck can also foster compassion, allowing us to empathize with even the worst individuals, as we realize that changing enough variables could place us in similar situations.

    • Directing Empathy and Embracing the Present for a Fulfilling LifeFocusing on empathy, acknowledging the role of luck, and cherishing the present moment are essential for a happier and more fulfilling life.

      Dwelling on negative experiences and focusing on potential future losses only serves to diminish our own quality of life. Peter Attia emphasizes the importance of directing empathy towards those who have suffered, rather than harboring anger or hatred towards them. Sam Harris further reinforces this by highlighting the element of luck involved in accidents and mistakes, urging us to consider the profound consequences of our actions. Additionally, the story of Peter's friend losing his dog teaches us the value of being present and cherishing what we have in the present moment. Constantly worrying about the future only robs us of the joy and fulfillment that can be found in the here and now.

    • Bridging the Gap: Meditation for Dealing with Loss and SufferingThrough meditation, we can learn to navigate the absence of someone or something without being consumed by excessive thinking, finding peace and well-being in moments of physical absence.

      Meditation can help bridge the gap between understanding concepts and putting them into practice, particularly in dealing with loss and suffering. By becoming sensitive to the mechanics of suffering, one can learn to navigate the absence of someone or something without being consumed by it through excessive thinking. Framing and perspective play a role in this process, where one can recognize that physical absence does not necessarily equate to emotional absence. Meditation offers the ability to cultivate a sense of well-being that is resilient to solitude and change. By finding contentment in moments of physical absence, we can enjoy the company of our loved ones without relying on their constant presence for our well-being. This understanding can bring a sense of peace in the face of impermanence and inevitable losses.

    • Understanding the True Nature of MindfulnessFormal training and a clear understanding of mindfulness greatly increase the chances of recognizing and benefiting from its practice, while a dualistic approach may hinder selflessness. Vipassana and Zochen are related but distinct practices.

      While it is possible for some individuals to unintentionally discover mindfulness without formal training, the odds are against it. Consciousness allows for the recognition of mindfulness in each moment, but the chances of stumbling upon it are slim. While there are famous individuals who have spontaneously awakened to mindfulness, clear information and a clear map greatly increase the likelihood of understanding its true nature. Additionally, practicing mindfulness in a dualistic or goal-seeking manner can hinder the realization of selflessness and create unnecessary suffering. It is important to have a correct understanding of mindfulness and its path in order to fully benefit from its practice. Finally, Vipassana is the name of the practice in Taravada Buddhism, while Zochen is a separate concept that may overlap with mindfulness in certain aspects.

    • Insight through mindfulness and Vipassana meditationBy practicing mindfulness and Vipassana meditation, we can gain awareness of the impermanence of life and deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

      Mindfulness and Vipassana meditation can provide insight into the impermanence, selflessness, and unsatisfactoriness of all phenomena. The practice teaches us that life is constantly changing, and there is no permanent basis for lasting happiness. It is through mindfulness that we become aware of the true characteristics of our experiences without judgment or reactivity. By observing sensations, emotions, and thoughts without trying to change them, we can deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Both Vipassana and Zogchen traditions emphasize the non-dualistic nature of the mind and the illusion of a separate self. Through these practices, we can transcend our limited concept of self and engage with the raw data of our experiences.

    • Exploring the depths of consciousness through mindfulness and zochen meditationMeditation can help us understand the impermanent and illusory nature of our thoughts and sensations, and zochen meditation specifically emphasizes the inherent egolessness of consciousness.

      Meditation can provide deep insights into the nature of consciousness. Starting from the understanding that our sense of self is located in the head, mindfulness meditation allows us to pay closer attention to our own experiences. Through this practice, we can recognize the impermanence, selflessness, and unsatisfactoriness of our thoughts and sensations. However, reaching a fundamental insight into the illusory nature of the ego can take time. That's where zochen comes in. With zochen, a connection with a zogen master is needed to point out the intrinsic egolessness of consciousness, allowing us to recognize and practice it. Unlike Vipassana, zochen does not require continuous momentum or intense concentration. It emphasizes that the truth about consciousness is already present in any given moment.

    • Discovering the Absence of a Center in ConsciousnessRecognizing the absence of a center in consciousness is about realizing that it already exists within us and can be found in ordinary moments of awareness. By practicing mindfulness and letting go of the idea of a self, we can develop a fundamentally different relationship with experience.

      The practice of recognizing the absence of a center in consciousness is not about trying to change or achieve something extraordinary. It is about realizing that this feature of consciousness already exists and is closer than we think. It doesn't require intense experiences or altered states of consciousness. Instead, it can be found in the most ordinary moments of awareness, like reaching for a glass of water. The path of Zogen is about discovering and continuously being mindful of the absence of a center in consciousness, letting go of the idea of a self. This practice may be challenging, similar to starting a new exercise routine, but it can bring about traits and benefits beyond the act itself. The goal is not to seek temporary pleasure or altered states, but to develop a fundamentally different relationship with experience.

    • Grounding our spiritual practices in ethics for a better lifeHonesty is fundamental in all aspects of life and can lead to a better life if committed to.

