Understanding the Practice of Mindfulness

By Frank Simons

Have you ever noticed that trying to calm down before a high-stakes event often just produces more agitation? That trying to change troublesome habits can seem difficult or impossible? Or that real fulfillment and well-being can be elusive, despite living a successful life? A surprising number of such difficulties stems from an inherited propensity of the human brain—our automatic, hardwired tendency to seek pleasure and to anticipate and avoid pain. Modern science demonstrates that this mental hardwiring, traceable to the survival needs of our earliest ancestors, is at the root of many of the psychological and behavioral problems that we face today.

Video Presentation
Ronald D. Siegel
Thu, Feb 19, 5:30pm
The Meditation Center
Callejón Blanco 4
Donations accepted

For thousands of years, people have used mindfulness practices—techniques to develop awareness of present experience with acceptance—to deal effectively with a wide range of life challenges. A large and fascinating body of scientific research now validates the remarkable benefits of mindfulness practice for psychological as well as physical health.

But how exactly does mindfulness work, in scientific terms? How can understanding the science and practice of mindfulness improve everyday life? And how can the human brain, whose very functioning gives rise to so many of the problems we struggle with, actually provide a solution?

Now, in the 24 fascinating lectures on “The Science of Mindfulness,” Professor Ronald D. Siegel, a clinical psychologist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, reveals the science behind mindfulness in compelling detail and demonstrates its application to an extraordinary range of human problems—psychological, social, and medical. You’ll closely examine the neurobiology involved, leaving you with a clear knowledge of the science underlying ancient practices that are now profoundly influencing the contemporary world. And you’ll learn many practical ways you can use mindfulness techniques in your own life.

Ronald D. Siegel, Harvard University

Dr. Ronald D. Siegel is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Health Alliance, where he has taught for more than 30 years, and an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He received his Doctor of Psychology degree from Rutgers University and completed his clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Siegel is a longtime student of mindfulness practices and serves on the board of directors and faculty of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. He teaches internationally about mindfulness and its application to psychotherapy and other fields, has worked for many years in community mental health, and maintains a private clinical practice in Lincoln, Massachusetts.

Dr. Siegel is also a contributor to other professional books and publications, including Psychotherapy Networker and Contemporary Psychology, and is a co-director of the annual Harvard Medical School conference, Meditation and Psychotherapy. Dr. Siegel has taught workshops for diverse organizations and his work has been featured on National Public Radio and on local radio and television programs.


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