1Equanimity:In the Dharma and in Your BrainChristina Feldman Rick Hanson Richard Mendius
2Plan for the DayContextEquanimity in Buddhist Thought and PracticeMeditative FoundationsThe Brain: Sometimes Peaceful, Sometimes NotMindfulness of FeelingLunchWhen the Brain Gets Upset . . .. . . And What You Can Do about ItMeditation on the Parasympathetic Nervous SystemWise View and EquanimityDepths of Equanimity
3Indeed, the sage who's fully quenchedRests at ease in every way;No sense desire adheres to him or herWhose fires have cooled, deprived of fuel.All attachments have been severed,The heart's been led away from pain;Tranquil, he or she rests with utmost ease.The mind has found its way to peace.The Buddha
4Common - and Fertile - GroundNeurosciencePsychologyBuddhism
5When the uninstructed worldling experiences a painful feeling, she sorrows, grieves, and laments; she weeps beating her breast and becomes distraught. She feels two feelings - a bodily one and a mental one. Suppose they were to strike a man with a dart, and then strike him immediately afterward with a second dart, so that the man would feel a feeling caused by two darts. So too, when the uninstructed worldling experiences a painful feeling, she feels two feelings - a bodily one and a mental one.°The Buddha, SN36:6
6Basics of MeditationRelaxPosture that is comfortable and alertSimple good will toward yourselfAwareness of your bodyFocus on something to steady your attentionAccepting whatever passes through awareness, not resisting it or chasing itGently settling into peaceful well-being
7Know the mind.Shape the mind.Free the mind.
8Foundations of MeditationSetting an intention - “top-down” frontal lobes, “bottom-up” limbic systemRelaxing the body - parasympathetic nervous system (PNS)Feeling safer - inhibits amygdala/ hippocampus vigilance circuitsEvoking positive emotion - dopamine, norepinephrineAbsorbing the benefits - primes memory circuits throughout the brain
9“Ardent, Diligent, Resolute, and Mindful”
10The Union of Mind and BodySubjective experience correlates with brain activities.Change your experience - and you change your brain, temporarily and then permanently.Change your brain - and you change your experience.
11Meditation -Long-term Physical EffectsDampens reactivity to stressDampens amygdala responsesSensitizes and strengthens parasympathetic systemThickens brain regions (= makes them stronger):Anterior cingulate (controlling attention, integrating thinking/feeling)Insula (interoceptive awareness, empathy)Less cortical thinning with agingIncreases left frontal activation: more positive emotionsPrimes brain to enter states of very fast pulses of coherent neural activity integrating broad regionsIncreases serotonin (supporting mood, sleep, digestion)