      Our spiritual or contemplative practices should make us better people by grounding us in ethics. It's important to not grasp at pleasant experiences while pushing away unpleasant ones, as this can lead to unnecessary suffering. Concentration practices, although they may produce pleasure, can be misleading and even unethical if they don't provide a fundamental antidote to ego-driven behaviors. It's crucial to have a framing or concept of what we are doing that aligns with being a good person in all areas of life. An important ethical principle is honesty, and committing to being truthful except in self-defense situations can simplify one's life. Many people haven't fully considered the impact of lying on their relationships and reputations, but making a commitment to honesty can lead to better lives.

    • The Power of Honesty in Relationships and BeyondChoosing honesty builds trust and respect, leads to authentic interactions, and fosters meaningful relationships. It extends to all aspects of life, including politics, where honesty is essential for building trust with the public.

      Choosing to be honest, even in difficult situations, can lead to stronger and more meaningful relationships. By committing to not lying, we open ourselves up to complexity and risk, but we gain the trust and respect of those around us. Being truthful allows us to have authentic interactions and ensures that our praise and feedback hold genuine value. While some may prefer to hear only positive feedback, they will eventually feel the limitations of a circle built on lies and seek relationships grounded in honesty. This principle can extend to various areas of life, including politics, where honesty is often believed to be incompatible but is essential for building trust with the public.

    • The Decline of Honesty in Politics and the Rise of TrumpThe acceptance and admiration of dishonesty in politics, exemplified by Trump, poses a threat to democracy, and it is essential to prioritize truth and hold politicians accountable for their falsehoods.

      The value of honesty in politics has drastically declined, especially with the rise of Trump. It is concerning that a significant portion of the electorate no longer holds politicians accountable for their dishonesty. The Trump phenomenon has transformed dishonesty from a bug to a feature in politics, where his supporters actually admire him for his lack of truthfulness. This has created a dangerous dynamic where pointing out Trump's lies is ineffective because his followers expect him to lie. In the past, politicians who lied under oath faced consequences, but now lying has become an accepted part of political theater. It is crucial for a functioning democracy to prioritize truth and hold politicians accountable for their falsehoods.

    • The Trump Phenomenon and its Impact on SocietyTeaching children mindfulness meditation and promoting self-awareness can help them develop resilience and alleviate self-imposed suffering in an uncertain world.

      Society has a unique tolerance for certain individuals, such as Trump, who can get away with behavior that others cannot. Trump's ability to escape consequences, despite his lies and discordant behavior, stems from a personality cult phenomenon. However, this dysfunctional dynamic raises concerns about his role and its impact on society. When considering the future and preparing children for an uncertain world, it is important to instill certain traits that can help them navigate whatever lies ahead. One of these traits is choosing to live an examined life, where individuals are not controlled by their thoughts and can find ways to alleviate suffering. By teaching children mindfulness meditation and promoting self-awareness, they can develop resilience and lessen self-imposed suffering.

    • Overcoming Expectations: Challenging Perspectives to Avoid Unnecessary SufferingBy teaching children mindfulness and prioritizing emotional well-being, and by having difficult conversations with intellectual honesty, we can build resilience and avoid unnecessary suffering in our lives.

      Our expectations often do not align with reality, leading to unnecessary suffering. Sam Harris highlights the power of framing and how our anticipation of negative events can greatly exceed the actual experience. By teaching children early on to be more aware of their thoughts and feelings, we can help them avoid unnecessary suffering and build resilience. Peter Attia reflects on his own tendency to worry about his daughter's academic achievements, realizing that he should also prioritize her emotional well-being. Both Harris and Attia emphasize the importance of having difficult conversations with intellectual honesty and openness, as it enables growth and understanding. Ultimately, it is crucial to challenge our expectations and seek a balanced perspective to avoid unnecessary suffering in our lives.

    • The Consequence of Insensitive Comments and the Need for Forgiveness in SocietyIn a society that quickly condemns individuals for their mistakes, it is crucial to promote forgiveness and genuine apologies to facilitate healthy dialogue and personal growth.

      There seems to be a growing trend where conversations about sensitive topics are becoming increasingly difficult. People who make misstatements or express oblivion towards certain issues are facing severe consequences, often resulting in the destruction of their careers. The example of Megan Kelly and her Halloween blackface comments highlights how a well-intended discussion on racial insensitivity can quickly escalate and lead to the loss of a job. This raises the question of whether there is room for forgiveness and genuine apologies in our society. Mistakes should be acknowledged, and if someone recognizes their error and expresses sincere remorse, it should be accepted. Living in a world where apologies become insufficient and people are condemned for a single misstep inhibits healthy dialogue and prevents personal growth.

    • The Importance of Forgiveness and ChangeRemorse and willingness to change are essential in determining if someone should be forgiven and given a second chance. Genuine transformation is possible, even in extreme cases, through advancements in psychology and neuroscience.

      Forgiveness and change are important elements in moving forward from past mistakes or wrongdoings. It raises the question of whether there is a limit to forgiveness, and what actions or sins are unforgivable. The discussion emphasizes the significance of remorse and willingness to change in determining if someone should be forgiven and given a second chance. Society tends to struggle with the concept of forgiving and moving on, often finding it difficult to accept apologies or believe in genuine transformation. However, the possibility of true change allows for the potential redemption of individuals, even in extreme cases. The future may bring advancements in psychology and neuroscience that help us better understand these changes and offer solutions for conditions like psychopathy, allowing for a path out of darkness and transformation that is intelligible to society.

