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The Mindful Brain

The Mindful Brain

The Mindful Brain by Daniel J. Siegel (2007, W.W. Norton and Co.)

This book explores the science of mindfulness, including how awareness of our experiences can influence the brain.  Siegel argues that the transformation of our mental life can lead to physiological changes that reveal a shared humanity. He discusses mindful learning as a way of dissolving previously entrenched mindsets that are both nonproductive and destructive, and considers the integrative role of the mindful brain as an approach towards finding common ground for promoting greater reflection and well-being. Siegel identifies the challenge for us all as being “to see life as a verb rather than as a noun.” The research carried out by Daniel Siegelat the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center shows that humans are not permanently wired to be ‘this way’ or ‘that way’, suggesting that the human ‘drivers’ of climate change are not a given. Social and emotional circuits are malleable and can be transformed through mindful awareness practices. Being aware of awareness is seen as a precursor for planetary well-being.

“Resilience can be learned through experience. Affective style is not fixed in cement by genes or by early experience, but can be seen as a skill that with training can be moved in the direction of well-being.” (Siegel 2007, p. 215)

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