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Sounds True Presents: The Enlightened Brain, Part 1

Dr. Rick Hanson on the Neuroscience of Spiritual Awakening
Sounds True
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Use a variety of meditative techniques to transform the brain and the mind for the better
Understand ancient Buddhist teachings that coincide with what science has found to be true
Comprehend how the brain works, and how it is able to evolve and change as you age
Discover the ways that you can alter the way your brain works so you can release negativity and embrace positivity

Dr. Rick Hanson is a pioneering neuropsychologist and author who teaches the inner skills necessary for personal wellbeing and psychological growth.

In this course, Dr. Hanson will show you how to train your brain so you can heal old pain, become more positive, and live life less seriously while enjoying every moment.

You’ll learn what it takes to have complete control over your feelings and thoughts as you improve your brain by continually sculpting it for the better.

Transform Your Mind So You Can Embrace Joy and Peace Every Day

  • Comprehend How the Brain Works and How It Developed
  • Use Neuroplasticity to Change Your Mind for the Better
  • Heal Past Traumas and Release Present Fears
  • Experience Guided Practices That Improve the Mind

Remove Negativity from Your Life and Start Focusing on the Positive
The goal of this course is to teach you how to control your brain’s reaction to life.

Rather than responding to situations with heartache, frustration, and fear, you’ll return your brain to its natural state of caring, contentment, and calm.

You’ll also access tools that you can use every day, particularly guided meditations, that will not only bring about calmness and focus, but also improve your concentration.

Contents and Overview
After a brief introduction, you’ll dive right into self-directed neuroplasticity to discover that the brain actually continues to develop throughout life.

You’ll learn how the brain functions, what experts have learned about the effects of behaviors on the brain, and how you can engineer your own brain so it’s more aligned with who you want to be.

Then you’ll tap into the importance of mindfulness, virtue, and wisdom, which are the three pillars of practice in Buddhism.

You’ll immediately apply these concepts with guided meditations that stimulate your brain’s potential for growth.

As you move deeper into the course, you’ll explore the evolution of the brain, and you’ll learn how to counteract the “negativity bias” that it developed in order to protect you from danger.

Through several guided practices, you’ll maximize your brain’s ability to accurately assess levels of threat and overcome the negativity bias.

You’ll deepen your responsiveness to what’s good in life and start using positive experiences to heal old pain.

Finally, you’ll uncover how meditation and concentration techniques can change your brain, and you’ll experience it first-hand through guided practices that will steady the mind and help you be satisfied with less.

By the end of this course, you’ll have a toolbox of meditations that you can use daily to help your brain release negativity and embrace the positive.

You’ll know how to integrate the best of Buddhist teachings and modern science into your life so you can transform your mind, be less afraid, and find peace and happiness

Taking Control of Your Brain

An Introduction to the Enlightened Brain
  • Dr. Hanson's background
  • The causes of suffering
  • The causes of positive feelings
  • What is enlightenment?
  • A description of the brain
  • A description of the program
  • The importance of small, daily efforts
Self-Directed Neuroplasticity
An Introduction to Self-Directed Neuroplasticity
  • A description of the brain
  • “The enchanted loom”
  • The structure and function of the brain
  • How complex is the human brain?
  • What are you going to do with your brain?
The Importance of Studying the Brain
  • What is profound unconditional happiness?
  • How is it accomplished?
  • The primacy of the brain
  • What modern science tells us about traditional meditation practices
  • The intersection of neuroscience, psychology, and contemplative practice
  • The benefits of learning about the brain
  • Introduction to the course
The Intersection of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Contemplative Practice
  • The benefits of studying the intersection of neuroscience, psychology, and contemplative practice
  • The three great scientific questions
  • The importance of humility and questioning
A Review of the Physiology of the Brain
  • How the brain is formed
  • How the brain functions
  • How the brain grows
  • How the brain changes
The Relationship of the Mind and the Brain
  • Defining the mind
  • The importance of culture and the formation of the mind
  • The codependence of the mind and the brain
  • Changing the brain, changes the mind; changing the mind, changes the brain
  • Temporary and permanent changes in the brain
Neurons that Fire Together, Wire Together
  • Neurons that fire together, wire together
  • The lasting effects of experience on the brain
  • The importance and difficulty of self-advocacy
  • How to do the guided practices
Guided Meditation: Being on Your Own Side
Mindfulness, Virtue, and Wisdom
  • What you can do to reduce suffering
  • How you can increase happiness
  • Mindfulness, virtue, and wisdom
  • The three phases of practice
Guided Meditation: Letting Be, Letting Go, Letting In
Going Further with Self-Directed Neuroplasticity
  • The mechanism and opportunity to use your mind to change your brain
  • Making effort
  • The two wings of psychological practice
  • Being with vs. working for
  • The importance of being kind to yourself
  • Being on your own side
  • Negative grandiosity
Section 1 Study Questions