    • Reshaping Moral Judgment: The Role of NeuroscienceUnderstanding the neurobiological basis of behavior can shift our perception of evil and lead to a more compassionate approach, treating it as a medical condition rather than an act of evil.

      Our understanding and approach to moral judgment can be reshaped by advancements in neuroscience. Sam Harris argues that if we had a cure for behavioral disorders rooted in neurochemical and neuroanatomical abnormalities, it would be viewed no differently than treating any other disease. He points out that when giving insulin to diabetics, we don't consider whether they deserve it or not because there is zero culpability in having a malfunctioning pancreas. Similarly, if we comprehended the neurobiological basis of even the most heinous behaviors, we would see them as symptoms of a medical condition rather than acts of evil. This perspective suggests that a comprehensive understanding of evil would reduce it to a type of unlucky circumstance. Peter Attia acknowledges the significance of Harris's work in preventing human suffering, although it may not be easily quantifiable like statistics regarding disease onset and longevity.

    • Overcoming fear and taking the first step towards pursuing your interests can lead to unexpected fulfillment and success.Don't let intimidation or self-doubt hold you back from pursuing your passions. Taking the first step can lead to enjoyable and fulfilling experiences beyond your expectations.

      Starting something new can be intimidating, but it's important to take a leap and try. Peter Attia admits that he was initially hesitant to start his podcast because he saw the amazing work that Sam Harris and Tim Ferriss were doing and felt inadequate in comparison. However, he eventually took the plunge and found it to be much more enjoyable than he had predicted. The lesson here is that it's never too late to start pursuing something you're interested in or passionate about, even if you feel intimidated or think you're not ready. Taking that first step can lead to unexpected fulfillment and success.

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    • Courtney Conley episode: importance of toe strength and the impact of dedicated foot training [26:45];
    • Olav Aleksander Bu episode: the importance of VO2 max for lifespan, and the practicalities of measuring and improving VO2 max [36:45];
    • Behavioral changes that have come about from the conversation with Olav [56:00];
    • Alex Aravanis episode: liquid biopsies for cancer detection [1:01:30];
    • Colleen Cutcliffe episode: the importance of gut bacteria balance, and the potential therapeutic uses of probiotics, particularly Akkermansia [1:16:45];
    • Mark Rosekind: the significant issue of road fatalities and injuries, their causes, and practical safety measures to reduce risks [1:27:00]; and
    • More.

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    The Peter Attia Drive
    enJune 03, 2024

    #303 - A breakthrough in Alzheimer’s disease: the promising potential of klotho for brain health, cognitive decline, and as a therapeutic tool for Alzheimer's disease | Dena Dubal, M.D., Ph.D.

    #303 - A breakthrough in Alzheimer’s disease: the promising potential of klotho for brain health, cognitive decline, and as a therapeutic tool for Alzheimer's disease | Dena Dubal, M.D., Ph.D.

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    Dena Dubal is a physician-scientist and professor of neurology at UCSF whose work focuses on mechanisms of longevity and brain resilience. In this episode, Dena delves into the intricacies of the longevity factor klotho: its formation and distribution in the body, the factors such as stress and exercise that impact its levels, and its profound impact on cognitive function and overall brain health. Dena shares insights from exciting research in animal models showing the potential of klotho in treating neurodegenerative diseases as well as its broader implications for organ health and disease prevention. She concludes with an optimistic outlook for future research in humans and the potential of klotho for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

    Disclosure: Peter is an investor in Jocasta Neuroscience, a company working to develop klotho as a therapy for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

    We discuss:

    • Dena’s fascination with aging and how she came to study klotho [3:30];
    • Biological properties of klotho: production, regulation, decline with age, and factors influencing its levels [11:45];
    • Potential benefits of klotho on brain health [22:00];
    • The relationship between soluble klotho protein, platelet factors, and cognitive enhancement [33:45];
    • The role of platelet factor 4 (PF4) and it’s interaction with GluN2B in mediating cognitive enhancement [46:45];
    • Benefits of klotho observed in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease [55:45];
    • Benefits of klotho observed in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease [1:03:00];
    • Promising results of klotho in primate models, and the importance of finding an appropriate therapeutic dose before moving to human trials [1:08:00];
    • Speculating why a single klotho injection has such long-lasting effects [1:25:30];
    • Potential cognitive benefits of klotho in humans, the impact of the KL-VS genetic variant on klotho levels, and the need for human trials to confirm these effects [1:27:45];
    • The interaction between the KL-VS genetic variant and APOE4 and how it impacts risk of Alzheimer’s disease [1:34:45];
    • The significance of klotho levels: studies linking lower levels to increased mortality and the broader implications for organ health and disease prevention [1:47:15];
    • Measuring klotho levels and determining an individual’s KL-VS status [1:52:15];
    • The promising potential of klotho for Alzheimer’s disease treatment, and the importance of philanthropy for funding research [1:58:00]; and
    • More.

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    The Peter Attia Drive
    enMay 27, 2024

    #302 - Confronting a metabolic epidemic: understanding liver health and how to prevent, diagnose, and manage liver disease | Julia Wattacheril, M.D., M.P.H.

    #302 - Confronting a metabolic epidemic: understanding liver health and how to prevent, diagnose, and manage liver disease | Julia Wattacheril, M.D., M.P.H.

