Slo Mo: A Podcast with Mo Gawdat

Dr. Rick Hanson (Part 1) - Lessons on Enlightenment from Psychology, Contemplative Wisdom, and Neuroscience

November 22, 2020 Mo Gawdat and Dr. Rick Hanson Episode 64
Slo Mo: A Podcast with Mo Gawdat
Dr. Rick Hanson (Part 1) - Lessons on Enlightenment from Psychology, Contemplative Wisdom, and Neuroscience
Show Notes

I'm honored to have one of my heroes, Dr. Rick Hanson, on today's two-part episode. Rick mentions in our talk that this is one of his favorite interview he's ever done. I can confidently say the same.

Rick is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, and New York Times best-selling author. His books have been published in 29 languages and include Neurodharma, Resilient, Hardwiring Happiness, Buddha’s Brain, Just One Thing, and Mother Nurture – with 900,000 copies in English alone. His free weekly newsletter has 180,000 subscribers and his online programs have scholarships available for those with financial need.  An expert on positive neuroplasticity, his work has been featured on the BBC, CBS, NPR, and other major media. He began meditating in 1974 and is the founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom.

There are few people alive today that are able to so eloquently and brilliantly combine the science and the spirit of the search for a meaningful life quite like Rick. His words emerge from the cross-section of psychology, contemplative wisdom, and neuroscience. If you truly want to understand how your brain works, and how it can help you - or hurt you - on your journey, do not miss this.

In Part 1, listen as we discuss:

  • Rick's sabbatical: his attempt at disengaging from the mechanism of "doing"
  • Why do we just keep going back to doing instead of being?
  • How feelings of inadequacy drove Rick to pursue both the scientific and the spiritual
  • The two ways to know yourself
  • The human mind as a personal lab for experimentation, and how to tell what's working
  • How scientism has become a dogma of its own
  • What is the mind?
  • An incredible discussion on the nervous system that will alter your view on information
  • Neuroplasticity (one of my favorite topics)
  • Stories from Rick's childhood, realizing his home is an unhappy place
  • "If you're not for yourself, who will be? And if not now, then when?"
  • "If you take care of the minutes, the years will take care of themselves."
  • Rick's HEAL model: how to truly learn, change, heal, or evolve, backed by science
  • Developing the ultimate superpower: learning
  • Evidence that contentedness is actually a driver of high achievement
  • The brain is velcro for bad experiences and teflon for good experiences

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Connect with Dr. Rick Hanson on Instagram @rickhansonphd, on Facebook @rickhansonphd, on Twitter @drrhanson, and his website,

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