Taking in the Good

Taking in the Good
An Introduction to Taking in the Good
  • The triune brain
  • The brain's evolution
  • The resting state
  • Trigggers for a stress state
  • The negative effects of chronic stress
The Three Motivational Systems in the Brain
  • The evolving human brain
  • The nonhuman development of the brain
  • Avoidance, approaching, and attachment
  • Love as the primary driver of the brain
  • Social brain theory
  • Primate brain development
  • What's going on in an enlightened brain?
  • The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems
  • The responsive mode of the brain
  • The resting state: calm, contented, and caring
The Negativity Bias of the Brain
  • How the brain behaves when we're frustrated, threatened, or stressed
  • The reactive mode of functioning
  • What activates the reactive mode
  • The negativity bias of the brain
  • The evolution of the negativity bias in the brain
  • The difference between carrots and sticks
  • Pain vs. pleasure
  • Trained helplessness
  • The freedom to choose
  • The negative effects of chronic stress
  • Choosing the reactive or responsive mode
  • The fruits and the path
Guided Meditation: Deepening Your Responsive Mode
How to Deliberately Internalize Positive Experiences
  • The kinds of memory
  • The basic steps of “Taking in the Good” practice
Guided Meditation: A Quick Practice of Taking in the Good
The Kinds of Good We Can Take In
  • Practicing “Taking in the Good”
  • The importance of repetition
  • The four kinds of good to take in
Guided Meditation: Taking in the Good, Complete Version
Determining the Kind of Positive Experiences You Need
  • Determining your own needs for certain kinds of positive experiences
  • How to find or create the experiences you need
  • A practice to do before sleep in order to scan for good facts
Using Positive Experiences to Heal Old Pain
  • Pairing a positive experience with a negative one
  • How the brain stores memories
  • The different ways of using this practice
  • What you need in order to do this practice successfully
An Introduction to The Fourth Step of Taking in the Good
  • How to use this practice
  • Things to be aware of before beginning
  • What to do if you feel overwhelmed
  • How to choose a negative and positive experience to use in this practice
Guided Meditation: The Fourth Step of Taking in the Good
Using the Fourth Step in Everyday Life
  • How to deal with difficulties while doing this practice
  • Using this practice with children
  • Using this practice with different forms of therapy
  • Using this practice to motivate ourselves to do things that are good for us
  • “Taking in the Good” as a mindfulness practice
Going Further with Taking in the Good
  • Postive virtues
  • The seven factors of enlightenment
  • Positive emotions
  • Self-soothing resources
  • Pro-social behaviors
  • How one can use Taking in the Good to heal old wounds
  • The pearls that are all around us
  • The importance of retaining positive experiences
  • The importance of choice in your progression or regression
  • The realm of Hungry Ghosts
Section 2 Study Questions

The Neuroscience of Mindfulness

The Neuroscience of Mindfulness
An Introduction to the Neuroscience of Mindfulness
  • What is mindfulness?
  • Self-awareness
  • Focused attention
  • Awareness is always pure
Mindfulness and Concentration
  • Defining awareness, attention, mindfulness, and concentration
  • Why mindfulness and concentration are important
  • Buddhism and concentration
  • Concentration and liberating insight
How Your Brain Pays Attention
  • Different kinds of stimulus and avoidance
  • Updating awareness with new information
  • Determining the right amount of stimulation
  • How dopamine affects functioning
  • Regulating stimulation
  • Neurological diversity: jackrabbits and turtles
  • The characteristics of jackrabbits
  • The characteristics of turtles
  • How to adapt practices to your particular tendencies
  • The three challenges to concentration
Guided Meditation: Steadying the Mind
Guided Meditation: Curing Stimulus Hunger
Guided Meditation: Becoming More Satisfied with Less
Six Neural Factors That Promote Steadiness of Mind
  • Setting an intention
  • Relaxing the body
  • Feeling cared about
  • Feeling safer
  • Encouraging positive emotion
  • Receiving and internalizing positive experiences
Guided Meditation: The Six Neural Factors Meditation
Going Further with the Neuroscience of Mindfulness
  • Doing vs. being
  • Becoming accessible to the fullness of life
  • What do you need to develop further?
  • Lost in thought vs. open spacious awareness
Concentrating the Mind
Section 3 Study Questions


BONUS: Learn More from Dr. Rick Hanson
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