    View the Show Notes Page for This Episode

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    Julia Wattacheril is a physician scientist and director of the Metabolic Dysfunction Associated Steatotic Liver Disease (MASLD) program at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. In this episode, Julia delves deep into the complex world of liver health, beginning with a foundational overview of liver physiology. She provides an in-depth look at how alcohol impacts liver function, breaking down the metabolism of ethanol and its detrimental effects. Julia then shifts the focus to understanding liver function tests and optimal enzyme levels, providing a detailed explanation of AST and ALT and elucidating why fluctuations in these levels may or may not be concerning. She provides a primer on the four major stages of liver disease, discussing risk and emphasizing the importance of early diagnosis. Julia highlights the role of liver disease in increasing the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease and covers in detail the various strategies for diagnosing, treating, and preventing the progression of liver disease.

    We discuss:

    • Julia’s training, the importance of liver health, and the challenges and innovations of hepatology [3:15];
    • The complex and crucial functionality of the liver, its four most essential functions, and more [8:45];
    • Liver injuries: historical and evolving understanding of causal factors, and the progression to liver diseases and cancer [13:15];
    • How the liver metabolizes nutrients and what happens in the presence of excess calories or alcohol [24:45];
    • Methods of diagnosing liver disease and how insights guide treatment and management strategies [33:30];
    • The poisonous nature of ethanol to the liver [40:30];
    • Varied responses to alcohol, damaging effects of alcohol beyond the liver, and the process of advising patients on their alcohol consumption [47:15];
    • Understanding liver enzymes AST and ALT—interpreting levels, lifestyle factors that affect them, and diagnostic approaches [58:30];
    • Interpreting liver function tests for fatty liver disease, and the challenges of diagnosing liver pathologies, particularly in children versus adults [1:13:15];
    • Comprehensive liver health assessments via imaging and various diagnostic tools to prevent overlooking potential liver pathologies [1:18:45];
    • Potential impact of recreational drugs, statins, and other medications on liver function test results [1:26:45];
    • Shifting nomenclature from NAFLD to MASLD to reflect accuracy in the underlying pathophysiology and understanding of liver diseases [1:30:30];
    • Pathophysiology of MASLD, the need for proactive screening, and the significance of liver fat percentage as an indicator of metabolic health [1:36:30];
    • The importance of screening for rare conditions alongside common metabolic diseases associated with fatty liver accumulation [1:42:45];
    • Practical strategies for managing MAFLD [1:45:30];
    • The impact of fructose consumption on liver health and the challenges of disentangling its effects from other factors like obesity and insulin resistance [1:52:45];
    • The potential of GLP-1 agonists for the treatment of MASLD [1:57:45];
    • How the four stages of liver disease have evolved [2:00:30];
    • Increased cancer and heart disease risk associated with early-stage MAFLD [2:05:15];
    • Emerging drugs and therapies for addressing fat accumulation and fibrosis related to MAFLD [2:12:15];
    • Peter’s major takeaways [2:18:45]; and
    • More.

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    The Peter Attia Drive
    enMay 20, 2024

    #301 - AMA #59: Inflammation: its impact on aging and disease risk, and how to identify, prevent, and reduce it

    #301 - AMA #59: Inflammation: its impact on aging and disease risk, and how to identify, prevent, and reduce it

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    In this “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) episode, Peter delves into the often misunderstood concept of inflammation. He first defines inflammation and differentiates between acute inflammation and chronic inflammation, the latter of which is linked to aging and a plethora of age-related diseases. Peter breaks down the intricate relationship between chronic inflammation, obesity, and metabolic health, and highlights the signs that might suggest someone may be suffering from chronic inflammation. From there, the conversation centers on actionable advice and practical steps one can take to manage and minimize chronic inflammation. He explores how diet plays a crucial role, including the potential benefits of elimination diets, and he examines the impact of lifestyle factors such as exercise, sleep, and stress management. Additionally, he discusses the relevance of food inflammatory tests and concludes by examining the potential benefits and drawbacks of drugs and supplements in managing inflammation.

    If you’re not a subscriber and are listening on a podcast player, you’ll only be able to hear a preview of the AMA. If you’re a subscriber, you can now listen to this full episode on your private RSS feed or our website at the AMA #59 show notes page. If you are not a subscriber, you can learn more about the subscriber benefits here.

    We discuss:

    • Defining inflammation (and the cultural impact of Napoleon Dynamite) [1:45];
    • Acute vs chronic inflammation [8:00];
    • The connection between chronic inflammation, aging, and age-related diseases [11:00];
    • The impact of inflammation on metabolic health [18:30];
    • Understanding and diagnosing chronic inflammation: blood tests and other approaches, and challenges with measurement [20:00];
    • Factors that contribute to low-level chronic inflammation [28:00];
    • Minimizing inflammation through diet [29:45];
    • The important role of fiber for gut health and inflammation [33:45];
    • A closer look at the impact of trans fats and saturated fats on overall health [34:45];
    • Why Peter prefers dietary fiber from food sources over supplements [38:30];
    • Debunking “superfoods”: emphasizing proven methods over marketing claims for reducing inflammation [39:00];
    • Is there any value in over-the-counter food inflammatory tests? [42:30];
    • Food elimination diets: how they work, symptoms and markers to watch, challenges and limitations [45:15];
    • Identifying dietary triggers for gut-related symptoms through low-FODMAP diets like the “carnivore diet” [51:15];
    • Dairy: the complex role of dairy on inflammation and individual responses [55:00];
    • Wheat: the complexities and conflicting evidence around wheat's inflammatory effects [57:45];
    • How exercise influences inflammation [1:02:00];
    • How sleep quality and duration impacts inflammation [1:07:00];
    • The potential impact of chronic psychological stressors on inflammation [1:13:00];
    • The impact of oral health on inflammation and overall well-being [1:15:00];
    • The role of medications in managing chronic inflammation [1:18:15];
    • Supplements: evaluating the efficacy of various anti-inflammatory supplements [1:22:15];
    • Parting thoughts and takeaways [1:27:00]; and
    • More.

