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796 Retraining the Brain

The classical ideal of a healthy mind in a healthy body is something we all desire and even strive for. We know quite a bit about how to keep our bodies healthy with exercise and good nutrition; but how do we keep our minds and emotions healthy?
An unusual collaboration between a neuroscientist and a Buddhist monk has helped clarify one practice that can help. Brain imaging tracks mental activity during meditation and shows distinctive changes in the brain activity of Buddhist monks.
Guests: Richard J. Davidson, PhD, is the William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, Director of the Waisman Lab for Brain Imaging and Behavior, the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience and the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, all of the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk who had a promising career in cellular genetics before leaving France to study Buddhism in the Himalayas 37 years ago. He is a bestselling author. His newest book, Why Meditate? Working With Thoughts And Emotions, explains that by practicing meditation on a daily basis we can change our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
The website is: http://www.matthieuricard.org
The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. Podcasts can be downloaded for free for six weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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Awesome Show!

I missed the show as broadcast last Saturday and was so grateful to be able to hear via podcast. It brought wonderful information not only on the plasticity of the brain but on meditation being one of the methods by which the brain does change. This has many positive implications for altering the behavior in children with behavior problems and attention problems.

This was an inspirational program. I am seriously thinking of taking the 8 week course on Meditation by PROF. Richard Davidson. I Would appreciate further information on this program.
I have been an enthusiastic listener to People’s Pharmacy these past 10 years.
Terry and Joe you are certainly doing a tremendous service for our woefully defunct knowledge of healthful eating, exercise and mind/body correlation.
I am an exercise physiologist, of European descent, and have lived in this country since 1967.
In my 80th year I still teach two exercise classes a week, and apparently am somewhat of a role model for healthy living! My Mother was Lili Kraus, internationally famous pianist, and Fergus Pope my husband worked as a physician with Albert Schweitzer in his Jungle Hospital in Lambarene, Gabon.
Dr. Schweitzer inspired Fergus to study medicine. Between the two of us we have traveled much of the world!
Thank for your continuous work in this field. – and … Happy New Year

Wonderful show! Gratifying to find emphasis on the very practical aspects of meditation.
I intended to give 5 stars, but fumbled the rating mechanism and fewer were recorded.

I am very pleased with this program on meditation, show 796. I am also pleased that my station, Wisconsin Public Radio airs the program twice. Wouldn’t it be great if there were news programs devoted to our spiritual/mental/social/public health? wouldn’t it be great if this discipline was part of educational curricula? Thank you for continuing for so many years with your always interesting programs.
On another note, about ten years ago PP used a musical interlude to play a piece of music that had the word Dolphins in it’s title. I found the piece extremely moving. Would anyone be able to tell me how to obtain this piece of music and anything related to it?

Excellent program. Until we move from being repetitive to being truly creative and alive, we need constant reminders to develop and use our latent ability to choose which thoughts we want to linger on as building blocks of our emotions and perspective. I started this process after reading Herbert Benson’s “Relaxation Response” (your previous guest) back in the late 70s. What was regarded as radical then is now a holistic method of lowering blood pressure, healing relationships and tapping into our innate joy that is not dependent on “things”. Thank you for these wonderful shows.

This was such a valuable show! The discussion about brain health, building the muscles and cooperation really spoke to me and my family. We are passive, peaceful people that have been accused of ‘wearing our emotions too much on our sleeves.’ However, we have a sweet family unit that cooperates together, rejoices with each other’s lives and tries to ‘pass it on’ in our communities. Thank you for the meditation thoughts; we all will enjoy a kinder world with these kinds of programs.

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