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    The Peter Attia Drive
    enMay 13, 2024

    #300 - Special episode: Peter on exercise, fasting, nutrition, stem cells, geroprotective drugs, and more — promising interventions or just noise?

    #300 - Special episode: Peter on exercise, fasting, nutrition, stem cells, geroprotective drugs, and more — promising interventions or just noise?

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    In this special edition celebrating 300 episodes of The Drive, Peter discusses a variety of popular topics and health interventions and classifies them based on their level of evidence and relevance using the following categories: proven, promising, fuzzy, noise, and nonsense. Peter first delves into the topic of geroprotective molecules, covering rapamycin, metformin, NAD and its precursors, and resveratrol. Next, he explores the significance of metrics like VO2 max and muscle mass, as well as emerging concepts like blood flow restriction and stem cells. The conversation extends to nutrition, addressing questions surrounding long-term fasting, sugar consumption, sugar substitutes, and the contentious role of red meat in cancer. Peter not only provides his current stance on each topic—most of which have been covered in great detail in the previous 300 episodes—but also reflects on how his opinion may have evolved over the years.

    We discuss:

    • Defining the categories of “proven, promising, fuzzy, noise, and nonsense” [3:15];
    • Rapamycin [9:30];
    • Metformin [17:00];
    • NAD and its precursors [24:30];
    • Resveratrol [32:45];
    • The importance of VO2 max, muscle mass, and muscular strength for lifespan [38:15];
    • Blood flow restriction (BFR) training [44:00];
    • Using stem cells to treat osteoarthritis or injury [51:30];
    • Fasting as a tool for longevity (and why Peter stopped his fasting protocol) [55:45];
    • The energy balance theory [1:06:30];
    • The idea that sugar is poison [1:12:00];
    • The idea that sugar substitutes are dangerous [1:22:15];
    • The debate on red meat and cancer [1:28:45]; and
    • More.

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    Special episode with Dax Shepard: F1 and the 30th anniversary of Ayrton Senna’s death

    Special episode with Dax Shepard: F1 and the 30th anniversary of Ayrton Senna’s death

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    This is a special episode of The Drive with Peter’s friend and fellow car enthusiast Dax Shepard. In this podcast, which commemorates the 30th anniversary of the death of Brazilian Formula One legend Ayrton Senna, Dax sits down with Peter to better understand what made Senna so special and why Peter remains an enormous fan. This conversation focuses on Senna’s life, the circumstances of his death, and his lasting impact and legacy on the sport of F1.

    We discuss:

    • Peter’s interest in motorsports began as a child [2:30];
    • The drama and dangers of F1 [6:00];
    • What made Senna special [13:00];
    • What Senna meant to Brazilians [24:00];
    • The cause of the fatal crash [28:15];
    • Why Peter is obsessed with Senna [40:30];
    • Being the best versus having the best record [43:30];
    • Senna’s unique driving style and incredible intuition about automotive engineering [46:30];
    • Back to the day of the dreadful race [53:00];
    • What Peter believes caused the crash [1:02:45];
    • Views on dying young, in the prime of life [1:13:00];
    • Senna lives on in his foundation and in safety changes adopted by F1 [1:21:00];
    • Statistics aren’t enough for fandom, and why people like who they do [1:24:15];
    • The biggest difference between F1 today and F1 in the 80s [1:28:30];
    • Senna’s driving superpower [1:30:30];
    • The fastest drivers currently in F1 [1:38:30];
    • Current F1 obsessions [1:45:00];
    • How hard it is to do what the top F1 drivers do [1:50:15];
    • Dax’s love of motorcycles and his AMG E63 station wagon [1:52:15];
    • Awesome Senna mementos from Etsy [2:01:15];
    • What makes specialists interesting, and Max’s devotion to F1 [2:10:15];
    • What Senna might have done if he had not died that day [2:14:00];
    • Michael Schumacher and Max Verstappen are also top F1 drivers [2:17:30];
    • Interlagos in Sao Paulo Brazil is always an incredible experience [2:18:45]; and
    • More.

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    #299 ‒ Optimizing muscle protein synthesis: the crucial impact of protein quality and quantity, and the key role of resistance training | Luc van Loon, Ph.D.

    #299 ‒ Optimizing muscle protein synthesis: the crucial impact of protein quality and quantity, and the key role of resistance training | Luc van Loon, Ph.D.

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    Luc van Loon is an internationally renowned expert in skeletal muscle metabolism. In this episode, Luc starts with an exploration of the roles of insulin and triglycerides in endurance exercise, highlighting their impact on skeletal muscle metabolism, and he offers profound insights into the significance of protein in this context. He elucidates how different protein types and forms influence muscle protein synthesis rates, exploring the nuances of protein absorption, digestibility, amino acid quality, and their implications for performance and recovery. Delving deeper, he differentiates between animal and plant protein sources, unraveling the distinctive properties of various protein types, from the differences between whey and casein to the emerging trends in collagen protein supplementation. Moreover, Luc dissects the intricate connections among physical activity, lean muscle mass, muscle protein synthesis induced by resistance training, and dietary protein.

    We discuss:

    • Luc’s background and insights about fuel selection during exercise [3:30];
    • Fuel utilization during endurance exercise [9:30];
    • Fat metabolism, intramuscular lipids, and the nutritional dynamics of endurance sports [17:15];
    • The optimal window for replenishing intramuscular fat stores and glycogen post-exercise [25:15];
    • Luc’s interest in protein metabolism and exploration of amino acids' dual role as building blocks and signaling molecules in driving muscle protein synthesis [32:15];
    • How protein metabolism differs between sedentary individuals and those engaged in predominantly strength training or endurance training [38:45];
    • The basics of how proteins are digested and absorbed, and how muscle protein synthesis is measured [50:30];
    • How factors like food texture, cooking methods, and protein composition impact muscle protein synthesis, and the importance of protein distribution throughout the day [59:45];
    • Differences in whey and casein proteins, and the ability of ingested protein to stimulate muscle protein synthesis [1:03:30];
    • Dietary protein distribution and quantity for the maximization of muscle protein synthesis [1:09:00];
    • Muscle loss with age and inactivity and the importance of resistance exercise to maintain type II muscle fibers [1:17:15];
    • Differences between whey and casein proteins, and the importance of both quantity and quality of protein sources [1:28:30];
    • Optimizing muscle protein synthesis: exercise, timing of protein intake, protein quality, and more [1:37:00];
    • How to preserve muscle while trying to lose weight [1:46:00];
    • Anabolic resistance and overcoming it with physical activity [1:55:45];
    • Importance of protein intake and physical activity in hospitalized patients [2:06:30];
    • Reviewing the efficacy of collagen supplements [2:13:30];
    • Plant-based diets: how to ensure a balance of amino acids, and other considerations [2:20:30];
    • Future research: understanding protein metabolism in the brain [2:23:45]; and
    • More.

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    #298 ‒ The impact of emotional health on longevity, self-audit strategies, improving well-being, and more | Paul Conti, M.D.

    #298 ‒ The impact of emotional health on longevity, self-audit strategies, improving well-being, and more | Paul Conti, M.D.

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    Paul Conti is an author and practicing psychiatrist who specializes in helping people heal from trauma. In this episode, Paul returns to The Drive to delve into the intricate relationship between emotional health, healthspan, and lifespan. He first challenges common assumptions about the inevitable decline of emotional health with age, providing strategies for conducting a comprehensive audit of internal emotional health. He establishes a framework for the foundation of good emotional health: a balance between the generative drive, the assertive drive, and the pleasure drive. Paul also explores the nuanced dynamics of motivation, happiness, and satisfaction as it relates to material possessions, draws connections between physical and emotional well-being, confronts the impact of negative self-talk, and describes how making peace with our mortality can foster a sense of hope, purpose and well-being. Additionally, Paul offers many practical insights into initiating emotional health improvements and navigating the search for a suitable therapist.

    We discuss:

    • The importance of prioritizing emotional health as we age [2:45];
    • The impact of emotional health on healthspan and how to foster a proactive approach to emotional well-being [7:00];
    • The discrepancy between outward success and inner fulfillment, and the importance of a healthy “generative drive” for genuine well-being [13:00];
    • A deeper dive into generative drive: impact on human behavior, resilience, purpose, and more [23:15];
    • Evaluating one’s inner self: introspection, self-awareness, challenging societal norms, and returning to the basics of physical and emotional well-being [29:00];
    • Self-auditing tools: introspection, curiosity, and exploring underlying reasons for unwanted behaviors [41:45];
    • Breaking free from destructive cycles by understanding the continuum of self-care and addictive behaviors and remaining curious [50:15];
    • Critical self talk: the malleability of one’s inner dialogue and the potential for transformative change with perseverance and self-compassion [1:00:15];
    • Slowing the anger response and gaining insights into the underlying triggers to achieve lasting change and self-understanding [1:13:45];
    • Foster gratitude and humility by achieving balance between the three drives—assertion, pleasure, and generative [1:20:45];
    • The conflict between intellectual understanding and emotional feelings, problematic comparison frameworks, and the importance of living in the present with intentionality [1:24:15];
    • How making peace with our mortality can foster a sense of hope, purpose and well-being [1:34:45];
    • Advice for finding a compatible therapist [1:43:45];
    • The key components of therapeutic progress [1:57:00];
    • The caricatures of four common patient phenotypes, and how to get through to them [2:05:30];
    • How Paul manages his own well-being and the emotional challenges that come with his line of work [2:15:15]; and
    • More.

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    #297 - AMA #58: Iron: its role in health, testing methods, and strategies for preventing and managing iron deficiency

    #297 - AMA #58: Iron: its role in health, testing methods, and strategies for preventing and managing iron deficiency

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    In this “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) episode, Peter delves into the crucial yet often overlooked topic of iron and iron deficiency. He explores why iron is indispensable for the body, explains the repercussions of iron deficiency, and sheds light on the prevalence of this issue and who is most susceptible. Peter outlines strategies for increasing iron levels, covering dietary iron, supplementation, and infusion options, while also discussing the suitability of each approach for different individuals. Shifting gears, Peter tackles rapid-fire questions on creatine and sodium, as well as inquiries related to his book.

    If you’re not a subscriber and are listening on a podcast player, you’ll only be able to hear a preview of the AMA. If you’re a subscriber, you can now listen to this full episode on your private RSS feed or our website at the AMA #58 show notes page. If you are not a subscriber, you can learn more about the subscriber benefits here.

    We discuss:

    • Overview of today’s topics and the importance of understanding iron levels in the body [1:45];
    • The importance and ubiquity of iron in the body, and the role of the protein called ferritin [4:30];
    • The processes of iron absorption, utilization, and transportation [9:30];
    • Options for testing iron levels and how to interpret the results [13:45];
    • What does it mean to be iron deficient, and how is it different from anemia? [17:15];
    • Symptoms of iron deficiency and/or anemia [22:15];
    • How prevalent is iron deficiency, and who is most susceptible? [24:30];
    • The importance of consuming an adequate amount of iron daily to prevent deficiency [30:30];
    • The best way to improve iron levels for someone who is deficient [34:45];
    • Iron supplementation: various formulations and potential side effects [37:45];
    • Intravenous iron infusion as an alternative to oral supplements -- plus restless legs syndrome and other topics [42:00];
    • Iron supplementation: who should and should not consider it [44:00];
    • Peter’s approach to creatine and his pre- and post-workout supplements [50:15];
    • Navigating sodium intake: effect on blood pressure, who should use precaution, and other considerations [54:45];
    • Peter’s thoughts about the potential of writing another book [57:15]; and
    • More.

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    Related Episodes

    Integrating Science and Contemplative Practice | Philosophy of Meditation #7 with Mark Miller

    Integrating Science and Contemplative Practice | Philosophy of Meditation #7 with Mark Miller

    In this episode of Voices with Vervaeke, philosopher and cognitive scientist Mark Miller joins John Vervaeke and Rick Repetti for a fascinating discussion on the connections between philosophy, science, and contemplative practice. Mark provides insight into his work as a 'synthetic philosopher', integrating diverse fields like neuroscience and Buddhism to create theoretical frameworks for understanding the mind and contemplation. The conversation explores whether there can or should be a 'philosophy of meditation', and how science and philosophy might contribute to human flourishing and contemplative development. Mark shares rich examples of how computational models and cognitive science can elucidate contemplative skills and states, providing nuance to traditional teachings. He emphasizes the importance of balance between insight practices and compassion cultivation on the contemplative path.

     

    Mark Miller, a philosopher and cognitive scientist, holds a senior research fellowship at Monash University's Center for Consciousness and Contemplative Studies in Australia, with affiliations at the University of Toronto and Hokkaido University in Japan. His work, which delves into the interplay between human thought, technology's impact on well-being, and human-computer interaction, is at the forefront of integrating cognitive neuroscience with philosophical inquiry.

     

    Glossary of Terms

     

    Predictive Processing: A cognitive science theory that suggests the brain continuously makes predictions about the environment based on past experiences.

    Synthetic Philosophy: An interdisciplinary approach that integrates insights from various fields to develop comprehensive frameworks for understanding complex phenomena.

    Contemplative Science: A field of study that investigates the effects of meditation and contemplative practices on the mind and well-being.

     

    John Vervaeke:

    Website: https://johnvervaeke.com/

    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@johnvervaeke 

    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/johnvervaeke  

    X: https://twitter.com/vervaeke_john  

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VervaekeJohn/

     

    Rick Repetti:

    Website: https://www.rickrepetti.com/

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rickrepetti/ 

    X: https://twitter.com/rickrepetti 

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/philosophicalpractitioner/

     

    Mark Miller:

    The Contemplative Science Podcast: https://www.thecontemplativescientists.com/

    Website: https://www.markdmiller.live/

    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaYjSup-Hp3V9P6MGt2zPuA

    X: https://twitter.com/predictivelife



    Join our new Patreon

    https://www.patreon.com/johnvervaeke

     

    The Vervaeke Foundation - https://vervaekefoundation.org/

     

    Awaken to Meaning - https://awakentomeaning.com/

     

    Books, Articles, and Publications

     

    • Routledge Handbook on the Philosophy of Meditation - Rick Repetti 

    https://www.amazon.com/Routledge-Handbook-Philosophy-Meditation-Repetti/dp/036764746X

     

    Quotes

     

    “Meditation is philosophy. It's not about relaxing, and it's certainly not about just creating weird psychedelic states so that we can blow our minds and talk about it. Meditation is a way of knowing ourselves, knowing our situation, and then flourishing through that special knowing.” - Mark Miller [00:16:42]

     

    "Don't under appreciate the value of love for your training. If you're listening to this, and you're contemplative, and you're tuning in now to help your practice, don't overlook it. It's valuable at the beginning, in the middle, in the end - like even a small amount of loving kindness and kindness practice now is going to make all the difference." - Mark Miller [00:56:00]

     

    Chapters

     

    [00:00:00] Introduction 

    [00:06:00] - Mark Miller's Journey in Contemplative Science

    [00:14:00] - Meditation's Role in Philosophy and Contemplation

    [00:17:00] - Synthetic Philosophy and Contemplative Science

    [00:23:00] -  Bridging Science, Philosophy and Contemplative Practice 

    [00:30:00]  - Blending Philosophy and Cognitive Science in Contemplative Practice 

    [00:47:00] -  Exploring Deep Belief Structures and Skillful Engagement

    [00:55:00] - Concluding Thoughts

     

    Snake or Rope? Overcoming Fear!

    Snake or Rope? Overcoming Fear!

    The one word ‘Fear’ is used to explain two situations where we basically experience the same feelings or sensations.

    The catch here is that there are two different causes – one is rational, and one is irrational.

    Join Sarah as she talks about coming out from under the shadow of fear to reveal your true courageous and confident nature!

    Jennifer Senior On: Grief, Happiness, Friendship Breakups, and Why We Feel Younger Than Our Actual Age

    Jennifer Senior On: Grief, Happiness, Friendship Breakups, and Why We Feel Younger Than Our Actual Age

    It’s likely uncontroversial to assert that Jennifer Senior is one of our finest living journalists. She’s currently a staff writer at The Atlantic and before that she spent many years at the New York Times and New York magazine. Jennifer’s written on a vast array of topics, but she has a special knack for writing articles about the human condition that go massively, massively, viral. One such hit was a lengthy and extremely moving piece for The Atlantic that won a Pulitzer Prize. It was about a young man who died on 9/11, and the wildly varying ways in which his loved ones experienced grief. That article, called “What Bobby McIlvaine Left Behind,” has now been turned into a book called, On Grief: Love, Loss, Memory.


    In this interview, we spend a lot of time talking about this truly fascinating yarn, but we also talk about her other articles: one about an eminent happiness researcher who died by suicide, another about why friendships often break up, and a truly delightful recent piece about the puzzling gap between how old we are and how old we think we are. Jennifer has also written a book about parenting, called All Joy and No Fun which we also reference a few times throughout.


    In this episode we talk about:

    • Jennifer’s perspective on the Bobby McIlvaine story 
    • Lesser known theories of grieving from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
    • The work involved in finding meaning in loss
    • Why – from an evolutionary standpoint – we hurt so badly when we lose someone we love
    • Commitment and sacrifice
    • The puzzling gap between how old you are and how old you think you are
    • The power and perils of friendship
    • Why Jennifer has chosen to focus so much of her writing on relationships


    Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/jennifer-senior-583

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    The Dalai Lama’s Guide to Happiness | Part 1

    The Dalai Lama’s Guide to Happiness | Part 1

    Dan flies to Dharamsala, India to spend two weeks in the orbit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This is the first installment of a five-part audio documentary series, something we’ve never done before now. Over the course of the episodes, we talk to His Holiness about practical strategies for thorny dilemmas, including: how to get along with difficult people; whether compassion can cut it in an often brutal world; why there is a self-interested case for not being a jerk; and how to create social connection in an era of disconnection. We also get rare insights from the Dalai Lama into everything from the mechanics of reincarnation to His Holiness’s own personal mediation practice. 


    In this first installment, Dan watches as a young activist directly challenges His Holiness: In a world plagued by climate change, terrorism, and other existential threats, is the Dalia Lama’s message of compassion practical — or even relevant? 


    Full Show Notes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/dalai-lama-guide-538


    Other Resources Mentioned:


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    Understand MINDFULNESS and how to practice it | Sonam Mahajan | Voices In My Head with Yameer Adhar | Podcast | Episode 15

    Understand MINDFULNESS and how to practice it | Sonam Mahajan | Voices In My Head with Yameer Adhar | Podcast | Episode 15

    Link to my Book - https://www.voicesinmyhead.in/book

    Yameer Adhar, bestselling author and host of Voices In My Head gets inside the head of mindfulness expert Sonam Mahajan. She is a trained Mindfulness Teacher and ICF certified Executive Coach & Life Coach with 15 years of multi-industry work experience across South America, Europe and Asia. Sonam works with companies, schools and individuals to enable human potential through mindfulness & coaching techniques, achieving outcomes of wellbeing, productivity and resilience. Her portfolio of work ranges from driving results in boardrooms, enabling families & individuals to thrive, nurturing and guiding individuals in leading a life of meaning and purpose. She recently started sharing her wisdom through her YouTube channel-  Yellow Door Talks and Podcast - Yellow Door Podcast. 
    Her philosophy has been to demystify the human life, making wisdom related and usable so we can enable psychological skills people require to fuel their doing from their being.”

    The discussion on this episode of the podcast is all about understanding mindfulness and learning how to practice it. My discussion with her was stimulating and one that I really enjoyed. She has inspired me to incorporate a mindfulness practice as part of my wellness routine.

    Voices In My Head is a podcast dedicated to mental and physical health that will teach anyone aspiring to improve themselves and learn the secrets to become happy and healthy! 

    Find your ultimate state of wellbeing and become the BEST version of YOU! 

    Follow Sonam Mahajan
    Instagram: @yellowdoortalks https://urlgeni.us/instagram/yellowdoortalks 
    Facebook: @yellowdoortalks https://urlgeni.us/facebook/yellowdoortalks
    Website: www.sonammahajan.com 
    YouTube: Yellow Door Talks https://urlgeni.us/youtube/channel/yellowdoortalks 

    Follow Yameer Adhar:
    Instagram: @yameeradhar
    Email: yameer@voicesinmyhead.in
    Website: https://www.voicesinmyhead.in

    SHOW NOTES:


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